[Album Review] Advice (3rd Mini Album) – Taemin (SHINee)

The next album to be on the reviewing block is Advice, Taemin’s third mini-album, which was released at the end of May of this year. The title track for the album shares the same name with the album itself. This release is particularly important as it is the artist’s last solo release for a while. For those who may have missed the news, Taemin recently enlisted into the military, as like every other Korean male citizen. While we might not be able to see for him in the next two years or so, we have gotten a lot of Taemin this year already. Prior to this solo comeback, we also saw Taemin participate in SHINee’s promotions of Don’t Call Me and Atlantis, their first promotion as a group since 2018. SuperM (the other group he is also a part of) also released a single earlier this year, as well. And he managed to slip in a solo comeback before enlisting? He definitely spoiled his fans. All the best for military enlistment and see you in two years or so Taemin!

Advice Album Cover

1. Advice (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Advice. (7/10)

2. Light – Following the title track is another very Taemin-esque song. The song starts off with this groovy and sensual vibe, which screams out all things Taemin for me. But as the song progresses, Light develops more into a R&B synth track and maintains that grooviness. I would have liked to hear the sensual nature of the start be maintained as well. But I guess we cannot have it all. Taemin’s vocals are very prominent in the song as well. My favourite bit is the bridge of the song. I really enjoyed the aesthetics that the bridge and how it slowed down the song without stopping the momentum of Light. I really appreciate that. (8/10)

3. If I Could Tell You (ft. Taeyeon from SNSD)If I Could Tell You stays within the R&B realm of music, but also features a bubbly synth instrumentation that was moody and definitely sleek. The song also features the likes of Taeyeon (who also recently returned to the KPOP scene with Weekend). I really like both Taemin and Taeyeon’s vocals in this song, particularly that really fast delivery of lyrics in the verses. It was a memorable part and definitely gave the song a bit of a wow factor. Unfortunately, the song sounded a bit repetitive by the time it reached the pairs duet. But overall, still an enjoyable song. (8/10)

4. Strings – Aesthetics continue with Strings. To me, Strings is definitely on a whole different level compared to the rest of the album. I really like the guitar work at the start of the song, giving Strings is moody vibe. The pace and that really brief humming synth we hear is really creates a dark atmosphere. The song progresses more into a R&B track once we get into chorus territory. The bass in the chorus continues that darkness from earlier in the song in such a satisfying manner. The presence of the female backing vocals gave a great impression of depth and added an extra bit of appeal to the song. Overall, my favourite side track on the album. (10/10)

5. Sad Kids – Ending the album is Sad Kids, which is a continuation of 2 KIDS, which was a pre-release track last year and re-released as part of Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1. When it comes to the song’s instrumental, Sad Kids is rather simple. It is a mid-tempo pop track that comes to life thanks to the guitar work. It is a blissful and uplifting song, but with a lot of emotional weight coming through via Taemin’s vocals. I liked how he found a balance that didn’t make this song come off as a ballad. A really nice ender that makes me want more from the artist. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.4/10

Advice Album Cover

[Review] Advice – Taemin (SHINee)

While I was on break last week, a number of comebacks occurred that I could not review. Now that I am back, I will try my best to get on top of the last week and this week’s comeback. First up is SHINee’s Taemin, who made his last comeback with Advice (the title of both the mini-album and its lead single) before his impending miltary enlistment at the end of the month. While his fellow group members have completed their miltary enlistment, Taemin pushed forward with his solo career, releasing massive hits like Want, Criminal and Idea. Luckily for all the Shawols out there, SHINee was fortuate enough to make a group comeback earlier this year just before Taemin enlisted with Don’t Call Me and Atlantis (Album Review Here!) in addition Taemin’s solo release.

What makes Advice sound stunning was the piano present in the instrumentation. It was definitely captivating for me to listen to, especially since it was incorporated really well into the electronic trap-centric instrumentation and made the otherwise standard electronic influence a bit more gripping than if it was packaged as a standalone. Furthermore, I really like the vocals throughout the song. Taemin slips into falesetto mode for some of the song, especially when it came to the chorus, giving the song a bit of dynamism to make it a little bit more exciting. I really like it how his vocals are backed up when it came to the chorus, adding some depth to the song. And I feel that the additional dynamism and depth were much needed. Without the much needed dynanism and depth that we got, Advice would have been a bit shallow and too ‘safe’ for my liking. As a whole picture, Advice is good. But I will admit that Advice isn’t as show-stopping as some of his previous hits. There is a couple of reasons for this, but I feel like this boils down to one of two reasons (or maybe a combination of both). Advice felt overly consistent and stuck in neutral gear for the three and a half minutes or so. Also, Taemin’s solo releases tend to explore unexplored territory for KPOP, or repurposes rare styles to be his own. I felt that Advice didn’t have that individualistic spark which always perks my interest. But nonetheless, Advice is still a listen and might be a good song if you want to ease into Taemin’s discography. But as someone who has reviewed all of his solo tracks, Advice lacks what it takes to be at the top end of Taemin’s discography.

While those are my thoughts about the song above, it doesn’t mean the same thoughts necessarily apply to the rest of the comeback. The music video for Advice, to me, is haunting. And this is all done without slipping into a dark or twisted theme. The initial scene with Taemin’s body marked with grease and covered only by a black mask with white stitching and web-like overlay (whilst playing the piano) was very impactful and made the video feel sinister and creepy. We are then shown Taemin in a choreography shot with long hair with grey-blue ends, which make him look chraismatic as a vampire. Very impactful imagery. The rest of the shots (I don’t have time to go through them one by one) follow a similar pattern. This is also complimentary to the atmopshere which the lyrics create. Based on what I understood of the lyrics and visuals aspects of the video, his lover is driving him insane and makes him a crazed person (“The more you trap me, the more I go off the rails“). Based on his lyrics, he warns this lover to stay away from him, but they don’t. This results in Taemin going insane completely, driving recklessly on the road and dying at the end of the video. A very interesting set of events.

Once again, Taemin pulls off an impressive routine for this comeback. There was a lot of footwork and I really like how he carried that haunting atmosphere from the music video over to the stage performance. I really like the dancers contributed to the start, setting the scene of the performance. I also really like how they were slowly brought in using small body rolls at the end of the bridge.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 10/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.3/10

[Special] 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Winners Announcement

Welcome to the announcement post of the winners for the 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. During the month of December in 2020, I opened up a survey for the 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Over 1800 of you voted during the month of December, a number that I did not expect to see! I am sure that you all are excited and are awaiting to see which artist has clinched victory in each category. I have definitely made you wait long enough 🙂

Like the previous years, I will announce the winners using GIFs and images. I have also announced the runners up for each category as Honourable Mentions below the GIFs. In addition to that, I have included the KPOPREVIEWED Choice, which is my personal pick for each category.

