It has about a month since Shinee’s album 1 of 1 has been released but because of how much of an impression it had on me, I have decided to review it. Unlike every Korean pop group, Shinee has proved how much control they have when it comes to their own vocals and also as a group. This album is yet another example of this group’s amazing ability. Although I acknowledge and appreciate the fact that they participated in writing the lyrics, it was kind of a let down to know that they did not collaborate with some other creators to write the music. Especially when the music and beats of each and every song were so well thought out with that 90’s feel to them. Most Korean pop groups do not compose their own music but it would be so much more satisfying to know that this talented group can create their own albums. Well maybe in the future years…
After listening to 1 of 1 countless times, it is clear to say that each song is very memorable and very hard to evaluate. As for the songs that had less of an impact, they would definitely be “Don’t Stop” and “U Need Me”. Mostly keeping the same pace throughout the whole song, both of these tracks were very average. Another song that is a bit lacking would be “Feel Good”, mostly for the constant repetition of the track title placed throughout the whole song.
When thinking about the strongest and most creatively composed tracks, these songs would without a doubt be “Prism”, “1of 1” and “Don’t Let Me Go”. Songs such as “Shift” and “So Amazing” were amazing too but it was mostly because they were dance and groovy songs. I did not want to pick these tracks because of the continuous dance beat.One aspect of “Shift” that should have been revised during the recording, is the actual pronunciation of the word shift. When the members start saying shifting, it sounds like they are saying shitting. Although they do get the right pronunciation during the last minute of the song.
“Prism” is absolutely a song that included all of their vocals beautifully and were very well controlled. The stacking and tone of each of the members vocals was so naturally done and impressive that they overshadowed the actual music. It would sometimes feel like I was listening to an a Capella. It is apparent that “1 of 1” is well composed but the reason this song was one of the strongest tracks, is because of specific details that can be pointed out throughout the song. The first obvious element that can be heard is how much of a 90’s vibe it has incorporating the synthesizer . The rhythm guitar placed throughout 3/4 of the song was very unexpected, creating more interesting sounds to the track. Although the lyrics are not as complex, repeating the chorus very often, they are well spaced out after each verse. The last song, I would say amazed me the most was “Don’t Let Me Go”. This track fascinated me the most for its simplicity. Although “Prism” was much more complex with the vocals, the control and beautifully harmonized vocals heard in this track had a much bigger impact. This song also presented the best lyrics written on this album. Most of the lyrics were not as repetitive and were very creative. One detail that not much people might have picked up on, was the static sound in the beginning of the song. It is very interesting to include the ambient sound of a tape recorder playing a track into the song itself. Not to mention the keyboard and the sound of drops of rain heard at the end of the song are very original.
This album as a whole was very beautiful and unforgettable. Every song had a different feeling, affecting everyone with various emotions. I would give Shinee’s 1 of 1 an 8.5 out of 10 for its amazing vocals that harmonize together so well that I still get surprised. The fact that each and every song on this album is memorable and composed so well, it definitely does deserve the attention it is getting.
Keep on discovering and keep on listening