2013-10-23

The SHINee "Everybody" Mini Album: A Review In 5 Parts

I've finally gotten around to reviewing SHINee's "Everybody" album, but this time I decided to do something a little different: I've decided to do this collaboration style.  My Kpop blogger friends and I have been discussing (and somewhat bitching about) SHINee's latest album ad nauseam so I figured, why not get them to write their thoughts down?  The following contains the opinions of an OG (original gangster) Shawol on down to a newbie Shawol.  I hope you like it (if you don't you can always berate me in the comments below)!



Erika (long time Shawol):

I'm going to be, as always, overly honest and say that the Everybody album is not my favorite SHINee album.  This is the first Korean album of theirs that has been released since I've been following them that I've felt let down about.  Part of the problem is all the hype leading up to the album release, plus the fact that their previous releases this year were so good.  I mean, I loved The Misconceptions of U and The Misconceptions of Me so I didn't think it would be too far off to assume I would feel the same about this last release.  Ah well, I still love those boys and think they can do no wrong.  Here's my break down:

Everybody: I'm not gonna lie... I found myself humming it and doing the wahwahwah dubstep arm move while watching one of their performances the other day.  Does this mean I kind of, sort of (just a teensy little bit) like it now????  Gahhhhh!  Noooooo...  I haven't admitted this to anyone else yet.  Let's keep it amongst ourselves for now.
Symptoms: You know this song is my jam, hands down.  They all kill it here, but I do think they could've benefited from performing it live while sitting down at some point. However!  I would not want them to stop doing that bow chica wow wow dance.  I still think this should have been their title track.  Also, while I love the fact that Minho is singing more, I wish he would've gotten more lines in this one.
Queen of New York: As soon as I heard whoever it was talking in the begining I was like, "Ohhh hell no", and I was right.  While I love the elements of '70s music that they've incorporated in their previous albums, I am not a fan of this one at all.  It's too roller derby disco for me, but I bet they'll attract some ajummas and ahjussis with it.
One Minute Back: Love it.  The song itself is such a dichotomy: the break before the chorus (and the chorus) and the song itself are such opposites but it works somehow.  It's a wow song for me.
Destination: Sounds like a song that f(x) rejected and it ended up on SHINee's album.  The chorus is great (Onew!), I just wish the rest of the song would've matched it.
Close the Door: Nope. Nyet. Nien. Any OST sounding song is not for me.  Also, what was up with that blank faced performance of Close The Door on the October 13th episode of Music Bank?  This did not make me like the song anymore and, in fact, might have made me like it less.



Lori (OG Shawol):

Everybody is a solid song to use as the title and, even though I so love me a good dance track, this just doesn't have the repeat quality of Lucifer or even Ring Ding Dong for me. Symptoms on the other hand is the best song on the album, hands down. Onew & Jonghyun are made for this song. And then we have Queen of New York, which is fan-funk-tastic. I reminds me of Like a Fire from The Misconceptions of Me. I like it, though it's not a song I'll search out, but I won't flip it off either.

One Minute Back, oh how I hated this song upon first listen except for Minho's rapping. But it's actually a bit of complex genius hidden in a hot mess of a melody. The harmonies in this song are fantastic and I'm really digging it now that I have accustomed myself to the strange break/switch-up in the chorus. Destination is another song that has a great beat, but again it's not a go to song for me. Taemin's little 'History' run in the latter part of the song is a little lolzy. Sorry Taemin!

Close the Door & Colorful are the last songs of the album and while I acknowledge SHINee's talent, because they're indeed awesome, these two songs just aren't my jams. Not into it. Overall the only repeaters for me, in order of awesome, are Symptoms, One Minute Back and Everybody.


Julyssa (OG Shawol):

I blame F(x) for this faux pas on SHINee's otherwise flawless discography. Jonghyun is the Lucifer. Symptoms is the song a whole new era of SHINee could've been built on and I pray to god that Jjong has more from where that came form. Everybody is not my favourite song from the boys but of course I love it. Even when SHINee isn't the best they are still better than 80% of other idols. I give it a 3.5 of 5.