Unlike previous years, however, all of the winners of the 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Awards (including the End of Year Charts and Best Song of 2020 Award) is included in this very one post! Towards the bottom of each post, you will see some page numbers. You can click on these page numbers to navigate to different award categories and the End of Year Charts. Here is a quick guide to the page numbers:

Page 1 – Artist Categories
Page 2 – Visual Categories, Performance Categories, Weekly KPOP Charts related Categories
Page 3 – Blog related Categories, Song Categories (excluding Best Song)
Page 4 – End of Year Charts & Best Song of 2020 Award

Artist Caregories

The following categories are all fan-voted categories for the artists that were active during the eligible period of December 2019 to November 2020.

Best New Male Group



Honourable Mention: TREASURE

Best New Female Group



Honourable Mention: WEEEKLY

Best New Male Soloist

Han Seung Woo (VICTON)
Kim Woo Seok (UP10TION)

Lee Eun Sang

Honourable Mention: Wonho

Best New Female Soloist

Lee Suhyun (AKMU)
Moonbyul (Mamamoo)

Ryu Sujeong (Lovelyz)
Solar (Mamamoo)
YooA (Oh My Girl)

Honourable Mention: Lee Suhyun (AKMU)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: YooA (Oh My Girl)

Rising Star of 2020

Golden Child

The Boyz

Honourable Mention: EVERGLOW

Most Underrated Group of 2020


Dream Catcher

Honourable Mention: Dream Catcher

Best Vocals


Lee Hi
Ong Seong Woo
Taeyeon (SNSD)

Honourable Mention: Taeyeon (SNSD)

Best Rapper

Dami (Dream Catcher)
Han Ji Sung (Stray Kids)

Jooheon (MONSTA X)
Moonbyul (Mamamoo)
Wooseok (Pentagon)

Honourable Mention: Han Jisung (Stray Kids)

Best Band

Nominees: CN BLUE, DAY6, IZ, N.Flying, ONEWE



Honourable Mention: CN BLUE

Best CO-ED Group


Honourable Mention: AKMU

Best Subunit

End of Day
Moonbin & Sanha

NCT 127
Red Velvet – Irene & Seulgi

Honourable Mention: NCT 127

Best Male Soloist

Nominees: Baekhyun (EXO), Chen (EXO), Kang Daniel, Ong Seong Woo, Taemin (SHINee), Zico

Baekhyun (EXO)
Chen (EXO)
Kang Daniel

Ong Seong Woo
Taemin (SHINee)

Honourable Mention: Taemin (SHINee)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: Kang Daniel

Best Female Soloist

Hwasa (Mamamoo)

Jeon Somi
Taeyeon (SNSD)

Honourable Mention: Hwasa (Mamamoo)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice: Chungha

Best Male Group

Golden Child


Stray Kids
The Boyz

Honourable Mention: BTS, Stray Kids

Best Female Group

Cherry Bullet
Dream Catcher


Oh My Girl
Red Velvet
Weki Meki
WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

Honourable Mention: BLACKPINK, EVERGLOW

Select the page numbers below (just above the comments section) to go to the award categories you want to see the most!
Page 1 – Artist Categories
Page 2 – Visual Categories, Performance Categories, Weekly KPOP Charts related Categories
Page 3 – Blog related Categories, Song Categories (excluding Best Song)
Page 4 – End of Year Charts & Best Song of 2020 Award

[Album Review] Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 2 (3rd Studio Album) – Taemin (SHINee)

Taemin is nominated in Best Male Soloist and Best Male Solo Performance categories in the 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Click here to support Taemin and your other favourite artists.

Taemin previously made his comeback in September with Act 1 of his Never Gonna Dance Again series, one half of his third Korean studio album since his solo debut. That section of the album was headlined by Criminal and 2 KIDS. In November, Taemin returned with Act 2 of Never Gonna Dance Again (the focus of this album review post), which features the title track Idea. There are eight other tracks on this album, so let’s move the album review along. I am super excited!!

Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 2 Album Cover

1. IDEA (이데아) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for IDEA. (6/10)

2. Heaven – While Heaven isn’t as instrumentally intense as IDEA, it doesn’t mean that this song was no less than epic. There are two elements that really hone into that epic atmosphere. Firstly, Taemin’s breathy vocals. They were impressive and definitely were jaw dropping, particularly when it came to his ad-libs towards the end of the song. The second element has to be the choir backing in this song, which gives off an haunting vibe as well as the epic vibes. (10/10)

3. ImpressionableImpressionable’s instrumental feels appropriate for the Halloween season, resembling a spooky tune. But with Taemin at the helm of this song, you know that this was done so intentional to be aesthetic. And it does come off that way in retrospect. I wanted to say that there was a playful spooky tone to Impressionable, but it seems to disappear into thin air as we progressed along the song. Taemin’s vocals have this vibrating effect to them, which gives off creepy vibes. I also like he does some rapping and rap-speaking in this song, which go hand in hand with one another in this song. (9/10)

4. Be Your Enemy (ft. Wendy from Red Velvet) – I felt excited for this song, given that it was the only collaborative track on this album. And it features Wendy from Red Velvet, who has been appearing here and there during her recovery from injuries. But Be Your Enemy doesn’t really go anywhere in a musical sense. It is a pretty stagnant song, with a pop instrumental that minutely builds upon itself by the time it wraps up. Taemin’s vocal side does shine and Wendy’s feature (although brief) compliments the main star of the album very well. (7/10)

5. Think Of You (안아줄래)Think Of You was a nice change of pace, going for a more upbeat dance feel. I really like funky roots of the song, which gives the song some life. It is subtle though which aids in refinement and doesn’t throw us another song that follows the retro trend explicitly. I really like the use of vocals in the background, which gives more texture and an interesting note to the song. (8.5/10)

6. Exclusive (Korean Version)Exclusive was previously released as a single as part of Taemin’s third mini-album in Japan. It is a very abrasive dance track, especially when we get to the final moments of the chorus. It contrasts strongly with the smoother verses, courtesy of Taemin’s vocals. It is memorable, aesthetic and epic all in one. (10/10)

7. PansyPansy is one of Taemin’s answer to a ballad on this album. I thought that this was a stunning song, partly thanks to the soloist’s vocals. It is the type of ballad that you have to stop what you are doing and close your eyes to listen to full appreciate the song. The way his voice is carried throughout the song is also a ride. I enjoyed the ‘My Oh My…’ melody, which was one of the most memorable sections of the song. The epic and dramatic percussion we get at the end caps off the song in a very ethereal manner. (10/10)

