When I reviewed EXO’s Exodus repackage, I said that the group “delivered Chic SHINee-lite” with disco-pop songs like “Tender Love” and “Love Me Right.”

Now SHINee‘s back with their own repackage album, Married To The Music, which is SHINee doing what EXO did, only better because it’s SHINee (duh). Their title track is also noticeably dancier than “Love Me Right” thanks to co-production from “View” hitmakers LDN Noise (with help from Kenzie, The Stereotypes, and Deez — phew).

However, after “View” (arguably the song of the summer), SHINee’s title track does feel a tad safe and predictable since it’s yet another funky Korean disco single. Not to mention that Yunho’s “Champagne,” at least from a production standpoint, was more unconventional and therefore more interesting (not to mention catchier).

Technically, “Married To The Music” is probably a better song than track two, the Kenzie-produced “Savior,” but I like the latter more.

I just really enjoy SHINee doing house-y EDM pop right now, and “Savior” is so breathless and uncomplicated and to the point. It’s not as cool or gay as “View” was, but it’s not overstuffed or generic either. It’s just a great dance track, simple as that.

Everybody knows that you can’t go wrong when SHINee drops a baby making jam, which is why “Hold You” is the undeniable standout of Married To The Music. It’s an exquisite early ’90s sex jam laced with vintage synthesizers and slow waves of bass with Pitchfork‘s Best New Tracks potential. (Just imagine how many critics would’ve wet themselves if this was Usher produced by Dev Hynes instead of SHINee produced by The Stereotypes.)

SHINee’s vocal approach, which covers R&B harmonizing, gorgeous falsetto, and spoken raps is somewhere between the horny crooning of Keith Sweat and Jodeci and the more unconventional approach taken in “Odd Eye.” Actually, “Hold You” is really just the old-school “Odd Eye,” which is why it’s the best thing on here.

“Chocolate,” my second favourite, serves more vintage synths and sex with a big retro pop hook.

Penned by Jonghyun (with some help from Yankie) and cooked up by talented Swede Andreas Öberg, “Chocolate” is every bit as nuanced and delicious as all the great SHINee songs. Just listen to the flecks of guitars and drums after the chorus, or the way the song speeds up halfway through the verses.

SHINee’s a big band but it’s weird that they aren’t even bigger in Korea. I hope their career plays out in a slow and steady wins the race kind of way until they’re eventually seen as being as important to K-pop as BIGBANG and TVXQ.

Credible Korean critics have really started championing the group over the past year, but it’s a shame that influential America critics have yet to do the same. Where are all the hipster indie blogs and websites that are getting behind Carly Rae Jepsen’s excellent Emotion album? Doesn’t anybody realize that there’s this incredible boy band called SHINee over in Korea producing some of the best pop music in the world right now?k-pop gif

  • BadB*tch

    Couldn’t agree more. There music is incredible and man, I dont know a girl that wouldnt get soaking wet from looking at them…

  • CaptainJoeHook

    I think they’ll eventually be remembered for bettering the five member TVXQ and for being the most consistent K-pop group ever. Nobody can bring it with quality of songs and live performances like they can. Big Bang will always be remembered as better even though their recent output has been dreadful.

    • kpopper

      bettering the 5-member TVXQ?:O I don’t think you can compare SHINee to them at all. Or with BigBang, they’re all so different. But I totally agree they’re so consistent, (there’s been some others too but I like SHINee’s consistency) and their live performances are GEMS.

  • Bruno

    FYI, you’ve posted Chocolate 4 times up there. You must really love the song. =p

    • It doesn’t say it’s Chocolate 4 times for me! I’m on my laptop. Maybe it’s some mobile glitch??

      • Bruno

        Yeah, I think that was the case, now it’s working fine for me too.

  • Bruno

    Savior is such an incredible song, I’ve been listening to it (and WG’s ‘I Feel You’) non stop.

  • it’s because their name is ridiculous and their earlier hits (that a lot of the korean public remembers them for) are embarrassing bops like ring ding dong.

