SHINee become New Kids On The Block in “1 Of 1”, for better and worse

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SHINee spent a great deal of time teasing the late-80s/early-90s boy band concept in the buildup to their “1 Of 1” comeback, and boy did they deliver on what they were promising.

From the instrumental to the styling, everything about this is basically spot-on with the concept they’re imitating. But it’s not a throwback, really, it’s sort of like they literally tried to recreate the era, including things like comically dated ways to switch camera shots.

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Remaking all those qualities step-by-step ends up having both strengths and weaknesses for SHINee and “1 Of 1.”

“1 Of 1” is definitely an easy listen that you won’t need to skip past, and the whole experience is fun either for nostalgia reasons or because it’s all tongue-in-cheek entertaining. Additionally, their execution was a strength, as both the dancing (even down to four members) and the the vocals were bright spots.

Look, there’s just no way I can hate on anybody wearing these suits in a serious mainstream music release in 2016.

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What I didn’t like is that it wasn’t a retro concept that re-imagined anything. “Married To The Music” was retro with all the synths and stuff like that, but it also mixed that feeling with modern sounds and an earworm hook to craft a hit. Conversely, “1 Of 1” lacked almost all of that nuance, and rather than being retro it was just straight up probably something that New Kids On The Block released 25 years ago. Like I’m pretty sure NKOTB released this in the early-90s and SHINee are just hoping everybody has forgot by now, right?

So while the aesthetics and all that are perfect, the song itself unfortunately feels quite dated. Though perhaps the worst part is that the hook sounds … generic? That’s not something I want to say about a SHINee track, but while it was a nice listen, I feel like I’ve heard it before because I seriously probably did.

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Perhaps it’s unfair to expect more out of SHINee, because the song wasn’t shit or anything, it was just alright. However, given what they’ve achieved with their music lately, I just expected better and definitely think they could’ve owned this with the right adjustments.

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‘1 Of 1’

“1 Of 1”

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