8. I Think It Is Love (사랑인 것 같아) – Following Pansy is another ballad. I Think It Is Love is a bit different however. It starts off like a typical ballad, but the chorus makes way for a more powerful instrumental centrepiece. The entire song comes together extremely well and left me stunned once it wrapped. The ending is the best bit, with Taemin singing alongside backing vocals that are harmonizing with him to amplify his delivery to give the end of the song another epic touch. (10/10)

9. Identity – The final song on the album is Identity. This one is a bit of a rollercoaster in many senses. The song starts off slow, almost like a ballad. But it slowly builds. I was blown away by Taemin’s ‘Oohs’ during the first instance that you can tell the song was slowly building. We are then introduced to Taemin’s eerie of the word “Bass”, before we at launched right into the dramatic and theatric approach of the chorus. It doesn’t last for long, with Taemin going back into the same gear in which provided us with the slow start and ‘Oohs’ to end off the song and album. Another perfect song, if you ask me. (10/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.9/10

Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 2 Teaser Image

[Review] Idea – Taemin (SHINee)

Taemin did not keep us waiting for long for the second part of his 3rd studio album, Never Gonna Dance Again. He made his comeback on Monday with the second part of his 3rd studio album, Never Gonna Dance Again: Act #2, which is headlined by Idea (the actual title is IDEA:理想, but I am going to stick to Idea throughout this review). It follows the release of Act #1 of Never Gonna Dance Again in September, which was lead by the track Criminal.

To me, Idea seems to be one of Taemin’s weakest title tracks ever. However, this statement doesn’t make Idea a bad song necessarily. I just felt Taemin has raised the bar to an extremely high level with his past promotional tracks, the last being Criminal. There is some positives to the song, such as the intensity that is quite apparent and I felt that the atmosphere was going in a suspenseful direction overall. But to me, I feel like the future bass song gets straight to the point a little too quickly. There really isn’t much of a build up to the chorus from the verse (i.e. no pre-chorus really amped up the suspense and excitement). It just switched from verse to chorus without much thought, leaving you wondering what happened preceding the fact and dulling the song’s appeal after the fact. The chorus itself isn’t too bad instrumentally. I really enjoyed those synthetic violins that take front and centre of the chorus. They seemed to make the song more epic and gave the song some interesting textures. However, the chorus lacks a strong hook and the hook that we did get was quite distasteful, if I were to be honest. The second verse was pretty much non-existent given that it was blurred with the first chorus instrumental-wise. The bridge felt quite rushed, making way for a prolonged final chorus which had elements of what I liked and disliked in this song. Vocally, it was okay. The verse part was quite good, but I did find the overlapping at the end to be a bit much. BoA does make an appearance as the female voice we hear just ahead of the chorus, but it seems like she isn’t formally acknowledge as a featuring artist. Overall and put simply, Idea isn’t up to par with what we know Taemin for.

With a song as messy as Idea, I am not entirely sure how the video accompanying its release can be anything else but that. But the music video comes together quite well. There is some confusion on my part in interpreting the storyline that is hidden throughout the story (I am not sure why it isn’t the forefront of the video – this would have made this SM Entertainment music video unique, relatively to other music videos released by the company). From my understanding of the visuals and the lyrics, Taemin is imagining everything we see in the video. From the people at that bar whispering about him to the ghostly figures that appear in the forest with him. He thinks his bad experience in relationships and love is as result of someone in particular. But that person is a fragment of his delusional imagination. Hence we see Taemin in a white outfit (resembles a stray jacket) behind a glass wall, similar to the ones we see in jails in TV shows for the public to chat with locked up love ones. Per usual, this is my interpretation, so I maybe wrong. But I am still interested in reading about your interpretation and I know that Taemin has spoken about the actual meaning on a VLIVE recently.

The choreography looks really good. Regardless of whether we like the song or not, Taemin always exceeds expectations with the choreography. The entire final chorus routine looked really complicated but alluring, thanks to the increased intensity during this segment. He really pulled out his performance chops. The body rolls looked really nice, as they always do. Hahaha…

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 7.2/10

[Album Review] Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1 (3rd Studio Album) – Taemin (SHINee)

The next album on the reviewing list for this weekend is Taemin’s latest and third Korean studio album release, Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1. The album was also released a month ago and Taemin has since ended promotions for the new album, which include the release and promotion of Criminal as the title track, and 2 KIDS as the pre-release single. Taemin has also been quite busy with promotions as part of SuperM, as the group has just released their first studio album as well. Some have said that SuperM’s album release cut short promotions for Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1, but that isn’t something we are here to discuss. Rather, we are going to have a deep dive into the side tracks on the album.

Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1 Album Cover

1. Criminal (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Criminal. (10/10)

2. Black Rose (일식) (ft. Kid Milli) Black Rose isn’t as intense as Criminal, but it has this subtle epic factor to the song that makes it very worth listening to. The subtle epicness of the song comes from both the main artists of the song (Taemin) and the featuring artist (Kid Milli). Kid Milli adds what I like to think as ‘hype’ to the song, similar to what we used to hear in R&B and rap songs from the Western industry back in the 00s. It isn’t an energetic sequence, but he keeps it rather subtle. You can feel that it is there and that it was the intended direction of Kid Milli’s featuring. Taemin adds a velvety smoothness to the song that makes Black Rose that more captivating to listen to. And pulling the two parts together is this dark, theatrical and almost gothic sounding instrumental, which is stunning to listen to. Criminal may have started off the album strong, but Black Rose following the title track makes the album’s start even better! (10/10)

3. Strangers – Taemin does aesthetics like no other artist. Strangers is testament to that. Strangers is another captivating song. The instrumental for this track is just on another level. Haunting, clever and engrossing are three different terms to describe one item, but three very suitable terms for this song. The simplicity makes it haunting. The use of footsteps to match with the lyrics is clever. And everything comes together to engross you. I really like how the song builds up. It never reaches a climax, but its this lack of climax that makes the song’s momentum to be aesthetic. Taemin once again is smooth with his vocals and the melodies are super catchy. (10/10)

4. Waiting For (해몽) – Not only is Taemin known for aesthetics, but his solo releases always have a flair to them that makes it hard for any other artist or group to pull off. For Waiting For, the instrumental has tango-influenced instrumentation. It is a unique flair, sexy and just another captivating drawing point to another song on the album. And this is a song that I would love to see a live performance for. It is perfectly crafted to remind us that this is a KPOP song once we get to the chorus, but still has the ability to pull us back to the tango instrumentation. Unfortunately, the song lacks strong hooks to really make that KPOP-aligned chorus memorable and catchy. But that is the only flaw of Waiting For. (9/10)

5. Famous (Korean Version) – I have previously reviewed the Japanese version of Famous. Click here to read that review of Famous. (8.5/10)