    • lildarien

      You shut your dirty mouth.

      Listening to this album I keep asking myself where the hell is my Ring ding dong 2015 edition.

      • im thirsting for another RDD as hard as any other overly invested shawol but my point is that it’s a very, very exploitable song comedically (especially when you don’t speak Korean and all you get from the song is the title and fantastic elastic) and for someone who wasn’t explicitly looking to take them seriously, it would be very easy to write shinee off

        • anya

          As an open Shinee stan among my real-life friends, everytime we go to karaoke booth they all would force me to sing Ring Ding Dong and then laughing over it.
          Must do it, for the boys.

  • You have captured all of my feelings. View is a game changer; the concept & song turned me into a stan, & also made a fan out of many friends. What needs to be heralded about this repackage is that amazingly executed video. So many artists get the next Michael Jackson thrown at them, but Shinee as a group comes closest to his legacy. If there was only a way to get all the Directioners to turn their gaze to Shinee. Le Sigh.

  • Mai

    Yes, there are a lot of K-pop bands who are doing the disco-pop thing, but I think SHINee have pulled it off the best. I really dig this song, just as much as View.

    I’ve never been one to stan for any K-pop artist group, but SHINee has been so amazingly consistent with their sound (basically I have pretty much have been like YAY for every song since Sherlock) I’m thisclose to becoming a grade A Shawol.

    • YES! love that you noticed the MJ-ness of it. so since you know shinee, you probably’ve heard sherlock. isn’t it MJ’s “dangerous” all the way?

  • KingBeaArthur

    Ok. I love SHINee. I stan, adore, obsess over; pick a word, that’s me! They can do no wrong in my eyes as far as experimentation with sounds and concepts (thank the gods SM give them a shorter leash in terms of trying different things). That said: “Married To The Music” is not the song that should’ve followed an instant classic like “View”. It’s enjoyable, sure, but SHINee can do better than it musically.

    The MV, on the other hand, is probably my favorite SHINee MV! The Beetlejuice x Amazing World of Gumball plot line mixed with the group having visible fun is a sight to behold!

    I kind of prefer “Savior” to MTTM, but my favorite of the 4 is probably “Hold You”.

    • i disagree about the music. it’s not “view” but it’s still the best thing out there by a boyband. and yes the MV is GORGEOUS! hahaha although i little-very disturbing with all the missing facial members! uhg you can decapitate oppa anytime you want but stuffing up oppa’s mouth or nose or eyes with prosthetic… hahaha it got me the creeps!

      i’m just playing though… this is one of the most entertaining videos of the year. and it’s soooo beautiful how much fun they seem to be having! onew and minho’s wide eyed smiles are dreaaaamy!

      • KingBeaArthur

        I think the song is great, actually. But following a song as perfect as “View” was always going to be hard imo, no matter how flawless the track was. Had “View” not existed then I’d be all over MTTM. It’s like, why eat a pepperoni Hot Pocket when I have a slice of pizza?

        • ahahahaha that’s a beyond evil analogy. shinee doesnt give you stomach cancer, just happy feet :P

  • haha! MTTM is beaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaautiful! it’s a step back to the michael jacksoness they displayed back in “sherlock”, but even better because its less showcase and more dancey fun.

    i totally agree with you that shinee should be a hyped up band everywhere in the world. if we start from the point that all k-pop bands are manipulated products, then why are western public and critique praising fake-hard-to-believe hip hop acts instead of a group like shinee that actually feels musically real and organic?

    i’m probably very biased because i this is the type of music i prefer to listen to. and since shinee has a better trajectory doing it i feel more inclined to stan them rather than the other boy bands – even if they release a similar sound.

  • disqus_4Rn1256qw8

    Married to the Music and Hold You are really really good. The cheesy horror party music video makes the title track even better. Not as keen on Savior, I’m afraid, and I’m usually excited to hear a new track by Kenzie.