Saturday, July 18, 2015

[Album Review] SHINee - Odd

Late as hell but let's get on with it: SHINee's "Odd" album review!

SHINee's back~ this time with a new album, and like f(x), SHINee have yet to disappoint with an album, let's see if "Odd" lives up or down to their consistent on-point discography. 

1. Odd Eye - SM has had a weird obsession with odd eyes since the odd eyed cat in f(x)'s "Red Light" music video. This song kicks ass all around. It starts off that awesome violin and then transitions into a sexy synthy R&B-pop anthem. Jonghyun's little "ooohs" are great as always, Key and Minho do their usual rap duo parts with Onew's heavenly honey voice popping in and out and Taemin doing his thing as well. Needless to say, "Odd Eye" is one of the most perfect B-Sides to come out this year right a long with Dal Shabet's "Obsession" and most of the "Crazy" ep and most of the "Mood For Love Pt.1" ep.

2. Love Sick - This sounds like a throwback to their "Replay" days which is a good thing. It's one of SHINee's signature upbeat happy songs with bouncy synths and welcoming vocals to accompany. The chorus is too addictive for it's own good, I don't want to sit still while listening to this song. It's like "A-Yo", you just want to get off your seat and sing and dance along with it.

3. View - Click here for the review. TL;DR, great throwback to 90's EDM and my favorite song of the year so far.

4. Romance - Another retro-sounding song, this time going back to Michael Jackson-meets-Prince sound and it's awesome. The song is just so catchy and happy it's hard to not want to groove. It's another song that I don't want to sit still while listening to it. It's 70's sugar pop all around with tons of singing and harmonization making it one of the staple songs off the album.

5. Trigger - This is one of the experimental songs off of the album, and when I close my eyes and just listen to it, it's like an acid trip. It's start of with a strong hip-hope beat that transitions with a harp (this becomes a theme) to a smooth R&B verses with lots of sweet vocals by Jonghyun, Onew, and Taemin which leads into two chorus's. One with the R&B vibe asking the chick "What are you waiting for", and it explodes into this electro-synth driven second chorus with Key telling you to "Pull the trigger" and then falls back into the previous pattern of R&B-then-hip-hop-then explosive electro-pop. Thing is, although this has some temp changes, it's not messy or sloppy and the elements that make this song fit together makes "Trigger" one of my favorite songs from this album.

6. Farewell My Love - Overly sad and melancholy. Hurts my ears and shit. Next.

7. An Ode to You - Much better ballad in my opinion, it has a more dreamy feeling and it's not as sappy as "Farewell My Love."

8. Alive - SHINee doing a yoloswag song? On the surface it sounds like it will be a train-wreck but "Alive" is fucking awesome. Just fucking awesome. It is kick-ass high-energy awesomness and that's why it is fucking awesome. It's also just as sexy as SHINee's sex anthem "Get It." Awesome beat, great electronic influence, just overall greatness. Key and Minho's raps is dripping sex-appeal and Onew, Jonghyun, and Taemin are all harmonizing beautifully. "Alive" is is just awesome, awesome, awesome.

9. Woof Woof - Great 60's pop influence, great energy, another upbeat happy song that my body won't sit still to. The high-strumming bass/cello along with those quick guitar licks, brass horns, and Key's very Mowtown-like intro and spoken-word makes for a fantastic and flawless tribute to a great style of music making "Woof Woof" just as good.

10. "Black Hole" - I really, really, like this song. It's hard to describe it. It's like retro r&b and pop, think 1960's 1970's and 1980's r&b only the song is sped up to sound more modern and more dance-able. The boys sound great here as the vocals are subtle during the verses, and during the chorus they're harmonizing beautifully. The bridge is a sublte surpise as it's actually probably the fastest part of the song which is different in k-pop when the bridge is the slowest part of the song. The more I listen to "Black Hole" the more awesome it becomes.

11. "An Encore" - Reminds of a ballad of theirs back from 2009 or something. It's better than "Farewell My Love", but I'm not sure if I like it more than "An Ode to You." I feel that the chorus could be better but then again, it's a pretty decent chorus for an SM ballad. I could see them singing this at the end of one of their concerts with every shawol waving their pearl aqua sticks in the air. Overall "An Encore" is pretty decent and worth a listen and suits the end to this album, but I still feel this should have ended on a higher note. Eh, maybe it will grow on me.

Overall this is a pretty odd release for SHINee, but just because something is odd doesn't mean it's bad. Look at their sister group f(x), odd and amazing. 

Stand Out Tracks - My go-to songs

Odd Eye
Love Sick 
Woof Woof
(That's a whole fucking mini album good god)

Solid Tracks -  Above-average filler songs

An Ode to You
Black Hole

Dull/Dud Tracks - Songs I don't mind but would still skip

An Encore (for now)

Pass Tracks - My ears thank me for not listening to these songs

Farewell My Love

I know, "Odd" is the first album I've reviewed that's had a song in the "Pass Tracks" section, but keep in mind that seven out eleven songs are stellar with two being pretty damn good. Having two songs I don't care for on an album buried underneath the masterpieces isn't a bad thing especially for a group like SHINee that typically has good albums.

Next album review will be Girl's Day "Love Second Album"

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