The second of SHINee’s three-part comeback has been released and we are seeing the connections to the first very easily.
One of the hardest things to do is make a judgement on something that you know isn’t really complete. SHINee made the decision to spread their 10th anniversary joy over the course of a month and, as such, we have to remember that what we’re hearing isn’t the complete Story Of Light just yet. But that also means we’re not getting the full impact of it either and we have to react accordingly. This is the middling ground we found ourselves in when trying to classify this set.
First, the good. We always love SHINee’s vocals but, this time around, the leads are really impressing us. It may have something to do with the decreased amount of harmonies overall, but we are noticing the texture of their individual voices a lot more acutely this comeback. Not that the harmonies in this set aren’t good or rich; in fact, we like them a lot more in this part of the project than we did in the first (even though the issue we pointed out still persists). But you can tell that the focus has been moved somewhat from the backing vocals to the fronting ones when it comes to maintain the listeners’ interest.
Lyrically, this is still a solid set of works as we get interesting metaphors and strong set-pieces for conveying their emotions at the time of recording and where they are in their lives. You get the feeling that there is more than one meaning to all the songs and that makes them that much better in the long run because we get the opportunity to apply them to more than one mood.
The only thing that we can say this time that might detract from the experience is one that sometimes comes when artists divide what is clearly meant to be a single album into multiple parts–you get a dull spot. If you are a person who is into EDM, this might be the SHINee project to get into but some people are going to find the majority of beats for this EP a lot more generic than the first. Electric manages to save things by coming in with the drop for the chorus (and, oddly, skews more towards deep house), but things are far more even keel with a lot less ramp up, making things sound a little samey after a while. That being said, we do get how these songs could fit into a longer project by breaking up songs from the first EP and putting space between the songs with the kinetic drop to make more of a stable–but still interesting–mood.
If you are not a deep, abiding Shawol, it might be a good idea to skip this one until the next part comes out in a about a week so you can hear these songs in their full context. While it’s still a good set, it just doesn’t hit you with the same force that the first third did.
Our favorite tracks are Electric and Drive. The most skippable is Chemistry.