As they celebrate their 13th anniversary later this week, here are the 10 best SHINee B-sides to enjoy before the group is back again!
2021 has been good to us Shawols. We got to see SHINee reunite, followed by the release of not one, but two albums. Let’s not also forget about the surprise release from Baby Cheese Taemin — his goodbye gift to the fans before he enlists in the military for almost two years.
In the 13 years that they have been active — the group will celebrate their 13th anniversary on May 25th — the SHINee brand has become synonymous with far-reaching and experimental concepts, held together by the distinct yet complementary synergy of the five members. And while their title tracks will always be iconic — from the chilling chaos of ‘Married To The Music’ to the powerful beats of ‘Ring Ding Dong’ — SHINee have given us equally addictive B-sides.
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and pull out some classic tracks to listen to before we tune in for SHINee’s 13th anniversary celebrations.
‘Body Rhythm’ – Don’t Call Me, 2021
Starting off with something recent, ‘Body Rhythm’ gets a place on this list for it’s reggae-inspired charm and the smooth vocal perfection that keeps you coming back for more. As the group entices you to follow their body rhythm in laid-back, cavalier tones, you smile at the playful flirtation that SHINee adapt so well into their music. Like vacations that you reminisce about again and again, this is one track you’ll find yourself revisiting frequently.
‘Electric’ – The Story Of Light, 2018
Like the name suggests, SHINee brought a sizzling and magnetic energy to this B-side that fluctuates between smooth R&B and powerful tropical house drops. Adding a nice touch are the sounds of crackling electricity in the background, coupled with the group’s musings on what finally touching their object of their affection would be like. ‘The stimulus is so deep and vivid that, It cannot be measured in numbers, And the long and explosive reaction, Stays deep in the cells all over my body.’ Yep, sounds about right.
‘Undercover’ – The Story Of Light, 2018
Yep, brilliant albums deserve multiple mentions. ‘Undercover’ is the second track from The Story Of Light to make its way onto this list, simply because it has all the makings of a song that could have fallen into the traps of a overly sappy love song, but instead turns on its head to become an exciting rollercoaster of a courtship track. SHINee’s soaring vocals are like musical foreplay, building in intensity towards the moment where the beats kick in and sweep us away in the currents of the groovy whistles. This is the track you set your summer flings to, guys.
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‘Prism’ – 1 of 1, 2016
‘Prism’ is one of those songs where the irrevocable truth about SHINee becomes crystal clear: each member in the group is an individual masterpiece, but together, they elevate the profundity of whatever they do. The staccato beats of ‘Prism’ are frenetic, crazed; yet, the only thing that grounds it is the masterful vocal layering from the members, slowly pulling you in by describing the prismatic effect of love’s charm.
‘Don’t Let Me Go’ – 1 of 1, 2016
Slowing it down is another track from 1 of 1 (superb album all around), ‘Don’t Let Me Go’. Once again, the track shows SHINee’s impeccable understanding of their vocal strengths and the demands a certain song makes. Where ‘Prism’ was cool, fast-paced, and energetic, ‘Don’t Let Me Go’ is soft, sensual, and beautifully heart-wrenching. The group delivers on all fronts, drawing out the notes and tugging at your heartstrings.
‘Odd Eye’ – Odd, 2015
Fair warning, there will be gushing here since this writer is biased towards Odd. While Odd stands out most for its timeless title track ‘View’, the album kicks off with this scintillating, borderline dangerous track ‘Odd Eye’. The carefully refrained song is a push-and-pull game with something sinister yet hopelessly addictive: the tempo resembles a heart that skips beats under the blazing gaze of someone you know is not good for you, but as Jonghyun croons about having his eyes only on you, you’re pulled in before you have a chance to resist.
‘Love Sick’ – Odd, 2015
There is ‘Replay’ (never getting tired of that one, guys) and there is its sequel ‘Love Sick’. On this one, SHINee bring back the youthful charm that made them famous in the first place, only this time, the nuna they were trying to woo in ‘Replay’ is now their girl. Despite the conquest, however, they are still just as starry-eyed about her as they were before. Making the track even better are the classic 90s boy-band vibes peppering it end-to-end, with cheesy lines that make you roll your eyes, but still make you smile. Classic SHINee.
‘Beautiful’ – Chapter 1. Dream Girl – The Misconceptions Of You, 2012
You would think that a song extolling the virtues of a loved one would be more befitting as a ballad, or as smooth R&B. Not for SHINee. As the group asks their loved ones to share their scars with them, the compelling, fast-paced beat turns all of us into the ‘jams in sadness’ memes. Only SHINee could do that, tbh.
‘Love Should Go On’ – AMIGO, 2008
Let’s take it back to the early days, shall we? AMIGO — the repackage of SHINee’s very first album, Replay — came with this treasure buried inside it. While SHINee had already established themselves as the poster-children of exciting, young love, this is where they show that just because they’re young doesn’t mean their emotions are shallow. Held together by their vocal chops — strong from day one — the song fits neatly into the 90s R&B category, complete with changed pitches during bridges and soaring violins in the background. Yep, we love a good callback.
‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ – Chapter 1. Dream Girl – The Misconceptions Of You, 2012
One of SHINee’s most memorable tracks, the sunny, shimmering ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ is about five young men trying to understand the world’s most complex mystery: women. Albeit a little outdated in its subject matter, ‘Girls, Girls, Girls,’ captures the innocent musings of youth perfectly, as one is starting to branch out into the world and trying to find love. It’s the classic SHINee charm that we fell in love with, one that perseveres even to this day.
You can read more about this topic over at the Asia Pop Observer.