SHINee – Why So Serious?: The Misconceptions of Me

November 13, 2013 at 12:45 PM | Posted in SHINee | 1 Comment

ALBUM REVIEW
SHINee – Why So Serious?: The Misconceptions of Me

1. Nightmare
2. Why So Serious?
3. SHINe (Medusa I)
4. Orgel
5. Danger (Medusa II)
6. Like A Fire
7. Excuse Me Miss
8. Evil
9. Ddeonaji Mothae (Sleepless Night)

♦ ♦ ♦

Why So Serious?: The Misconceptions of Me is the second chapter of the third Korean album by South Korean boy group SHINee, released on April 26, 2013. The album debuted at #9 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 8,317 copies in its first week.

After the happy and upbeat ambience of the first album ‘Dream Girl: The Misconceptions of You’, Nightmare is both a throwback to that upbeat quality and a complete 180. This song is quite dark and aggressive coming from SHINee, heavy on the autotune except for Jonghyun’s parts. The boys know how to tackle some good electro music though, keeping the energy and fierceness in their vocals. It makes me wonder if this album is indeed gonna be darker than the first chapter.

If you thought Nightmare kicked ass, listen to Why So Serious?, THAT is what I call solid. Ofcourse the boys don’t take themselves very seriously in this track, playing around with some really good electro/rock music in the background. Even Taemin and Jonghyun rap some of their parts, and although they’re not as good as Key and Minho it’s a nice experiment. The perfect lead track, this really packs a punch.

SHINe (Medusa I) tones everything down a bit while still retaining the needed energy. The English lyrics don’t make any sense to me, but the song gives all the boys a good change to show off their different approaches to a song. It has a kind of smoothness to it while keeping everything on the mysterious and slightly dark side, very much in style with the rest of the songs on the album. Loved Minho’s part, that kicked ass like crazy.

Speaking of mysterious tracks, Orgel is like a music box gone all Halloween on you. It’s totally different from the first two songs on the album because it’s more midtempo and relaxed, concentrating more on the boys’ lower registers too. I’m not so sure about the melodies in some parts of the song, or the flow of the song. The mysterious ambience keeps me interested, but this song is too much on the low-profile side.

Danger (Medusa II) speeds everything up again with the ominous sound of synths in the background. It makes me think of some kind of mission the guys are on, especially because of the constant countdowns in the song. They’re great, but I was hoping they would lead into a good musical breakdown or something like that. The long awaited energy boost stays out. Such a shame.

The next song brings back a kind of vibe SHINee is well known for and it sounds like they’re more in their comfort zone with this one. Like A Fire is a smooth and relaxed uptempo song that finds its strength in the great vocals and funky additions by the guitars. It’s not as great as some other songs they have released over time, but it has a certain charm that I really like. Also, Jonghyun is killing that high falsetto note near the end of the song, amazing.

A song called Excuse Me Miss must have some swagger, and this track doesn’t disappoint. Throwback to ‘The SHINee World’ much? It’s like a mature version of ‘Replay’, slick with amazingly breathy vocals. Minho’s voice is low and deep in his raps, capturing the overall ambience of this song very good. I’m very much impressed with this one.

Evil leads everything back into full throttle mode again, complete with synths, beats and autotune. The arrangement is kept interesting with some musical breakdowns that occur just before the chorus, here and there a little nod to dubstep, while the bridge tones everything down with only some echoes and fingersnaps. This song has Onew written all over it, with some major contributions by Jonghyun as well. Besides the pronunciation of the title word, this is a very good track.

I was hoping this album would have a ballad when I found out the first chapter had only upbeat songs, and Ddeonaji Mothae (Sleepless Night) is exactly what I’ve been waiting for. The boys have a real talent for singing ballads with just the right amount of input and emotion. Even some of Minho’s raps are woven into the song, and if his voice wasn’t so silent and vulnerable it wouldn’t have fit the song at all, but that problem was solved thank god. Loved the strings in this song, gave it just the right touch.

I wasn’t as impressed with this album as I hoped I would be. The first chapter was very good even though it was heavy on the happy upbeat songs, but that’s just what I like about SHINee. This album emphasized more of their experimentation with their dark sides, sometimes failing a bit at that. I liked the opening of the album with Nightmare and the lead single Why So Serious?, but some of the other songs on the album were lacking a lot of their usual energy. The last portion of the album put everything in the right spot again, but I’m not so sure about the tracks in the middle of the album. Still, their vocals are everything and I know these guys as some of the most talented people from Korea. Not their best effort, but they gave it their best shot.

Favorite tracks: Nightmare | Why So Serious? | Like A Fire | Excuse Me Miss | Evil |Ddeonaji Mothae (Sleepless Night)

OVERALL RATING
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3 stars

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1 Comment »

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  1. It’s always hard to decide between which chapter is better :/ Both parts had some songs I didn’t like. But (judging by title songs) I’ll give it to “Why So Serious?” since I like it more than “Dream Girl” but they’re both good! ❤ Uhhh…so hard to choose, lol!


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