Shinee has to be one of the most talented groups that SM group has on its roster and that’s saying a lot considering that SM has Super Junior and SNSD among its ranks as well. Ever since their debut, they’ve constantly impressed with their vocals and their dance skills. I love how every member here sings with gusto and dance so flawlessly. Although they haven’t released a Korean album since fall 2010, their return is, needless to say, one of the most anticipated releases this year. So did their fourth mini album, live up to their impressive legacy thus far?
For a mini-album, this album feels like the right tone and a perfect blend of genres for SHINEE. Too bad that three out of the seven songs actually form ONE song. Granted, the title single, Sherlock, is an instant pop classic, helping redefine Shinee into a superstar group that they were always on the cusps of reaching. What upsets me about that song is that it is really two songs “Clue” and “Note” put together. It’s annoying because these songs are hopelessly incomplete unless they’re together so I do not understand why they’re here separately. That said, SHINEE is truly incredible in “Sherlock”, giving us one of the best choruses thus far this year (after BIG BANG’s “Bad Boy” and SISTAR’s “Alone”) and a truly incredible vocal performance from all members involved.
The rest of the album doesn’t fall too far from “Sherlock” quality wise but they don’t come across as memorable as this track. “Alarm Clock” is a good balance to “Sherlock”s wonderful composition with everyone sound. “The Return” is a little middling compared to their past ballads but it’s still good nonetheless. The last song on the album, “Honestly,” is a beautiful acoustic track that employs their voices so perfectly that it feels like a dream to listen to.
The fact that the album is so fantastic can be attributed to the qualities that each member possesses. Onew is the best member in this album and I can’t get enough of his unique tone. But all of them are really talented and the progress they’ve made since their last album is absolutely thrilling.
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5