6. Clockwork Clockwork is the type of song that takes you places when you close your eyes whilst listening to the song. It is a ballad that really shows off Taemin’s vocals (those high notes at the end were unbelievable). And like any good ballad, you can hear Taemin’s emotions as he sings about missing someone all the time. The instrumental is haunting, but it isn’t posed as dark like the previous songs on the album, which makes it stands out. The use of the ticking clock as part of the instrumental was, once again, clever. And so were those barely noticeable synths used to bring the song to its climatic point. (9/10)

7. Just Me And You Just Me And You opens the album to an upbeat final chapter. Aside from changing the album up, Just Me And You attempts to be impactful with its slow paced thumping and pop sound overall. Unfortunately, I don’t think the song hit that mark perfectly. It gets to that level, but the slowness causes any momentum created to fizzle out. The song’s pop genre alignment is also nothing that special, it makes the song more typical. The trap elements make the song slightly messy, stealing the attention away from Taemin’s vocals. And top it off, the song lacks any strong hooks to really help bolden the song. I feel that Just Me And You is the weakest song on the album. One that I would frankly skip over. (6/10)

8. Nemo (네모) Nemo features the R&B genre. Taemin has done R&B before but has done so in a fashionable manner. Nemo comes off more as more of your typical R&B release from any other artist. There are a number of elements in this song that bump it ahead of Just Me And You. The first has to be Taemin’s vocals, who sounds effortlessly amazing. I feel that there was some smoothness to his voice that wins me over. The 90s vibe of the instrumental was also quite nice. I also really like the start to the choruses in Nemo, which adds a bit of excitement to the song and feels like an end-goal that I would definitely sit through the song for. (7.5/10)

9. 2 KIDS (Pre-Release Track)Click here to read the full review for 2 KIDS. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.7/10

Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1 Teaser Image

[Review] Criminal – Taemin (SHINee)

Within the last month, Taemin has been super busy by being part of four different music releases (including today’s comeback). We first saw him in his 2 KIDS pre-release track, dropping in preparation for today’s comeback. His second release was 100, the first pre-release single of SuperM’s upcoming end-of-September comeback. We saw him again in Tiger Inside, serving as the second SuperM pre-release track which just dropped last week. And now, we find ourselves tuning in with his fourth release – the title track Criminal and his third Korean studio album, Never Gonna Dance Again.

I am just going to get right to the point. Taemin killed his comeback. And this comment is simply based on just one listen to Criminal. He tackles the synthwave genre, a genre that is pretty much new in KPOP as far as I can remember (and one that I am going to need to search up). The song’s instrumental is rather consistent, but there is still a lot going on. I love the slight tick up in energy that the chorus gives up (relative to the verses). It is small, but its impact is quite large. But the most important detail with this synthwave instrumental is that is compliments Taemin’s vocals. He sings rather low and seductively at the start and it slowly builds ever so slightly as the song progresses along, before his vocals climaxes (i.e. gets louder) after the ‘Destroy My More‘ line at the end of the bridge and we get some ad-libs for the final chorus. These pairings of vocals and instrumental just have so much chemistry with one another, creating a sensual and seductive atmosphere that I just want to continue to replay. To me, the best part of the song has to be his vocal climb during the verses. Once again, it is small effect, but it has such a large impact. It just leaves me in awe and it stuns me when I replay the song (even though I know it is coming). The ‘La La La La‘ was also another strong, suspenseful part of the song that I also love. Overall, Criminal is artistic, aesthetic and plays with Taemin’s strengths.

The music video of Criminal looks so good. Based on the lyrics, the song is about wanting to escape an relationship as it torturing oneself. But the more you want to leave, the more you want to stay. It is a similar concept to Stockholm Syndrome, which is where the victim of a kidnapping or hostage situation feels trust, affection and need for the captor to be in their life post-crime in order to survive. It is very interesting to see him play that out in lyrics. But it is very captivating to watch him be tortured throughout the music video. And we don’t actually see the explicit torture that whoever is inflicting upon him. Rather, we see Taemin’s self torture of wanting leave (and even contemplating death at some points) but is unable to do so in the final seconds because of his need for this relationship. His acting is so good and the set design is really stunning.

The music video shows me enough of the choreography to make write this part of the review. And as per my past reviews for Taemin’s choreography, this one is equally as good. I really liked the bounded wrists at the start, showing us that captive situation. We then see him take it off effortlessly before doing to the ‘good stuff’ in this routine, where we see him show off his performance skills. The best part of the choreography has to be the bridge of the song, where the dancer’s engulf him with their hands, seemingly making it look like he is enjoying the euphoria of returning to the relationship.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 10/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 10/10

[Review] 2 KIDS – Taemin (SHINee)

Time to continue this week’s edition of review catch up. Next up on the reviewing list is 2 KIDS, Taemin’s pre-release single for his upcoming comeback. Originally scheduled for July 2020, his comeback had to be pushed back due to an injury. But with the release of 2 KIDS, it seems like we will be seeing him very soon again through his comfirmed two part third studio album, Never Gonna Dance Again. There is no confirmed date for this comeback just yet, but I will endevour to review it as soon as it is released, unlike this review which is many days late. In other news, this Taemin’s first solo comeback since the release of WANT.

While 2 KIDS doesn’t deliver anything epic or powerful as his previous releases, Taemin’s 2 KIDS still manages to fit his discography. Given that this is Taemin, it clearly doesn’t have a wow factor to be given that title track status. And so, it comes off as an ideal side track for his upcoming solo album. The new release features an electronic pop instrumentation that opts for lighter and simpler vibes. Yet, there is an elaborate nature to it that enables Taemin to show off his vocals and performance skills (I will touch on this later on). There is an airy nature to the song, making it perfect song to put on while taking a stroll on a breezy and sunny day. His vocals are breathy throughout the song, which definitely compliments this. This combination is quite refreshing. Taemin’s sentimental and reflective vocals were stunning in this song. You could feel the emotions in his voice as he sings about young love. However, I did feel that the chorus was a little too heavy handed with the autotuned backing. I wished that it was a little lighter in this regard. But it at least gave the song some interesting textures to play with. I also wished that he had more ad-libs towards the end of the song, as this seems like the perfect track for Taemin to show off some of his ad-lib skills. In addition to the ‘wishes’, I wanted the song to be less repetitive. The repetition dried out the song and left it boring, especially towards the end. But overall, 2 KIDS is a solid effort and a definite strong teaser for what is to come.