Kattack (long time Shawol):

So firstly, let me just say that I have a music-listening personality that is prone to a lot of ‘Erikas’ (define ‘an Erika’: a situation where you either like or dislike something at first, and then end up thinking completely the opposite about it after a period of time. Derived from the behaviour of OddWeirdness’ Erika (editor's note- :dying with laughter:)). So I will probably end up liking all the songs I’m not that fussed about soon.  In any case! It’s SHINee, so I like it, but I do feel that overall there could be some improvements. I feel like the album is split in two for me, after Everybody and Symptoms there are no big songs that make me go “oh wow”. The rest of the album is almost ‘easy listening’, which is nice, but I also want some more SHINee wow.

I am actually a big fan of Everybody (I was also a big fan of WSS). I think they’re both unique, strong and use some interesting music techniques. I really love the EB MV too. Symptoms- a huge yes. It’s beautiful, and it really shows SHINee’s vocal abilities and just how well all their voices work together. Then we get into the rest of the album. Queen of New York starts the transition into “it’s ok, but it’s also a little bit unexciting”. They could have just played that clip of Minho’s voice the whole song and I would have been very happy with that. One Minute Back- I do like the beat on this one, especially at the start. It’s very… tribal? Destination- this one’s a little bit boring… Close the Door, yeah I’m still a little bit unengaged. Colourful is cuteee, and it ends the album with a happy feel so I like that. I can also TOTALLY see them performing Colourful near the end of a concerts, lots of energy and running and bouncing, and things being thrown into the audience- can’t you?

So, overall- easy listening, but not really anything that takes your breath away after those first two. But it’s SHINee, so I love it.

~ Kattack ^.^



Leaf (newbie status):

I'm a newly-minted SHAWOL, and I still say my SHAWOL Assimilation is stalled at 97% completion -- I was hoping the Everybody mini album would tip me over the finish line, but sadly, no.

While Everybody displays surprising musical complexity and mad vocal skill, it is not fun for me. If I stop and listen closely, I can force myself to appreciate various aspects and to think about what I'm listening to - but it is not an instant or organic connection to the music. I could do a track-by-track breakdown of what doesn't work for me, but at the core is my personal disconnect with 90s-style R&B - it just ain't my thang (no matter how passionately Jonghyun wrings his heart - sorry, Trollhyun -- I still love you!). The only song that came anywhere near making an instant connection for me was the final track, "Colorful". I am a sucker for synth-pop and it's the first track on this mini that actually made me want to move (dance) - even though it's a little heavy on the synth, and they employed the accursed key change, AND there are moments when it comes close to sounding like a anthem from a Broadway musical (I think it's the harmonies when they unite on the chorus) -- I still liked it a lot, and it's the only song I've had any natural desire to listen to more than once.

The rest of the album, which I've had on repeat for the sake of this review, I am shelving for a while (possibly forever!) -- because kpop should be naturally fun, and listening to all of Everybody feels like too much work. And so I await the next comeback and hope for another dose of 1000 Years By Your Side-style magic to seal this SHAWOL deal. DON'T LET ME DOWN, BOYS!



Let us know your thoughts on SHINee's "Everybody" album below and be sure to visit the Oddness/Weirdness Facebook page for daily SHINee content.


Source: SHINee official website.  Written by Oddness/Weirdness, Lori of Hallyusmash, Julyssa of YAM magazine, Leaf of kpopleaf, and Kattack.  Take out with full credit. 

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13 comments:

  1. Oh Julyssa! We are original gangstas. We need a sweet ride, some bass and a 40oz STAT!


    'Colorful' seriously reminds me of a transition song in a k-drama. Imagine Lee Min-ho buzzing down the freeway in his convertible and sunglasses with 'Colorful' blasting as the background. That's how I see it.


    I'm not a huge R&B person but songs like 'Symptoms' and 'Password' and EXO's 'Heart Attack' (I've worn this song OUT) really win me over.

