Tag Archives: replay

Review of SHINee’s “The First”

Time for my overdue thoughts on SHINee’s debut Japanese album, “The First”. I’ll give a brief overview of my opinions twice – once before listening to the album in its entirety, and once after listening to all of the songs. I’m still an average fanboy with no formal music training (aka, SM’s target audience) so if you’re looking for a review from an established and intellectual individual I highly recommend this one.

The K-Pop craze has cooled down lately due to a myriad of the successful groups debuting in Japan. Admittedly, some have been better than others. I’m concerned for SHINee because despite their album being titled “The First” I feel that they should be growing as a group even if they’re promoting in another country – instead, they’re stagnating. The re-released songs for the most part are sub-par compared to the originals, and the album as a whole lacks the maturity I would’ve expected from SHINee at this stage of their careers. Maybe my opinion will change after listening to all of the songs again, we’ll see.

I like the album cover, but can someone please explain the random clown and rainbow and rabbit at the bottom? Seems a little immature.

1. Lucifer: So my reaction to this song wasn’t as bad as the first time I listened to it, but I wasn’t impressed either. The Japanese still sounded awkward to me and the song itself doesn’t possess the punch that the original does. Also, Minho’s frog voice rap was unbearably uncomfortable – especially while watching the video, because you could hear the mutilated, auto-toned voice coming out of his not-so abnormal mouth.

2. AMIGO: “You’re the hottest ice cream ninja.” HA HA HA HA HA. Like I told my blogging friend in a comment on her review I literally laughed out loud for five minutes after hearing that, told my friends about it and then laughed some more. Not in a mean way, because I doubt SHINee even knows what they’re saying, but just at the sheer ridiculousness of the English.

Anyway, this is one of my favorite songs on the album. I’m biased because I loved the original version and overall I find the song very catchy. Perhaps not the most well-produced re-release, but passable to the point where I would listen to it while working out.

Remember when the original song came out a million years ago? I really want a video for this Japanese verison, mainly because it would be... well... sexy. I suppose.

3. Juliette: Eh, still disappointed about Taemin taking Jonghyun’s lines. Not enamored or embittered by the song, it’s okay.

4. Better: I feel like this song is one of the mandatory ballads that the album must have, aka, filler. I’m not a ballad guy myself when it comes to K-Pop, so I’m not sure whether the fact that this song doesn’t leave a lasting impression on me should be attributed to its averageness or my own inability to appreciate male ballads.

5. To Your Heart: A slightly better ballad than “Better”, but still not splendid. The chorus is moderately catchy and the song as a whole has an undeniable cuteness factor.

6. Always Love: Another forgettable ballad. Its English leaves something to be desired… perhaps fixing the faulty phrase “thank you for your treating me.”

7. Replay: My opinion of this song is similar to that of “AMIGO” because I loved the original version of this song, and thus due to the minimal changes made to it I also like the Japanese version. “Replay” has such a beautiful sound to it – I’m not music-savvy enough to say why, but there’s something about the song that makes it stand out among all of SHINee’s other releases, even “Lucifer” and “Ring Ding Dong.” This is a song I would write to, regardless of the language it’s in.

“Replay” is also similar to “AMIGO” in that it has an awkward English phrase: “you don’t know what is love I will give it to you.” I wouldn’t mind Key carrying out this proposed action though… yeah…

8. START: A failed attempt at attracting fangirls – maybe some will find the whole “I want to start” line cute, yet the song itself is too forgettable and filler-like for me to consider it seriously.

9. Love Like Oxygen: Never got into the original version of this song, I think this version is okay. Once again not amazing but not abhorrent.

10. Hello: Woo for rehashed cuteness! My favorite part of this song is when Key says “baby girl” repeatedly at the end. I feel repetitive, but this song is also okay. Just okay.

11. The SHINee World: Did they say “I want to get you in this body” in the original version? Did they also say “make love right now?” That could be misinterpreted… anyway, I suppose this is their anthem song. It reminds me of f(x)’s My Style, except more developed. I actually like this song more than the majority of the album, it’s catchy, though not nearly as addictive as “AMIGO” or “Replay”.