For this review, I will be combining the music video and performance parts of the usual review together. Why? Well, the music video is essentially a performance piece. We don’t see much choreography during the verses. Instead, we see Taemin act throughout the verses. It looks like he is wandering the streets right after an argument with his lover and is reminiscing about his young love. The choreography comes into play during the choruses. And it is just so captivating to watch. I also love the European city setting of this music video. It just adds such a refined and comforting atmosphere to the video, which contrasts nicely with his pain and emotions that he channels through his choreography.

Song – 8/10
Music Video / Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10

[Special] 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Artist-Based Categories

It is that time of the year again where I announce the winners for the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. In December 2019, I allowed the audience (you all), once again, to vote for their favourite songs and artists for the December 2018 to November 2019 period. Thank you to all who voted and particpated in the KPOPREVIEWED Awards this time around. Even more people voted this year, making this year more intense than ever in many categories. This post will focus on the artist-based categories, which will involve the New Artist categories, Elemental-focused (i.e. rap, vocals etc.) categories and Best Artist categories. The winners for the artist categories will be posted in an accompanying post today, while the Top 100 songs of 2019 will be posted tomorrow.

Here is how things are going to work. Each category (aside from the non-fan voted categories, which are specified) will have a WINNER (the song/performance/video that ranked first), a Honourable Mention (the song/performance/video that ranked second) and a KPOPREVIEWED Choice (my personal choice if I voted, which I didn’t include this year). And let’s go!

Best New Male Soloist

Nominees: Baekhyun (EXO), Chen (EXO), Ha Sung Woon, HUTA (Lee Min Hyuk – BTOB), Kang Daniel, Kim Jae Hwan.

WINNER – Baekhyun (EXO)
Honourable Mention – Kang Daniel
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – HUTA (Lee Minhyuk – BTOB)

Best New Female Soloist

Nominees: Hwasa (Mamamoo), Jeon Somi, Kim Ji Yeon (Kei – Lovelyz), Oh Ha Young (APINK), Sulli

WINNER – Hwasa (Mamamoo)
Honourable Mention – Sulli
KPOPREVIEWED – Hwasa (Mamamoo)

Best New Male Group

Nominees: AB6IX, CIX, ONEUS, TXT, X1

Honourable Mentions – ONEUS

Best New Female Group


Honourable Mention – EVERGLOW

Best Band

Nominees: DAY6, FT Island, IZ, N.Flying, ONEWE

Honourable Mention – N.Flying

Best Vocals

Nominees: AKMU, Brown Eyed Girls, Chen (EXO), IU, Mamamoo

Honourable Mention – Chen (EXO)

Best Raps

Nominees: J-Hope (BTS); Jackson (GOT7); Mark (NCT); Ravi (VIXX); Zico

Honourable Mention – Zico

Best Subunit

Nominees: Block B Bastarz; EXO-SC, Jus2, NCT 127, NCT Dream

Honourable Mention – NCT 127

Artist With Most Weekly KPOP Chart Wins

This is not a fan voted category.

WINNER – Seventeen (5x)

Rising Star

Nominees: ATEEZ, CLC, N.Flying, UP10TION, VICTON

Honourable Mention – CLC

Most Underrated Artist of 2019

Nominees: A.C.E, Dream Catcher, LOONA, ONF, Pentagon

WINNER – Dream Catcher
Honourable Mention – Pentagon

Best Male Soloist

Nominees: Kim Dong Han, Leo (VIXX), Nam Woohyun (Infinite), Taemin (SHINee), Yesung (Super Junior), Zico

WINNER – Taemin (SHINee)
Honourable Mention – Zico
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Nam Woohyun

Best Female Soloist

Nominees: Ailee, Kim Chungha, IU, Park Bom, Sumni, Taeyeon (SNSD)

Honourable Mention – Kim Chungha
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Kim Chungha

Best Male Group

Nominees: ASTRO, ATEEZ, BTS, DAY6, EXO, GOT7, iKON, MONSTA X, NCT, NU’EST, Pentagon, Seventeen, SF9, Stray Kids, The Boyz, WINNER

Honourable Mention – BTS, ATEEZ
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Stray Kids

Best Female Group

Nominees: (G)I-DLE, BLACKPINK, CLC, Dream Catcher, EXID, GFriend, IZ*ONE, LOONA, Lovelyz, Mamamoo, Momoland, Oh My Girl, Red Velvet, TWICE, Weki Meki, WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

Honourable Mention – Red Velvet, Mamamoo
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Oh My Girl

And that brings us to the end of the Artist-Based Categories for the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. If you haven’t seen the Song-Based Categories yet, click here.

Tomorrow, we will get to see which artist ranked on the Top 100 of the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Charts, where the song that ranks first becomes the ‘Best Song of 2019’. Remember this is decided based on the votes for Best Song of 2019 (50%) and the Weekly KPOP Charts that I post every Sunday (50%). You can find out by clicking here (hyperlink will be updated once the post is published).

[Special] 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Song-Based Categories

It is that time of the year again where I announce the winners for the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. In December 2019, I allowed the audience (you all), once again, to vote for their favourite songs and artists for the December 2018 to November 2019 period. Thank you to all who voted and participated in the KPOPREVIEWED Awards this time around. Even more people voted this year, making this year more intense than ever in many categories. This post will focus on the song-based categories, which will also involve the Performance categories, Best Music Video, Best Concept and the most voted song (by you all). The winners for the artist categories will be posted in an accompanying post today, while the Top 100 songs of 2019 will be posted tomorrow.

Here is how things are going to work. Each category (aside from the non-fan voted categories, which are specified) will have a WINNER (the song/performance/video that ranked first), a Honourable Mention (the song/performance/video that ranked second) and a KPOPREVIEWED Choice (my personal choice if I voted, which I didn’t include this year). And let’s go!

Best Special Performance

This is not a fan voted category.

WINNER – Egostistic Cover (AOA) at Queendom

Best Concept

This is not a fan voted category.

WINNER – HIP (Mamamoo)

Best Solo Choreography

Nominees: Blue (Ha Sung Woon); Focus (Kim Dong Han); Gotta Go (Kim Chungha); LALALAY (Sunmi); L.O.V.E (Park Ji Hoon); Twit (Hwasa – Mamamoo); WANT (Taemin – SHINee); What Are You Up To? (Kang Daniel); What You Waiting For? (Anda & R.Tee); Ya (Lee Minhyuk – BTOB).

WINNER – WANT (Taemin)
Honourable Mention – Gotta Go (Kim Chungha)

Best Male (Group) Choreography

Nominees: All Night (ASTRO); Boom (NCT Dream); HIT (Seventeen); Hollywood (AB6IX); Humph! (Pentagon); Love Shot (EXO); RPM (SF9); Say My Name (ATEEZ); Side Effects (Stray Kids); You Calling My Name (GOT7).

