Written by Kendra Caesar
It’s been a week now since SHINee’s youngest member, Taemin, released his second full-length album, Move. A week was needed to fully digest the eponymous title track, music video, and its subsequent performance versions before even touching the rest of the album. The best word that can be used to describe Taemin’s latest comeback is: “Taemin”.
Okay, yes, that’s his name, but this album is so Taemin. Recently, a lot of K-pop artists have been experimenting in different genres and concepts which aren’t always favorable, but what Taemin succeeds in with every release is the ability to keep his own flavor, his own “Taemin-ness”. Though he tends to stay within one genre, Taemin’s music has a standard level of professionalism and uniqueness that intrigues listeners regardless of whether you’re a hardcore SHINee fan (also known as Shawol) or otherwise. Whether it’s his cool, smoky vocals or his hypnotic shoulder twists, there is something magnetic about Taemin that dares a listener to find out more about him.
Move is Taemin’s third album with eight shiny, new tracks and one Korean re-release from his latest Japanese mini-album, Flame of Love. Different elements of hip hop, electronica, and trap combine with contemporary R&B to complement Taemin’s hazy, daydream-like voice to create a sensual, alluring record you will never want to stop listening to.
The title track, “Move”, is understated in sound. At first listen, it doesn’t seem that exciting, but it requires a couple of listens to really absorb the rousing bits and pieces. With lyrics like “your moves captivate me under the dark lights / your elegant gestures, your secretive looks”, the narrator is internally admiring a person who is dancing all without actually saying a thing out loud to them. “Move” is not intended to be a loud song, but rather a slower, more mysterious track with a quiet intensity to it as the narrator fixates on the dancer in front of them. A feeling which is not unlike how easy it is to fixate on Taemin’s sultry choreography in the music video.
The choreography heightens the sensuality of the song with its slow and seductive turns and shoulder rolls. This is a complete reinvention of choreography from Taemin’s past comebacks, which often feature fast-paced, explosive choreography that is heavy on twists, turns and body rolls. Instead, Move features less twists in favor of sharp, controlled movements. The performance versions also showcase his backup dancers who are all women, which shows the versatility of the dance as well. The “Duo” version is also available, which features Japanese choreographer Koharu Sugawara as Taemin’s dancing partner. Sugawara has choreographed Taemin’s Japanese singles in the past including his epic single, “Goodbye“.
The rest of the songs on the record definitely do not disappoint either. Whether it’s the groovy jam “Heart Stop” featuring Red Velvet’s Seulgi, or the trap-infused track that’s got everyone grabbing their water bottles “Thirsty”, there’s something in the album for every listener to enjoy.
A personal, KPOP-TV favorite is definitely “Crazy 4 U“, which follows a unique R&B song pattern with a smooth starting intro before building up in the bridge to a powerful, energetic chorus. The track is very reminiscent of Taemin’s other song, “Drip Drop”, and is a fun song to dance and sing along to.
Starting from a child who was nicknamed ‘tone deaf‘ and transforming into the shining solo artist he is today, Taemin has put in hours of hard work and dedication into his craft to make himself an idol who stands apart from the rest. He is a gifted dancer and a strong singer, which all directly comes from his passion and commitment to his music and his determination to be the best artist he can be. All of that never-ending work and effort culminates in Move, a joyride of an album that shows how Taemin is constantly improving. So yes, Taemin’s newest record is very ‘Taemin’, but what that means is that Move has unparalleled levels of charm, finesse, and resilience in its tracks that only a true star-spangled artist like Taemin could create.
Let KPOP-TV know what your favorite song(s) from Move is/are in the comments below!