12. Seesaw: My least favorite song of the album. I appreciate their attempt to incorporate metaphor into one of their songs, but a seesaw doesn’t really work and the song itself is unremarkable.

13. Stranger: A great song to end the album with. Its energetic and shows how auto-tune can be used to one’s advantage, and thankfully it’s not a remake of an original song either. Definitely one of the better songs of the album.

I like their pants. Image via allkpop.

So, as you can see from my gradually decreasing enthusiasm throughout this post, this album didn’t amaze me in any way. It’ll probably win over some (or a lot) of new fans from Japan, but as someone who’s been listening to SHINee for quite some time now I am not impressed. The decent re-releases and “Stranger” do not make up for the slog of boring ballads or the overall lack of growth in this album. I won’t denounce my liking or fanboy status of SHINee, but I hope they do better with their next album.

On a happier note, look at this adorable gif I found! Happy holidays to all you shawols out there!

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SHINee’s Jap “Replay” Teaser/ Key’s New Hair… *fanboy scream*

Image via allkpop.com

So my mundane Monday continued after coming home from school until I saw this. What does that hyperlink lead to, you ask? No, not a new video from Natalie Tran, but if you took the time to read the title of this post, you would know that it is nothing other than SHINee’s teaser for their Japanese re-release of “Replay”! That I happened to watch thirty times.

My thoughts on the teaser:
– They seem to be utilizing their cute boy image. Skinny jeans, bright clothes, you name it. I guess this is a good move because they can maintain the seriousness of the song through other sections of the video while attracting fangirls (who I’ll have to dispose of if they come after Key. Just kidding. Sort of).
– Yoona from SNSD is featured. I don’t actually have a thought regarding this, but since a lot of people are either going “omg i hate yoona so much she’s so over-rated ew” or “i love yoona! she’ll help shinee become popular in japan! yay!” I included it.
– This isn’t related to the teaser, but I think the Japanese version of “Replay” will get stuck in a lot of peoples’ heads, regardless of whether they’ve already heard the Korean version. Maybe it’s just me, but when I hear re-releases of songs in a different language I feel like I’m listening to an entirely different song. Even SNSD Japanese songs. Yeah…
– Key is hot. Speaking of Key…

His new hair! Here’s a photo he uploaded on his me2day account:

Image via me2day.net/shineeshinee

I can’t even describe how  happy I felt after seeing Key in action again, so I’ll just show it through a screenshot that I got of him from the teaser:

His smile... his hair... what have I been reduced to!? (answer: a crazy fanboy)

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A Potpourri of Unplanned Thoughts

Hi. COUGH. Welcome. COUGH. To my. COUGH. Blog. *breathes*

^That’s how I’ve been talking as of late. It’s very irritating. I feel like I’m choking every time I try to communicate to someone. Honestly, it’s rather hypocritical of me because every time someone else is sick I think ‘okay, I’m going to stay a few steps away from you…’ but when I myself am sick I think ‘please… I’m dying… don’t leave me’… anyway.

I am serious about the cough though. I do not know what caused it – either the sickness I fought to overcome earlier this week, or the fact that I’ve been playing tennis outside in the cold two hours every day for the past few days.

On another note, I have to submit a short story due next Friday for a Writer’s Conference. Here is how much I have done…

In case you're wondering, it says 'Hi! I'm nothing!'

Here is how much I wish I had done…

My piece for last year's writer's conference.

I detest writer’s block. I find it more difficult to craft a well-written short story than a well-written novel, because with a short story you have a minute amount of space to develop characters or create a memorable setting, as opposed to the novel where pages can be dedicated to those aspects.

As strange as this may sound, SHINees song REPLAY has been supplying me with slight inspiration. I feel a distinct emotion when I listen to the song, and I want to center my story around that. Maybe I’ll post it when I’m done…

Friday nights are the best.

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