WINNER – Love Shot (EXO)
Honourable Mention – HIT (Seventeen)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Side Effects (Stray Kids)

Best Female (Group) Choreography

Nominees: Bon Bon Chocolat (EVERGLOW); Boogie Up (WJSN); Butterfly (LOONA); DALLA DALLA (ITZY); HIP (Mamamoo); Pinky Star (Run) (GWSN); Sunrise (GFriend); The Fifth Season (Oh My Girl); Violeta (IZ*ONE); Zimzalabim (Red Velvet).

WINNER – Butterfly (LOONA)
Honourable Mention – HIP (Mamamoo)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Zimzalabim (Red Velvet)

Best Collaboration

Nominees: Blossom (Eunha & Ravi); Boy With Luv (BTS ft. Halsey); Don’t Need Your Love (NCT Dream & HRVY); I Wanna Be (Key ft. Kim Soyeon); Spring (Park Bom ft. Sandara Park)

WINNER – Boy With Luv (BTS ft. Halsey)
Honourable Mention – Don’t Need Your Love (NCT Dream & HRVY)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Boy With Luv (BTS ft. Halsey)

Best Music Video

Nominees: Abandoned (Brown Eyed Girls); Above The Time (IU); Crown (TXT); Feel Special (TWICE); HIT (Seventeen); Love Drunk (Epik High ft. Crush); Noir (Sunmi); Snapping (Kim Chungha); You Calling My Name (GOT7); Zimzalabim (Red Velvet)

WINNER – Obsession (EXO)
Honourable Mention – Feel Special (TWICE)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – HIT (Seventeen)

Best International Song By A Korean Artist

Nominees: Breakthrough (TWICE – Japanese); Flower (GFriend – Japanese); Lights (BTS – Japan); Moonwalk (WAYV – China); Someone’s Someone (Monsta X – US).

WINNER – Breakthrough (TWICE – Japan)
Honourable Mention – Moonwalk (WAYV – China)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Breakthrough (TWICE – Japan)

Best Official Soundtrack (OST)

This is not a fan voted category.

WINNER – We All Lie (Ha Jin- Sky Castle OST)

Most Viewed Review of 2019

This is not a fan voted category

WINNER – Goblin (Sulli)

Most Viewed Album Review of 2019

This is not a fan voted category.

WINNER – BXXX (Ha Sung Woon)

Songs With Most Win on Weekly KPOP Charts

This is not a fan voted category

WINNER – Time Of Our Life (DAY6)
WINNER – HIP (Mamamoo)

Best Non-Title Track

This is not a fan voted category

WINNER – Ten Nights (Mamamoo)

Best Album

Nominees: Love Poem (IU); Narcissus (SF9); Purpose (Taeyeon – SNSD); The Book Of Us: Gravity (DAY6); Want (Taemin – SHINee)

WINNER – Love Poem (IU)
Honourable Mention – The Book Of Us: Gravity (DAY6)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – The Book Of Us: Gravity (DAY6)

Most Voted For Song of 2019

WINNER – Obsession (EXO)

And that brings us to the end of the Song-Based Categories for the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. If you haven’t seen the Artist-Based Categories yet, click here.

Tomorrow, we will get to see which artist ranked on the Top 100 of the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Charts, where the song that ranks first becomes the ‘Best Song of 2019’. Remember this is decided based on the votes for Best Song of 2019 (50%) and the Weekly KPOP Charts that I post every Sunday (50%). Will EXO’s Obsession become the ‘Best Song of 2019’ officially? You can find out by clicking here (hyperlink will be updated once the post is published).

[Special] My Favourite Performances from the 2019 End Of Year Music Festivals

At the end of each year, the three major broadcasting companies in South Korea (SBS, KBS and MBC) organises and broadcast a very fruitful and dynamic music festival, bringing together the top KPOP acts of the year. 2019 is no exception and with a year as busy as 2019, it is often quite hard to get invited to these festivals. And with each show running for a couple of hours, different stages/performances/remixes of the year’s hits and one-of-a-kind collaborations, it is often hard to keep up with these festivals. Today, I have decided to organise a list of performances from each of these three festivals that I thought were excellent, different and worthwhile in checking out. I have done this before but over the years dropped it as I had very little time. Now that I have some time on my hand, I thought I return to this segment for the 2019 festivals.

SBS Gayo Daejun – 25th of December 2019

When we talk about the SBS Music Festival, we need to address the issue of safety. After all, it costed Red Velvet full group promotions for their Psycho comeback, due to injuries sustained by Wendy due to the unsafe nature of SBS stage. We did manage to get one full lineup of the group performing Psycho on stage as it was pre-recorded. because of that, I put Red Velvet’s Psycho performance on my list of favourite performances from that day. Other performers also had falls on the SBS stage, from what I remember reading. Other stages at stood out for me were:

  • Stray Kid’s Miroh – I did not know how Stray Kids could top Miroh’s intensity by rearranging the performance to be even more intense.
  • NCT Dream’s Boom & NCT 127’s Superhuman – Both tracks had a really cool dance addition to it. On top of that, we got to see the same ‘switching of jackets’ that Mark did at the 2018 SBS Music Festival between Dream and 127’s performance. Only this time, it was Haechan!
  • Oh My Girl’s Bungee (X-mas Version) – Always good to have a X-mas themed remix on Christmas Day. It made Bungee, an already vibrant and colourful track, more suitable for the season.
  • Mamamoo’s Gogobebe – The rock remix for this performance was superb.
  • Seventeen’s Home and Snapshoot – We got to see a warmer side of the group and the more joyful side, especially after all the darkness we got from HIT and Fear.
  • TWICE’s Medley of Tracks – I really liked the band element to their performance and how they tweaked the concept for Fancy and their more light hearted tracks. I just wished the band was DAY6 (where is DAY6 in all of these festivals), which would have made the performance even more worthy of a view.
  • BTS’s Dionysus – I have always been a fan of BTS’s darker side. This performance is a return this side, which I greatly appreciate.

KBS Gayo Daechukje – 27th December 2019

I personally did not have much interest in the KBS Music Festival as I thought the stage looked really bad and the camera work wasn’t the best. This wasn’t also the only problem that occurred that same night. APINK’s %% performance was cut short, disappointing fans, APINK and viewers in general. If I were to choose one standout stage, it would have Golden Child’s Wannabe stage. Their dance intro was very good and showed off intensity that was aligned with their new look/concept. And I really liked how smooth the transition between dance intro and actual song was. Only a few toehr performances caught my attention and they include:

  • Song Gain’s Introductory song – Song Gain, for those who don’t know is a trot singer that trended this year. For Song Gain’s performance, she managed to incorporate all artists into her song, which I think would be a challenge.
  • NU’EST Love Me – It wasn’t so much their choreography or song that caught my attention. But I thought the raised stages for the end really highlighted the good parts of their overall choreography, providing what could be said as an epic end to their stage.
  • ASTRO’s All Night + Blue Flame – I was waiting for ASTRO to do All Night in some capacity during these festivals. But with Moonbin out of action, it seems like the group would opt for the 5-member Blue Flame instead. So automatically, ASTRO’s stage for All Night alone would make this list. Blue Flame ended up being very epic as well, which is why their entire segment is on this list.
  • Oh Ha Young, Joy and Yerin Mr. Mr. collaboration – I haven’t heard this song for some time now and I really enjoyed this throwback. Also surprised that they covered the entire song, which usually isn’t the case.