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  2. Representing since their first ever stage *SHINee gangsta signs*.

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  3. I will take Symptoms as my fave song here, just watch the live performance and I can't get over it. I beg SM for giving us the MV version for this song but SM never give us more than a box... Destination with nanananananaa part and 1 Minute back, surprisingly make my sister listen to SHINee songs (mission accomplished) and don't you dare to said Queen of NY is for ahjumma and ahjussi!!! I like this song, the piano cover of this song simply amazing!!

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  4. Lol sorry! I take it back! :P

    Btw it's so nice to see you commenting again. :D

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  5. Can I just say I'm proud of us for making Leaf like Shinee? :high fives:

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  6. I'm a pre-Sherlock, post-Lucifer (mid-term?) Shawol. I prefer dance-pop over R&B, so the Misconceptions albums were amazing (DG straight away, WSS was a grower). When they teaser'd Everybody, I was all ready to be disappointed (who dropped their wubwubwub-step in my k-pop?) But I actually really like the EP.


    Everybody took some time to like. Symptoms was straight away love (Jonghyun can make me like R&B, so no-one should say he hasn't got talent). Queen of New York is one of those I like but isn't going to be a favourite. If I hadn't heard the chorus of One Minute Back in the teaser-medley video, I would have skipped it. Destination is a good bit of pop and was probably my favourite on first listen. Close The Door is a ballad I don't mind, but again It's not going to be a favourite. And Colorful is now my happy song, though it reminds me of j-pop cross-bred with early 2000s Summer dance tracks.


    They've had so many good tracks out this year alone, judging it against them is difficult. It's definately maintaining the standard of music, though their live performances have only been getting better. Not to mention they got to show off vocal harmonies and Minho's singing. Everybody might not be their best, but it impressed me that they could release yet another strong EP. They said 2009 was the "Year Of Us"? Nah, 2013 has been the year of SHINee.



    (Oops, opinion-on-SHINee essay)

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  7. Mission accomplished. *struts*

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  8. I was late to the SHINee party; Sherlock was the first song of theirs that I heard and I loved it, but Dream Girl pushed me into "Okay, I should really get to know this group and listen to the rest of their songs" territory. I don't prefer just "R&B SHINee" or "Dance-pop SHINee"; their versatility is one of my favorite qualities, and if I had to make a best/favorite SHINee songs list, it would draw from every genre and type they've dabbled in.


    As for Everybody: I love all of Misconceptions with a burning passion and think it's brilliant, so any follow-up would have a hard time impressing me nearly as much. By SHINee standards, the Everybody EP is alright. Top songs are the title track, Symptoms, and 1 Minute Back. I like Close the Door, especially Onew's line "Baby please close the door... in your heart" *melts* but I don't love it like the first three. Didn't expect Queen of New York; that surprise factor is nice, and I looove Key's voice on it, but the song will need time to fully grow on me. Destination is okay but not great. The one track that I've consistently skipped is Colorful. It would be a fun song for that chill, no choreo stretch in a concert, but otherwise it doesn't do much for me.

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  9. I always there, just too lazy to comment with my broken engrish. And I'm only interested w/ SHINee so.... :P

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  10. Well your English is perfectly fine so don't be lazy! As for Shinee, I figured all the regulars were quiet because of that, I was just not feeling the Boys Meet U at all and couldn't bring myself to talk abut it. Sigh. I'm so glad this promotional cycle is an interesting one.

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  11. I also am a fan of SHINee's versatility, which is part of the reason they continue to amaze and delight me. I, like you, was expecting more from them with this EP after Misconceptions. Those albums were so good that I was assuming this one would be just as good or even better, which is why I was so let down. I've come to terms with it now (lol at me) and am just enjoying the fact that they're back and wearing awesome clothes.

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  12. Waitttt... You shouldn't have deleted those silly! I love your comments, regardless of whether you made mistakes or not. Stop that! Te voy a pegar! lol...

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