REVIEW: SHINee’s latest album brings retro yet fresh sound


Photo by Marie Claire Korea on Wikipedia

SHINee’s newest album Don’t Call Me is available on all listening platforms.

Marbella Ramirez, Assistant Features Editor

After three years of not releasing an album, there was no way of knowing what to expect when SHINee announced their seventh full-length album Don’t Call Me.

Although each member of the band (Onew, Minho, Key and Taemin) has their own style and solo careers, the group has fostered an undeniable SHINee sound over the past 12 years. This album is no exception to the sound that they have worked so hard to create.

The title track “Don’t Call Me” can best be described as organized chaos personified in a song. With multiple background noises, including a piano, background vocals and a catchy beat, it is somewhat difficult to grasp the concept behind the track. However, after a few listens, the song grows on the listeners and ultimately gets stuck in their heads. The bridge is a noteworthy piece of the song as it perfectly mirrors the pain after a breakup.

While the title track is the most outstanding piece of the album, that doesn’t mean the remainder of the album is not worth the listen. The cohesiveness of the album is worth the praise in itself, but each track brings something unique as well. 

“Heart Attack” brings a retro vibe without forcefully trying to be what is considered trendy in the music industry. The funky beat is perfect for a quick dance, whether it is by yourself in your room or out in public with friends. 

If it is a romantic fantasy you want, “Marry You” sends you into a happily ever after daydream. Showcasing the group’s vocal capabilities, the song features ad-libs, subtle slides into head voice and singing in full falsetto. 

After experiencing love’s bliss, “CODE” throws an upbeat sound into the album. Starting with a rap leading into a proud chorus, the song seems to balance itself out. 

For a moment the album doesn’t fall into the pattern of retro music, at least not until the next song. “I Really Want You” is perfect for fans of Michael Jackson, as it closely resembles “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin.” Still, it remains unique in its own way.

In “Kiss Kiss,” the group’s happy pop sound takes over and presents a perfect pre-date song, using a catchy chorus as well as a captivating beat. 

The album goes from the happiness of dating to the seductiveness in dating with the song “Body Rhythm.” While the sudden switch from innocence may at first sound overwhelming, it turns into a perfect flow.

“Attention” strengthens the bond between the different stylistic elements in each song. While it plays into the overall throwback sound of the album, it does so in a softer manner. The song is a perfect lead-in to the concluding song, which is arguably the album’s mellowest track.

“Kind” has a slow tempo and focuses mostly on vocals. The album ends with a healing ballad focusing on the line, “You’ve always been so kind.”

SHINee isn’t the first group to try out the retro concept in their music, but they succeed in a way that other groups haven’t been able to. 

By showcasing their natural charms through their music, their efforts don’t go in vain, and we are presented with a natural album perfect for any occasion.

Marbella Ramirez is the Assistant Features Editor for The Cougar Chronicle. She is currently a first year student majoring in communication, minoring in chemistry and biology. Although she is not sure of what type of journalism she would like to dedicate her life to, her aspirations have always been in the media world. She previously worked for her high school newspaper and yearbook. Currently she is a contributing writer for EnVi Magazine.