“Taemin can’t pretend…” – this is the title for a Taemin cut I made and subbed recently. I think it applies to SHINee too. They are one of the most professional in Kpop groups in the sense that they do their very best on stage. SHINee is known for their live performance whose CD-like quality even confuses fans, and Jonghyun often inserts a roaring sound to show they are singing live. However, they are one of the worst in lip syncing. They don’t even seem to try hard to look like they are not lip syncing. They are bad pretenders.
When SHINee appeared in Lee Sora’s Propose after their comeback, MC Lee Sora said, “SHINee is different.” She saw SHINee in a gayo program; when they appeared on stage after a string of other groups, they left a lasting impression on her. SHINee has impressed people with their high quality singing and dancing. SHINee has also been recognized for their attitude on stage in trying to do their best like a new group even years after their debut.
Indeed, SHINee looked different this time. Sherlock is an intensive song in its concept, strong sound, and physical dance moves. However, it is not just the song’s intensive nature that distinguishes SHINee’s performance. As Key said in the interview with Lee Sora, they were full of “spites” — “determination” — as they were practicing for their comeback in one and half year. In other words, a sense of crisis, anxiety, and urgency was underneath their determined performance whose intensive quality grabbed people’s attention.
I was rather convinced about SHINee’s successful comeback after listening to the song. I was so sure about SHINee’s music and performance quality. What I missed with my confidence was how much pressure SHINee had as they were in their 5th year as a group when SM was launching a new male group with the loudest (prolonged) fanfare.
Not only in their performances. They were trying harder than usual even during a talk time. Can it be that they are hiding their vulnerability under their intensive performances? Can it be they are trying to prove something? to prove what? In the Taxi SHINee cut, SHINee made wishes after a happy surprise event prepared by the production team. Key’s wish was for SHINee to be together for a long time. Minho also wished for them to stay more united. It gave me a glimpse of the sense of anxiety likely to be in their hearts.
As far as I know, SM’s contract with their groups has been readjusted to 7 years at maximum after the long-period contract became an issue. However, I’m not sure about SM’s contract with each member.
I hope our boys will be able to do activities “separately and together” in SHINee for a long time. Then, each of them needs to find their niche through different individual activities while working together as SHINee. Onew has established his career as a musical actor and as an entertainer. Minho is cast as the main character in SM’s remake of Hana Kimi. Jonghyun has been writing lyrics but has yet to develop his solo career (I think Jonghyun might be a member who is the most attached to SHINee; he once said he identifies himself with SHINee). Key made a debut as a musical actor. He needed to have such a chance no matter what some fans say. Taemin is still young and exploring different things. His run with Immortal Song 2 has turned out better than expected.
SHINee might need to prove to SM they are worth keeping after their contract is over. They need to stay united. It is the same with fans. To make it happen, fans need to stay united too. It makes me sad to think we may see more divisive fan politics. It won’t help at all, but there are always those who try to do whatever to take a good pie of the fandom in case. Keep your eyes open. Don’t be swayed. Fans can lend a hand in making/breaking a group.
After all, what we all want is for our boys to be happy whether they stay as SHINee or not. They could part ways, but I wish each of them could prosper and be happy wherever they are and no matter what happens. Having said that, I have to confess that I can’t help but hold on my selfish desire to see SHINee as long as possible. Because they are my first idol group and highly likely to be my last.
Love them as much as you can while you can. Now. Cherish what you have at this very moment.