MBC Gayo Daejejeon – 31st December 2019

MBC’s Music Festival is one to always watch. Their stages always have a look that shows that they have been planning for a while. The collaborations for this festival are always something to talk about. And why not watch it live as the year goes out! There is nothing like ending 2019 and start 2020 with KPOP! However, the MBC Music Festival was also plagued with an early termination issue. This time around the victim was Kim Jae Hwan, who only got to perform Nuna (he should have performed The Time I Need as well. For standout performance, I am putting down ASTRO and Oh My Girl’s creepy and jazzy cover of IU’s Red Shoes. It was different and colourful. Other stages to check out:

  • Stray Kid’s Side Effects – Another intense song that they managed to upgrade and make darker. The creative minds that put together these stages for Stray Kids are killing it (and need a pay rise instantly).
  • Seventeen & Mamamoo Collaboration – Two of my favourite groups have come together to form one dream team. And this was such an amazing stage.
  • Seventeen’s HIT – Mingyu shouldn’t be playing with fire. It is dangerous. But one epic opener to the stage. Also, somehow Seventeen managed to insert a dance break in the midst of the stage, which I think earns a mention at the very least.
  • Hyuna’s Flower Shower – Her choreography is essentially the same as the one she performed in the past. But the chorus instrumental is changed slightly, which I thought made the stage a lot cooler for the end of year festival.
  • Taemin’s Move & Famous – MBC’s Music Festival had a theme, The Chemistry. And you can’t have a theme about Chemistry without Taemin. While he didn’t do anything special to Move‘s stage, his dance alone is already 100% fitting for a ‘Chemistry’ themed music festival.
  • (G)i-DLE’s Lion – Another reason to why we need to look out for this girl group is their special stages. Lion is practically a game changer for the group.
  • Lovelyz’s Beautiful Day – I really like their ballad start to their stage and how they built it back up to the original song in an effortless manner.

[Review] Famous – Taemin (SHINee)

Taemin the only member of SHINee who has yet to enlist in the military. And it seems like he will be holding that phase of his life off a bit longer. He will be officially releasing his 3rd Japanese mini-album tomorrow (4th of August), which shares the same name as his latest title track, FAMOUS. On top of that, there are currently rumours floating about that Taemin will be joining Kai and Baekhyun (from EXO), Mark and Taeyong (from NCT) and Lucas and Ten (from WAYV – the Chinese subunit of NCT), forming a super collaboration male group in the near future (though we will find out this week with SM Entertainment confirming that an announcement is coming in regards to this).

Taemin has continued to wow me time and time again with his unique dance tracks. Famous seems to approach this unique vibe again, but it doesn’t really go that length like his Korean and previous Japanese releases have. Famous starts off with a simple beat. But as the song progresses, the song moulds itself into a very interesting and subtly upbeat track. I found the chorus to be very straightforward and it lacked that complexity that Taemin’s track tends to go for. While I have stated that simplicity is good on a number of occasions, it just doesn’t leave me 100% satisfied. I did like the hook (‘Famous’ repetition, which is still growing on me. I also like the ‘No Drama’ deep autotune that is featured throughout the song. I thought that was a nice detail. I thought his vocals were pretty good and that slight rapping sequence in the second verse was awesome! Apart from the simpler chorus, I thought Famous was a great track, overall.

It seems the simplicity feels that I had were compensated through the music video. It does not take a simple approach. Instead of going for a lot of complexity on a visual level. There is a lot going on in the video, despite it all being Taemin close-ups. Very aesthetic, might I add. He starts off being tied up. He then is seen posing in a broken-down car. And then surrounded by half-eaten apples. There is definitely meaning behind all of these different scenes but I am not confident in trying to decipher any of these (as I am usually wrong). The camera work and the dark lighting made every feel more profound and intense. My favourite bit has to be when he rips the ribbon. Paired well with the songs and definitely a peak in a visual manner, as well.

Taemin is one of the best dancers in KPOP. There is no doubt about that. The choreography for Famous takes an aesthetic approach as well, similar to how his music video does. Based on what can be seen in the music video, everything looks stunning and he further proves his status as one of the most established dancing idols out there, once again.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10

[Album Review] Want (2nd Mini Album) – Taemin (SHINee)

Taemin made his comeback last week with Want, which is the title of both his title track and second mini-album (the focus of today’s album review). There is a total of 7 tracks on the album, but the seventh track is an outro track, which is also titled as Want. Due to the nature of the track, I have omitted it from the album review for today. Also, if you are a little busy to read this album review, I can essentially summarise everything in a few simple words – I highly recommend this album. I think that says a lot but if you want a little more detail, start reading below!

Want Album Review

1..Want (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review of Want. (10/10)

2. Artistic Groove – The song starts as an aesthetically pleasing track but it slowly builds into something a lot more than just that. I would personally recommend this to potential listeners. I really like the funkiness in the smooth and slick instrumental. And if you are a fan of any previous Taemin title tracks, then you will very at home with this track. But that is not the reason why I would like to recommend this track. It is due to the amazing choruses we get. I state plural because there were the ‘Artistic Groove’ chorus and the chorus that ended the song (with the two joined together as the centrepiece of the track). I don’t know about you but my jaw dropped when I first heard the first chorus and was amazed at how effortlessly the second one was brought into play. Overall, my recommendation to you all. (10/10)

3. Shadow – To me, the word Shadow, seems to be a word surrounded by darkness. Countless times a track has been named ‘Shadow’ and the song ended up being something else that didn’t fulfil my expectations. But Taemin’s Shadow is everything that I have wished for in a song named Shadow. The dramatic and creepiness (attributed through the ‘La La La’ that started and ended the song) really sets this song apart from the rest. I love the instrumental of the track, with the thumping drums and the orchestral details. Throw in his vocal work, you have a very powerful combination. I think if we are ever given the opportunity to see a live performance for this song and Taemin delivers the same exact dramatic and creepy feelings we got, while also appreciating the beauty of the instrumental, I think this could become an iconic stage. (10/10)

