[Review] SHINee’s Key & Crush team up on a trendy & safe effort on “One Of Those Nights”

Now that Key has unleashed his first full-length album upon the world, the SHINee pentagram of solo releases is nearly complete. Leader Onew’s material is set for release next month, so that just leaves rapper/vocalist Minho. He’s got to come out with solo work sometime, right?

Though Key offered a previous single earlier this month in the form of the retro Forever Young, “One Of Those Nights” acts as his album’s big title track. And like with “Forever Young”, he’s enlisted big-name talent to back him up. The song is a duet with r&b vocalist Crush, who croons the chorus. Honestly, I would’ve preferred a solo debut that was actually solo, as Key is more than capable of carrying an entire track himself. Regardless, the surprisingly subdued nature of “One Of Those Nights” makes me wonder if it was chosen as the single purely for its trendy Crush name recognition.

It was probably unfair to expect some big, bombastically theatrical title track from Key … but I still kind of did. After all, his stage persona seems to support something a little more against the grain than “One Of Those Nights”‘s trendy sound. Its mix of acoustic guitar loops and omnipresent house beats feels more reactive than I would have expected from Key. There’s nothing particularly bad about the song, but it’s definitely a trend follower.

“One Of Those Nights” is also a slow-burn. Its first two-thirds possess a sprightly energy, but it never really takes off until the bridge. Here, the song builds interest, culminating in a final chorus that uses vocal layering to create the same kind of intensity that characterized much of SHINee’s work this year. Ultimately, it comes too late to transform “One Of Those Nights” into a total standout. But, it’s enough of a jolt to make this a worthwhile debut.

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