One of the most highly anticipated comebacks for K-Pop listeners was dropped Wednesday, March 21st. Although it is just an EP, it is SHINee’s comeback no less. But why so highly anticipated? It’s because the five-membered group from SM had not released a new song since their highly successful single, “Hello,” which was released in 2010. The long wait is also partly responsible for my disappointment in my first listen.
For anyone familiar with SHINee’s music, there is no question in the similarities between “Sherlock” and a previous single from SHINee, “Juliette”. Even though it is a good song and SHINee executes it extremely well, it solidifies the fact that SHINee is in danger of “Taylor Swifting,” which their label mate, Super Junior has already experienced with “Sorry Sorry” and “Bonamana”. This is when they release songs that have the same sound but altered enough for fans to enjoy. The problem with this is that they won’t grow as artists and their fan base will stagnate.
I also did not enjoy the presentation of this release. The album cover had nothing to do with the title or theme of their single and their other songs, although solid on their own, in my opinion do not mesh well. There is no denying SHINee’s talent. But when a comeback is so heavily anticipated, such a release is unsatisfactory. One of the reasons I am so attracted to K-Pop is because of high quality work that sometimes lack here in the US. But when my expectations are not reached even in the slightest, I lose interest.
The EP features seven tracks but I would consider it five since two of the tracks are “Sherlock” divided into two. Literally. If you put “Clue” and “Note” together, you get “Sherlock”. One song that has captured me is “Honesty”, a simple acoustic melody that emphasizes on the beautiful vocals this group possess.
SHINee’s music video will have probably passed 2 million views on YouTube by the time this review is published. After seeing the video, I can say that while I appreciated the attempt to imitate Sherlock Holmes, the lighting was too dark for the song’s tempo. Fans of SHINee will be pleased with the eye candy of the boys but what can I say. I miss the Lucifer and Ring Ding Dong videos and choreography, as they were more memorable and powerful. [As of publishing, the music video has over 6 million views]
All in all, I don’t think this is SHINee’s best work but like I previously stated, they are a talented group and when given the right material, they knock it out of the park. Sadly this EP just did not work out for me. I’m sure any Shawol (the name of SHINee fans) will think the opposite.