[Review] SHINee’s “Atlantis” is right in their wheelhouse, but results more good than great

After reflecting on it a bit, it’s safe to say that SHINee is my all-time favorite K-pop boy group in terms of musical output. Throughout the years they’ve continually churned out amazing songs spanning a multitude of genres and now generations.

In a lot of ways, “Atlantis” is right up their alley as lively electronic funk pop that SHINee have made their own over the years. Despite this, it ends up feeling more good than great.

“Atlantis” has understandably earned praises around the K-pop sphere, with The Bias List giving it a damn near perfect score, and others declaring it a potential song of the year.

I get it. From the foundational groove to the orchestral accents, the intense vocals showcasing their quality, and even the way the chorus gives the listener a feeling of being in an underwater setting by providing a feeling of descent, there’s a lot of like with “Atlantis”.

Yet I came away feeling a bit ambivalent about the whole thing. When I’ve listened to other SHINee standouts like “Juliette“, “View“, or “Married To The Music” (just to name a few), the addiction was instantaneous and only reinforced on repeated listens. With “Atlantis” it was quite different in that it took concerted effort to get into it, and sections became increasingly busy and grating on repeated listens, with the chorus in particular aging in a hurry. It’s an odd thing where the climax to the song is there, but the climax of the chorus felt MIA, ending abruptly and somewhat unsatisfying.

All in all, this review likely reads as harsher to “Atlantis” than I intend since I ask the reader to juxtapose it with the reaction elsewhere, but I understand how the song can garner praise. However, it just doesn’t all click for me like it does for others, and it ends up more in the cool, ambitious attempt category rather than a year-end list lock.

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IATFB
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