[#14] Taemin (SHINee) - "Wicked"

From: "ACE"
Released: August
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Entries: first appearance
Other notable song(s) from 2014: "Danger", "Pretty Boy"

SM has been paying more and more attention to Taemin these past few years, so it's not really a big surprise that he got a solo release this year. When "Ace" was released a few months back I wasn't exactly singing praises for it, but it wasn't disastrous either -- I thought it was a solid release with a clear direction and proficient material. But the more I listened to it, the more it grew on me. While I don't think this will become "Genie"-level growing-on-me, "Ace" is a pretty impressive release to me now.

"Wicked" in particular, personally, is the track that drives the point home -- ridiculously stylish but unpretentiously fun about it all, well-composed and well-executed. The instrumentation is snappy -- the brass line just zooms from one point to the next, the electric guitar is gutsy with a hint of mischief, the small details like the knocks or the synths give it some quirk. I said something similar when I reviewed "Ace" back in August:

...on "Wicked" you're focused the most on style. It's a fun song, it's light-hearted in all the right places and has an effortless sense of dynamics -- everything's running around hence the playfulness, but it's also technically proficient and it knows how to keep that playfulness from turning into chaos. The transitions are tight, there's a sense of grace to the melody that's emphasized by smooth vocals and also countered by a snappy, strong instrumental arrangement.

But the focal point of "Wicked" really is the melody -- everything happens in the vocal section, and that's where most of the quirk comes from. The placement of the harmonies, the nature of their use -- the "doo wop"s at the verses, the "ooh"s at the bridge that give it a floaty sound, the chaos of them in the background at the chorus and their prominence as part of the hook -- "Wicked" is a song that's pretty much driven by the vocal performance.

"Wicked" is the perfect track for Taemin not only because it focuses more on style (while still keeping the substance), but also because that style comes from Taemin's performance itself. That and it's just genuinely fun to listen to.


  1. That intro is magical. I rarely listen to male group (or solo), but this is amazing.


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