4. TruthTruth starts off as an unsuspecting ballad with only a piano based instrumental to really kick things off. The song takes a turn during the chorus as EDM become prevalent. For the first chorus, this only lasted a few seconds before returning to the ballad-y nature that the song started off with. The second chorus onwards is when the song stays within the EDM realm (despite it having that piano instrumental break, which I thought was a nice switcheroo from the start). Also featured alongside the instrumental is the vocals of Taemin, which sound nice here. I have to admit that this combination has been done before (so I can’t really brag about this new formula) but it is done in a way that leaves an impression and builds up suspense. (9/10)

5. Never ForeverNever Forever takes a different approach compared to what we have heard on the album thus far. It is a soft pop song with an acoustic guitar led instrumental. And because of its differences (i.e. the song does not rely heavily on a dance beat or any EDM sounds to show theatrics), the song does stand out a fair bit. But it stands out for good reasons. The song has this mellow vibe to it and after many dance/intense songs, it is nice to have a breakthrough an acoustic sound. But makes this song even better is Taemin’s vocals, which feel wholesome and showcases a new side to the artist. Pity the song was 3:00 minutes long. (9/10)

6. Monologue (혼잣말) – Listening to the first few seconds, I was lowkey waiting for the EDM drop, as Truth had crept up on us. But I can confirm that this is a true ballad. And it is one of the types to leave your heartbroken just by listening to it. One of the reasons why I find the track so heartbreaking is the piano and violin combination. Another reason was regarding his vocals (once again). He conveys so much emotion in the song that you cannot help but feel sad. It is his best presentation of vocals in the entire album as if does feel very strong and impactful. I also loved his harmonies, which make this song even better. Overall, it ends the album review on a saddening but impressive note. (10/10)

Overall Album Rating – 9.7/10

Want Teaser Image

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[Review] WANT – Taemin (SHINee)

Finally, after a year’s wait, Taemin has finally returned to South Korea with his second mini-album and title track of the same name, WANT. His last Korean comeback was back in 2017 with the sexy Move and Day and Night. But Taemin wasn’t completely absent from the scene in the year break from his solo Korean works. In fact, he participated in SHINee’s 10-year anniversary comeback last year and also released a solo album in Japan.

The first thing that popped into my head while listening to WANT was how perfectly suited Taemin was for this track. In fact, it fits extremely well into his portfolio of songs so far. It is a powerful track but the powerfulness into explicitly apparent. Instead, it takes a subtle approach, which is similar to what Move ended up demonstrating. Want has this element of funkiness to it, which I thought was alluring. The song is described to be ‘space disco’, which I think is a new genre to really discover. His vocals are amazing in this song as they sounded flawless throughout the track. My favourite bit has to be the peak at the very end of the bridge (and the end of the second verse). It caught me off guard as it doesn’t fit the atmosphere but it left an impression on me where I ‘wanted’ more of the song.

How aesthetically pleasing is this music video? I am extremely amazed at the quality and work put into this video. The song calls for an aesthetic video and that is what we definitely got. The video seems to play on temptation, which is essentially what the song is about. We got Taemin acting all sexy and homme fatale throughout the video as if he is tempting fans with his sexiness. The inclusion of snakes in the video hints back at the temptation of Eve. The sets were elaborate and looked breathtaking, especially that final choreography scene with the big screen behind him and the dancers.

The dance takes on sexy once again. It is what Taemin does best. His movements are rather sharp when needed but smooth when it is time to be tempting, which I think was quite fitting for this entire comeback. The dance looks quite complicated yet Taemin manages to pull it off effortless, especially during the choruses, which I quite liked form the music video.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 10/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 10/10

[Review] Under My Skin – Taemin (SHINee)

For this week’s Japanese review, we will be covering Taemin’s Under My Skin, which the music video was released last week, despite the actual album being released digitally on the 5th of November. Under My Skin is one of the lead title tracks off Taemin’s first solo album, titled after the singer himself. The other two singles are Eclipse and Mars. You may recognise some other tracks on the album including the Japanese versions of Taemin’s Korean hits such as Drip Drop, Press Your Number and Danger.

Unlike any of his other singles,  Under My Skin focuses on one major element, vocals. And this emphasis creates an epic song. Sure, they may not be powerhouse vocals like from other vocalists in the industry. But they are definitely very strong. The song is a ballad but it mixes in some soft yet grand electronic influences throughout the song. Combining this with some piano and drums, and you have what I would consider being a modern take on a ballad. But it is his vocals that make the song feel loaded and aesthetically pleasing. I like that throughout the song his vocals done push into a higher note, which keeps the song grounded yet extravagant in many ways. While I do enjoy this track (and style choice), I do think this choice is rather mediocre in comparison to his Korean releases. I feel like the linked Korean releases in the introductory were much more impactful and well suited for Taemin.

There isn’t much to the video besides the fact that is quite aesthetically pleasing. Taemin is shown to be singing on top of a mirror, which is placed along the beach or a field. The strong breeze makes everything feel so cool and epic, though I am not much of a fan of his black outfit. His red jacket though.. We don’t have much choreography in the song but the ending was extended to allow Taemin to do his thing in the dance department. You don’t really get to see much, however, as it is cut short due to the presence of more closeup shots of Taemin and well, it is too dark to really see anything.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 7/10
Overall Rating – 8.2/10

[Review] Day & Night – Taemin (SHINee)

Have you voted for the 2017 KPOPREVIEWED AWARDS yet? If you haven’t, click here right away to get voting

Taemin has made his unexpected return with a repackaged album of his second studio album, MOVE-ing. He previously returned with Move (which is the title of both his second studio album and title track) in November. His latest title track is Day & Night, which is one of the four new tracks on this repackaged album.

Day & Night is a mid-tempo song that seems to draw attention to Taemin’s vocals. It is a lot different to his previous comebacks and title tracks as it doesn’t employ dance elements or synths. Instead, everything is stripped back and made to sound more acoustic. And it is a style that I would love to hear more of from Taemin. It has never occurred to me that he should do this style, but hearing it once just confirms that we need more of these songs. His vocals are extremely well done and it definitely shows the road he took to get here. Them ad-libs at the end of the song were really good. I have to say, despite the guitar-based instrumental, the song has this very chill vibe to it. It does lack a good hook to make this song memorable but I will be replaying this song regardless.

This is the first music video under Taemin’s belt that does not feature a choreography. Instead, they contained various shots of the artist himself in nature. It makes for an artistic video. On top of that, it is loaded with aesthetics especially with the colour palette that was used. Besides that, there isn’t much else to say about the video.

Despite my wording in the review so far, it isn’t a Taemin comeback without a choreography. If I were to pick one word to describe it, it would be ‘elegant’. The way his body moves to the music is captivating and this song is great for displaying that.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10