Single Review: SHINee – “1000年、ずっとそばにいて・・・”

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This is SHINee’s second original Japanese single. It was released on December 12, 2012.

I always love it when single covers tie in with the music video and this is no exception. The styling is nice, and even though the boys look somewhat dazed, it’s a nice cover.

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After the giant ball of effervescent pop cheese that was Dazzling Girl, I was wondering what else SHINee had up their sleeves. Turns out, 1000年、ずっとそばにいて・・・(Sennen, zutto soba ni ite…; 1000 Years, Always by Your Side) is the perfect counterpoint to that, a sprawling ballad that showcases the breadth of SHINee’s vocal talents. The instrumentation of the song is distinctly pop, with a light electronic beat and cascading synths, but certain elements, like the bells, give the song its wintry feel. From a vocal standpoint, this song isn’t really anything special until you get to the chorus, where just about every member employs a soaring falsetto, contributing to the emotion of the melody. Minho has a nice little rap verse, and though his accent isn’t perfect, it is muted enough not to encroach on the song’s mood. I also love the end chorus, where everything builds into a perfect climax, and the “My heart is yours” part is just so lovely. I truly love this side of SHINee and wish they would explore it more, even in Korea.

君がいる世界 (Kimi ga iru sekai; The World that has You) is a continuation of the sentimentality we heard in 1000 Years, and it’s pretty nice. Starting with a beat and a simple piano line, this has a bit of a more intimate feel, at least until the chorus comes in. Though this isn’t my favorite SHINee song, it has a lot going for it and it’s very melodic, which is something we don’t often hear in their Korean music, which tends to be more beat/groove-centric. A pretty decent B-side, all in all.

Summary: I regret not keeping up with SHINee’s Japanese endeavors up until now because it seems like they’ve been doing some pretty good things.In my opinion, Dazzling Girl was good, but it didn’t get me on the first listen like 1000年、ずっとそばにいて・・・, which is one of the more touching songs I’ve heard from SHINee in a while. The B-side is nice too, showing us that SHINee are trying to show us their sentimental side, at least in Japan. I’ve always been a fan of SHINee’s upbeat, invigorating brand of pop, and this is no exception. A great winter single.

Single Grade: A
Recommended Tracks:
1000年、ずっとそばにいて・・・
君がいる世界

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