Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Taemin: Solo Debut Review


The next dancing prodigy after Super Junior's Eunhyuk was Taemin. Also from the same company, S.M. Entertainment, he caught the eye of many fans from around the world for various reasons. Today, although still a devoted SHINee member, Taemin has debuted as a solo artist. Read More for Aunnie's review on Taemin's Solo Debut . . . 




We were first introduced to Taemin (이태민) at the age of fifteen when he and fellow SHINee group mates Lee Jin Ki (이진기) a.k.a. Onew (온유), Kim Jonghyun (김종현), Kim Ki Bum (김기범) a.k.a. Key (키), Choi Minho (최민호), made their debut in May of 2008.

He was recognized only by his dancing as he wasn't vocally strong at that point. However, over these past six years, he has harnessed his talent and improved it so that in July 2014, he was able to present himself as a solo artist worthy of our admiration.

Despite very much relying on sex appeal as his main attraction, if you listen to the songs without the visual, you might be surprised by what you hear. But we'll get to that.


(most of these videos will be live performances as I prefer to see the artist perform live rather than in a music video--it showcases their real talent)

Let's first take a look at Ace & Danger:


Taemin has always danced hard and his solo debut is no different. At first, I questioned SM's motivation in allowing Taemin to make a solo debut--considering it was only last year that SM debuted Henry after 13 years of only group debuts. Henry seemed like a shoe-in because he is talented in nearly everything he does, violin, piano, singing, dancing and don't even get me started on linguistics.



However, Taemin surprised me with both the strong vocals he had--which I know, due to an interview he did for the Determination: 10,000 Hour special featuring Taemin, Kai and Yunho--worked especially hard on his singing abilities so that he can take a more active part in SHINee's vocals. 



Well, Taemin's hard work has definitely paid off. Ace makes you swoon with the slower tempo of it--especially when he says "I want to be your only Ace", am I right girls?--while "Danger" makes you want to dance--maybe not like him, but this is a song that makes you want to move to the groove--did that sound awkward to you guys as well? Yeah . . .

Up next is my favorite song off the album and one I can only describe as being a long time coming: Pretty Boy

  

Most Taemin fan's know that Kai and Taemin entered the training days at around the same time and being the same age definitely help in creating a bromance that is as well known as Daejae (Daehyun & Young Jae [B.A.P]) and Eunhae (Eunhyuk & Donghae [Super Junior]).

With Taemin's solo debut, they [Taemin & Kai] were able to finally officially collaborate together. Both being well-known dancers, it was awesome to see them having a dance off. But beyond that, the lyrics as well as the beat of the song are what instantly made this a song to remember. Taemin & Kai's attitude while singing also helped rush this song to the top of my favorite's list. 


Now that I've discussed my three favorite songs on Taemin's first solo album, let's get through the rest. That doesn't mean these songs weren't as good, they just didn't grab my attention like the first three.

Firstly there is Wicked:


At first, skipped past this song because 1) the way it DLed it came right after Pretty Boy and I was revved up and didn't want to listen to a slow song and 2) the slow beginning automatically makes me want to skip it every time so I have to remind myself that it's a great song after the first 18 seconds. After the intro, however, the song picks up pace and makes it a good listen. What stands out to me is the mini rap session at 2:24--can you even call that rap? Probably not but you get my gist . . . 

Then there is Experience:


This is the acoustic version--not the album version--but I think the song is pretty good either way. I like the oriental feel of the guitar in the background and the lower timbre of Taemin's voice throughout the song.

This video does remind me of the one thing I didn't like about Taemin's debut--his makeup artist. I like everything about his style but the eye make up. It makes him look ghoulish, or like the's been starving for weeks--which he does already, he's definitely lost some weight since his last SHINee comeback. I don't mind the guyliner, but the slightly darker eyeshadow needs to go. Pronto!

And my least favorite of all the songs on this album, Play Me:


There's honestly nothing wrong with the song--nothing that stands out anyway--and I understand that they wanted to showcase his singing talent and not just his dancing talent--Kudos, truly. But I, personally, just couldn't connect with the song. 

All in all, Taemin did an impressive job for his solo debut. He showed that Henry wasn't the only one who had talents to give the world. It's even more impressive when you consider the date that he made his solo debut--right alongside WINNER's debut and a BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan) comeback--which gave heady competition, let me tell you. [Blogs to come for each group so look forward to that]. 

Hats off to Taemin, I will wait patiently for your next album--or SHINee's next album, whichever comes first! 


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