Yes, we’re excited, but is it really necessary to say it every single time they make a comeback? *SeriouslyAsking*
Anyway, i just decided that i’ll pass reviewing the album since i only enjoy half the tracks, but after watching yesterday’s An Encore live performance on M! Countdown, i got to write it, even if this may end up being all gushy and zero substance XD
The biggest pull is of course the lead single View. I actually expected the usual high-energy powerful song like the group’s previous offerings and was thus surprised to watch and listen to a really laid-back feel-good number instead. Unexpected, but still easily likeable and irresistibly catchy. It took one chorus before its repetitive hook “neomu areumdaun-daun-daun-daun View” got me hook, line, and sinker. Despite the freewheeling nature of the MV (fraught with uncalled-for undressing), my eyes were glued to the fluid choreo shown in bits and pieces — okay, also Minho’s distractingly well-toned biceps — i instantly look forward to the dance version or the comeback stage(s), whichever comes first. ‘Cuz that’s when we need the dance version.
Speaking of choreo, theirs tend to be on the intricate side, incorporating big moves with light-footed steps, yet executed with zest and military precision. Which i like and find highly fascinating to watch, like EXO’s. That of View is arguably simpler and much less demanding than their past routines but a sight to see nonetheless.
But what makes me even more excited about SHINee’s comeback besides seeing View performed AND sung live is the selected accompanying songs. I couldn’t be more thrilled to see my favorite tracks from Odd made the cut. (It’s the feeling i’d get when a certain track i love from an album is promoted as the artist’s following single, if you know what i mean.) First off: Love sick. Not as addicting yet bright and peppy as View. A nice jam with prominent drumline and synthesizer and delicious harmony. Or maybe it’s their on stage smiley faces that do the trick. Curiously, Replay comes up a lot in the comments and turns out Love sick is the continuation of the group’s 2008 debut song, thus the throwback, similar tune(?), and recycled choreo.
Next up: An ode to you, Odd’s slowest ballad. Minimal instrumentation and loose melody can very well be sleep-inducing; it is a bit too mellow although luckily, it picks up from the bridge onwards. There’s barely any harmonization which also means back-to-back solos as the members take turns singing two lines each, down to one each toward the end. Still don’t cut it? I suggest you to click the video above. That Inkigayo performance gave me chills over chills which i don’t get from listening to the recorded track alone. Too bad it was abridged.
I, however, like An Encore better. A progressive ballad that isn’t as doleful as An ode to you in terms of mood and melody. I also find their vocals stronger here. Plus, those flawless beltings and crazily smooth harmonies during the chorus! Gahh, it’s aptly titled “An Encore” as it calls for an encore (duh) as soon as the last note drops. Because one listen is far from enough. One can truly relish everyone’s vocal quality here. And if you think the album version is already delishly off the charts, see the live performance for yourself — it is that good.
I personally think through this kind of song, a singer can fully showcase his/her vocal prowess. It isn’t to judge how high a note one can reach or assess which techniques one masters but simply to know the character. That’s my way of figuring out if i like the timbre and enjoy listening to their sound. I don’t know why but i’m drawn more easily to those with discernible voices. Likewise, i like it when i can tell who’s singing without watching the live performance or checking the color-coded lyrics. Even as a casual fan, i find SHINee’s relatively easy to discern; i can get ’em right 70~80% of the time. Some of them may sound similar on certain parts or register, but their way of singing isn’t the same.
Did i digress? Well, the rest of Odd is either too chaotic or discordant for my liking. Woof woof is the furthest i can take. Two other pretty good tracks are Romance and Black hole. It’s getting late and i can’t churn out any more words, so… that’s all 😉