We got a hint of SHINee going a little retro with the more than bop Married To The Music last year and we get a full meal with 1 of 1. While still fitting in with total sound of R&B and dance-themed tracks that just make you feel good, the clear nineties inspiration gave them a little leeway to explore. There is a lot of fun in this sound, and we mean that it sounds like they had fun recording it. They manage to balance out nineties house and new jack swing with just enough modern elements to keep things from sounding stale but still paying solid homage to the era.
SHINee is probably one of the few groups out there can survive on their vocal presence alone and this album just reaffirms that. The harmonies on this set are almost constant, but not in a way that comes off as an inability to handle solo sections (we know that’s not the case). In fact, even when the members do get their individual times to shine, the backing vocals go along way of supporting the sound. You can tell there was a lot of thought that went into the composition and layering of vocals and it’s so gratifying that you will find yourself rewinding certain sections just to marvel in the skill they display.
Our favorite tracks on the album are 1 of 1, Don’t Stop, U Need Me, and Lipstick. The most skippable track on the album is Don’t Let Me Go because it feels a little flat compared to everything else.
Update: A slight shift and five new track additions later and we have the 1 And 1 re-release of this album. We like the tracks here for the same reason that we like the original iteration of this album, but we are disappointed that they didn’t stick with nineties theme that they had going with the first part. We do have to add two new favorites to the list, though; Beautiful Life and Rescue are real jams with the former having a weird Michael Jackson feel to it.