SM Entertainment’s five member male group, SHINee celebrated their third year anniversary as artists in the K-Pop Music Industry. These five young men, who debuted as a unit on the 25th of May 2008, commemorated their third year – a big of an achievement for any idol group/idol. Despite the wave of new groups debuting for the past two years, SHINee has managed to maintain their position as one of the best groups there is today. It seems to me that resilience and perseverance are what SMTown idols learn during their trainee years – the mindset of a focused person is embedded into the artists, SHINee included.
Their debut song Noona Neomu Yeppeo (Noona You’re so Pretty) or known better as Replay captured a lot of female hearts and garnered SHINee a good fanbase of women young and old (of course there are fanboys), which caused them to be quite the buzz. That is understandable, as apart from their melodious voices and swoon-worthy lyrics, these five young men have the good looks and personalities to back them up.
As it is when an artist/group is to be boosted into popularity, they are given a show – reality, variety, whatever – to help them. SHINee had Yunhanam – a show fit for their debut song. This show was for them to date noonas – girls older than them; the girls would pick the best member and have a date at their location of choice and activity of choice. SHINee’s personalities as to how they approach and react towards women surfaced, which caused fans to become more affectionate towards the teenagers who’ve yet to understand dating. In one instance, the youngest, Taemin who was then 14, preferred that he be pushed on the swing by the noona, insted of the other way around.
After Replay, SHINee released more MVs and songs to boost up their popularity even more. Love Like Oxygen piqued the interests of fans, with SHINee’s color code outfits – a color assigned to each member. The MV also featured SHINee’s refined features, showing that they were growing not only in the music, but in stature and appearance. Then came A.Mi.Go, where rapper Minho was the lead in the MV’s storyline; chasing a girl who ‘took’ his heart. The song title is shortened for a Korean saying Areumdaun Minyeoreul Joahamyeon Gosaenghanda which means “If you love a beautiful girl, you will suffer.” True enough, the lyrics stand for that, and SHINee’s charisma emanated in this strong song.
By May of 2009, SHINee was ready to release their new concept and mini-album entitled Romeo, with the title track being Juliette.Their concept for this was just like in Shakespeare’s piece; the boys wore modern-day versions of masquerade masks, and colorful outfits. The MV featured So Nyeo Shi Dae’s Jessica’s younger sister Krystal (who was to debut later that year under SMEnt. in group f(x)). The choreography garnered much attention for its complicated dance steps and the synchronization of SHINee who pulled it off smoothly. During promotions, it was quite a treat to anticipate their outfits, which radiated bright colors and out-of-this-world ideas.
Juliette continued to rocket SHINee onto the music charts, thereby winning on Music Bank and various other shows. One of their tracks, Please Don’t Go or Jamkkodae/Sleeptalking was a hit, as this was not only a duet by power vocals Onew and JongHyun, but the alluring harmony and message of the song was delivered well. During this time, labelmates and seniors in the industry So Nyeo Shi Dae (Girls’ Generation) were simultaneously promoting Tell Me Your Wish/Genie. This led to performances of SHINee featuring Girls’ Generation members. Fans were split in reactions, others favoring this, others disliking (out of jealousy) and others, quite indifferent. Whatever the matter, SHINee continued and ended their Juliette promotions on a good note.
Following a short rest, SHINee came back with a darker concept through the song Ring Ding Dong for the mini-album 2009, Year of Us (Y.O.U.) Ring Ding Dong had a lot of autotune in it, which was quite a disappointment, as SHINee’s vocals are good enough without thesyths. Their promotions were disrupted when the members caught Swine Flu, and the other members had to fill in for the sick members – once even featuring Super Junior’s Yesung. The concept for Ring Ding Dong had a grunge feel to it, with the members clad in black, red and gray outfits. They accustomed themselves to the
dark feel of the MV, with their noticeable change appearance-wise. Although not to be absorbed in the dark concept, SHINee – around this time – were to do Hello Baby. After labelmates Girls’ Generation, it was their turn to take care of a young boy, a toddler named Yoogeun. The five SHINee members had to learn how to be fathers. Their affection towards the toddler received positive responses from the fans, and when the show came to a close, fans sympathized with SHINee having to part with Yoogeun.
Not long after, SHINee came back again strong, with Lucifer, a full album, with the title track bearing the same name. More mature than ever, SHINee’s darker concept for Lucifer stunned fans – with their appearances as well as the songs. The songs were intrigued, as many were “bought” so to speak, that they called it plagiarism, which was not. This album also did not feature much of the powerful and harmonious vocals of SHINee, but this time catered to what seemed appropriate at that time – dance songs, autotune and whatnot. Hwasal(arrow)/Quasimodo was a good ballad off the track, which featured Minho’s vocal prowess and potential. In terms of appearance, Key had the most intriguing concept look, with one side of his hair seemingly shaved – although it was dyed blonde, with his hair swept down to one side. Taemin garnered even more fans for his look, layered orange hair that made him look like a very beautiful girl – yet this look made him even more appealing, charismatic and less of the baby image. When SHINee then released a repacked album for Lucifer entitled Hello, which added three tracks to Lucifer, they began promoting the song Hello, which was a far cry from Lucifer. It was a bubbly, boys-next-door, sweet image concept, where you would fall in love with the boys and their gentlemanly demeanor. Yet in the midst of promotions and overseas fan meetings, an incident halted their promotions when JongHyun injured his ankle after an overseas fanmeet/performance. Although he was checked to be just fine, they later found out that it was more serious than expected. Promotions for Hello continued, but with the members seated on stools, swaying to the beat instead of dancing freely.
Another unexpected event was when it was publicly announced that JongHyun and actress Shin Se Kyung were dating (for a month during that time). This caused chaos amongst Shawols and caused JongHyun fancafes to either shut down or turn into Se Kyung hate sties. This went on for a while, causing distraught to JongHyun and the other members. They ended Hello promotions and JongHyun recieved surgery. SHINee announced thereafter that they would hold their first ever solo concert, in Seoul and in Japan. Both concerts were a success, with JongHyun singing but not totally dancing.
SM Entertainment-who, along with other companies, see Japan as a potential goldmine for their artists- led SHINee onto the boat of Korean artists debuting in Japan. Alongside senior labelmates Super Junior and Girls’ Generation, SHINee has laid down their cornerstone. Just this month they have released the audio tracks for Hello and Replay in Japanese. This morning (27th May 2011) SHINee’s Japanese PV (Promotional Video) for Replay has been released and is now a hot topic, circulating in many sites.
From young teenagers to budding young men, these five shining stars continue to etch themselves into the hearts of fans, gaining more and more love and support. SHINee continues to display their talents through their promotions and the three year mark paves the way for more to come. SHINee will always be the bright and sparkling group that receives light from the fans, thereby illuminating them even more. Let’s not forget to Replay all the struggles and victories they’ve gone through, and three cheers to more of SHINee.