[#3] SHINee - "Dangerous (Medusa II)"

From: "The 3rd Album Chapter 2. 'Why So Serious? -The Misconceptions Of Me'"
Released: April
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Entries: 2009: "Ring Ding Dong" / 2010: [#2] "Lucifer" / 2012: [#16] "Alarm Clock"
Other notable song(s) from 2013: "Like A Fire", "Everybody", "Colorful", "Symptoms", "Punch Drunk Love", "Runway"

As far as their Korean releases went, SHINee had a pretty good year -- "Dream Girl" was a disappointment as a whole, but "Why So Serious?" had some great album tracks, and "Everybody" had its moments. Which is why choosing from all the material they had out this year was pretty tricky, even more so if you include their Japanese material. But I think I made the right choice.

"Dangerous" was one of my early favorites on "Why So Serious?", and it's one of the two songs from the EP that I still constantly listen to (the other one being "Like A Fire", which was actually my #3 song for quite a while) up to now. In my joint review with my friend Ree earlier this year, we were both all over it:

Nikki: Some album tracks are definitely not single material, but "Dangerous" is.
Ree: I don't think it'll be the same high-energy party on stage like ”Why So Serious?” is. But it's undoubtedly a better song, and there's still interesting things they could have done with it visually.
Nikki: Honestly, I think the contrast between the quiet and the more elaborate parts would work well on stage. But that's me, K-Pop A&R people have different mindsets.
Ree: I really like Jonghyun in "Dangerous". I actually really want him back, he makes up a lot of SHINee's stage presence. Jonghyun can sing really smoothly when he wants to, but SM makes him whine and do a bunch of ugly things with his voice.

It sounds like a very trendy song -- apart from the obvious bells and whistles like the effects at the intro and some transitions, the melody, at the chorus especially, oozes with style. The "oh!"'s, and the "dangerouuuuuuus"'s give the melody a playful, mischievous side. The synth line and thumping bass add to the "club" motif as well. But what gives "Dangerous" the substance is the fact that all these trendy elements are delivered with a sense of musicality. The dynamics on the song are spot-on -- the verses are urgent, with a disjointed but smooth melody and an arrangement that guides the flow of the melody, and the choruses build on the smoothness of the verses and are even smoother, slick almost. The effects between transitions are abrupt and fast enough to be effective shock factors, so they aid the song's momentum instead of disrupting it.

"Dangerous" strikes the perfect balance between style and substance. A lot of other acts, when they try to strike a balance between the two, end up sacrificing style for substance. But the purpose of a balance is to show that both are just as important as each other -- style is hollow without substance, but substance is boring without style. And "Dangerous" has equally prominent parts of both.
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