Quick Reviews: SHINee deliver their take on a type of 4th gen boy group song with “HARD”

SHINee are back with the title track “HARD“, and it represents an interesting tack for the direction of their music to take, because it’s trendy in the sense that it has a similar feel to one side of fourth generation boy groups releases. It’s still SHINee, of course, so they thankfully incorporated more melodic elements into it, and the production was more on the smooth old school hip-hop side — it even has a similar G-funk sound that Stray Kids used on “S-Class” — compared to the pots and pans of others, but it eschewed their usual melodic excellence for something that basically could only work as a performance. If you’re a fan of that trend in K-pop, then there’s no reason a rich man’s version of that from SHINee shouldn’t appeal to you.

As many have figured by now, those tracks rarely hit the right note for me. I don’t find much appeal “hard like a criminal, hard like the beat” repeated in spoken words, especially knowing it’s SHINee and what they’re capable of. The sung section that comes before that serves a sample of what they normally provide, but it ends after one line, and ironically “HARD” rarely goes and does what its lyrics boast of.


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