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Kim Jonghyun is one fifth of the famous boy group SHINee, just one of the many talented groups under SM Entertainment. After Lee Taemin’s solo debut last year, it is Kim Jonghyun’s turn in the spotlight as the second member of SHINee to release a highly anticipated first mini album. It is evident that from the album itself, it is not only singing that Jonghyun is immensely talented in but song writing amongst other admirable talents. It is also clear of the growth that Jonghyun has made since his group debut along with the other members of SHINee in 2008, looking at the songs in a broad sense, there’s a distinctive feeling of maturity there. He makes a return into the K-pop scene, alone this time, with a jazz-inspired album, with six main tracks and two bonus tracks and a number of collaborations to boot.

 

  1. Deja Boo (ft. Zion.T)

 

The opening song of the album starts off with a soft and easy-going funk inspired melody, almost as if to pull the listener in anticipation to stay to listen to the rest of the album. Regardless of being a SHINee fan or not, this is an album worth listening to. This song has the kind of music you can nod your head to with intervals of an upbeat tune in the chorus. In this title track, Jonghyun is joined by rapper Zion. T, a hip-hop artist. The rapping element fits in nicely as it adds that extra touch to the song with a number of catchy English phrases to sing along to choose from. Deja Boo is one of the two singles that were released with this song on 7th January 2015.

Check out the MV here!

 

 

 

  1. Crazy (Guilty pleasure ft. Iron)

 

Crazy is one of the main promoted tracks of the album which features Iron who was a noteworthy contestant from the hip hop contest show ‘Show Me The Money 3’, it contains a mature insight into Jonghyun’s musical potential and talent, the piano parts of the song nicely blend in with jazzy undertones and raspy vocals. It can be considered a surprise that the Jonghyun’s main song was not a ballad, though the singer himself admitted that singing ballads were not entirely his comfort zone, this song shows that the main vocal of SHINee is branching out into the type music he wants to produce, wide vocal range in this song showed his evident talents. The subtle meaning of the song underpins an attraction to something that you shouldn’t be attracted to, thus the drawing emotions of ‘guilty pleasure’. Crazy, being one half of the two main singles of the album, was released on 12th January 2015.

 

Check out the MV here!

 

  1. Hallelujah

 

Hallelujah is the third track of the album, out of all the songs, this has to be the most compelling. There’s the distinctive ballad style of singing that we would expect to hear from Jonghyun, the vocals are soft, angelic and contains soothing tones like a prayer itself. This is a very beautiful song with enchantingly written lyrics by Jonghyun, which offers an abundance of compliments to the person of their affection and a whirlwind of emotions spirals around in the form of words. It’s a pure delight to the ears, give it a listen!

 

Here’s the dance practice of Hallelujah!

 

 

  1. Love Belt (ft. Younha)
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The album transits to a more intimate song, the kind of song that display a mutual desire of dependency with the vocal roles played by Jonghyun and Younha. This is also the type of song you could wake up to in the morning to greet the day with or a song that’s easily can be listened to on a rainy day to mull over thoughts or even on a lazy day. The combination of both Jonghyun and Younha’s voices sounded like melted butter together, it was a well fitted collaboration.

 

  1. NEON

 

 NEON’s lyrics compares the person Jonghyun is singing about to neon lights, bright coloured and bold. The vocalist leaves endless confessions much like in previous songs mentioned. There’s no one that shines brighter than you, it’s almost as if Jonghyun is trying to encourage the listener that no matter how much they may doubt themselves, they shine as bright as NEON lights. The melody sends out happy vibes as it sounds like it could be the backing track to a film scene, it has that sort of upbeat feel to it. This song is one you could just belt out ‘NEON’ in the shower too, if you have a preference to singing in the shower, that is!

 

  1. (MONO-Drama)

 

The album closes to a near end with MONO—Drama, with a mature flare to boot. The tones of the song is bitter-sweet with a love-hate battle of emotions erupting from the lyrics. As the latter part of the title suggests, there is an element of drama within the song with Jonghyun feeling a mixture of feelings, on one hand he’s in love and the next these feelings are overturned by jealously over the other person being in a better position than he is. The vocalist even goes on to digress that he wished to switch places with the other person and it is implied that he evidently drew the short stick and feels not bliss but pain of a one-sided love, perhaps?

 

{BONUS TRACKS} 7. Beautiful Tonight & 8. Fortune Cookie

 

The first of the two bonus tracks takes a slow and sensual approach, it has a mellow feel to it with the raspy vocals and casual whistles are enough to sends shivers to the listener. With the main theme of love evident in this album, this song is no different in the aspect where Jonghyun proclaims his frustration about not being able to be with person he so loves and desires. Fortune Cookie, along with Beautiful Tonight were both written and composed by no one other than Kim Jonghyun himself. The latter song is shorter than the rest of the track list yet the SHINee vocalist never fails to tease his fans with the suggestive jazz oozing track.

 

Check out the MV of Fortune Cookie here!

 

8.9 Impressive Debut

Overall, I rate this album - 9.0 for the impressive track list with a variety of songs that can appeal to anyone, regardless of whether the listener is a K-pop fan or not, all the songs are individually unique and show the growth and talent displayed by SHINee's vocalist. We look forward to hearing potential solo albums from the other SHINee members, who could be next? Could it be Key, Minho or Onew next to grace us with their solo debut?

  • Overall Thoughts 9.0
  • UK Potenial 8.9
  • Lyrics 8.8
  • User Ratings (1 Votes) 8.5
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About Author

UnitedKpop Writer since 2015, partial to listening to 2NE1 and BLACKPINK.