I had been waiting for this comeback and Taemin never disappoints. The new album is everything we have come to love Taemin for–sexy, dark, and innovative. I–as you would expect–have a hard time being objective with Taemin, as I do with anyone in Shinee. That said, let’s dive in.
Want is, to put it simply, like Move’s younger sibling who is a touch more risque but just as sexy. It has very similar elements to Move, but it also sounds uniquely its own. It almost reads to me as if Taemin’s albums are in continuation with each other. Want exists in the same world as Move, but it pushes beyond it.
I’ll admit, I was excited about the song just from the title. There’s something about the words Artistic Groove that set you up to expect something distinctly experimental and funky. That is precisely what Artistic Groove is. The words “Artistic Groove” themselves are punctuated by Taemin’s falsetto and the whole song bounces on through to the catchy–if repetitive–chorus.
The first thing I noticed was the orchestral instruments in the background. It reminds me so much of Lie, but in a completely different way. In that same vein, it is also very creepy; it has that eerie vibe of Halloween, dark alleys, and demons. That said, the sound is not at all calm or creeping; it is fast-paced and has the haunting anticipation of a chase through the city at night.
“Truth” sounds like the title of a ballad, right? Correct! Taemin has the kind of soulful and dramatic voice made for ballads, so it makes sense that he include at least one ballad on his albums. This ballad, however, breaks the expectations that anyone would have of a ballad. It starts off as an emotional track and then adds in a beat that lets you bop while you get in your feelings. I can see myself putting this at the top of my favorite Taemin tracks.
I’m not really much for acoustic guitars, so I was already a little put-off by the start of this song. Still, Taemin has never disappointed me before, so I figured he’d make it work. And he did. This song has a catchy little riff that plays throughout the song that gives it a depth that completes the track. While it’s definitely good and I have no complaints, I also can’t say it will stick around as one of my favorites.
Now, this is a true ballad. And, like a true ballad, it is very emotional. Taemin’s deeply moving voice is accompanied by strings and piano, and the song builds in natural crescendos and decrescendos. I didn’t feel any immediate connection to it, but I have a feeling that would change if I read the lyric translation. Even without the lyrics, however, I have to admit that it is a beautifully sung track.
I love a good outro. BTS–in my opinion, please don’t come for me in the comments–really revolutionized the use of the outro and intro to tell a story and, since then, other artists have begun using outros to either tie off their album entirely or leave their fans with the sense of unfinished business. Taemin’s outro seems to me like the latter. His voice echoes off in a plaintive cry that rings clear for things to come.