A few days ago I wrote a gushy little piece about the new BTS album Wings. What I like so much about Wings is that it’s an on-trend, Americanized urban-pop album with real crossover appeal.

What I like about the other big boy band album of the month, SHINee‘s 1 of 1, is the complete opposite. It’s pure K-pop; cool, camp, and as perfectly polished as all the SM Entertainment releases seem to be these days.

1 of 1 is almost faultless from start to finish. The closest thing to a weak spot -and I’m kinda grasping at straws here- is, surprisingly, the lead single. The retro “1 of 1” is a new jack swing throwback, but SHINee does little to update it. The trendsetting fivesome are at their best when they take classic sounds and then modernize them (see the New York house of “View” or the disco dance-pop of “Dream Girl”). As a huge fan of ’80s and ’90s music, sometimes listening to “1 of 1” (as great as it is) just makes me want to turn it off and go play the real thing instead.

The rest of the album is filled with vintage sounds, but SHINee wrap them up in more current pop trends. The boys dive back into UK garage again on the funky opening number “Prism,” and play with deep house again by re-teaming with LDN Noise for “Shift.”

I’d like to choose a standout track, but there’s so many. “Don’t Let Me Go” is beautiful in its melancholy, like a pensive stroll through a leafy park in autumn. “Don’t Stop” is the most erotic song SHINee’s ever done, with the boys breathily teasing mutual orgasms over trembling electronica. Everything else is great – there’s not even the obligatory bad K-pop ballad that you need to skip.

Is the best SHINee album yet? I think so. And you can even buy it on cassette.

  • Reddy

    it really is their best album, i’m waiting on a possible repackage to give us even more songs.

  • Hyoyeon: The White Babe

    I think the point of 1 of 1 was to be as authentic as possible, hence sticking to how songs sounded in the 90s without any efforts to “update” it at all. the intention was not to pay an homage but actually revive it like the 90s took place now. Whenever i listen to it, I feel like I’m listening to a song on the radio lol

    That being said though, as committed as it is, it’s not as impactful as I Feel You.

    • oklul

      what is this actually with wanting to revive other generation´s stuff when we are still here this is getting really incredibly annoying

      and those bimbos imitating my generation´s styles what the fuck even

      • Hyoyeon: The White Babe

        wow boo u gotta have some steak because u salty lmao :*

  • oklul

    why are bimbos imitating my generation

    and why are those guys all up other generation´s aesthetics too

  • Riley Biers

    Jacques have you heard of this group before? Randomly came across it and fucking obsessed


  • Aye, you forgot to talk about Banger of the Year, aka. PRISM. That song gets me in the feels, and it gets me bopping. It’s so amazing. I’ve found that over time, 1 of 1 has really grown on me (especially the drumb bits).