SHINee 2nd Album ‘Lucifer’ Review

SHINee’s long awaited second album is…surprising. When I first saw the concept photos, I felt a little scared for my favorite dongsengs of k-pop. The concept photos just seemed too wild. Out of the five concept photos, I only liked Taemin’s photo. After finding out that the title of the album is Lucifer, I got more worried. Lucifer is known as the ‘morning star’ angel who became the Devil. What is SM Entertainment doing? What is happening to my SHINee boys?

The album is actually fresh and unique. At first listen, fans of the old SHINee sound may feel alienated. Where is the sweet pop sound of Love’s Way, Please, Don’t Go, Romantic and Replay? Well, the sweet melodies are still there specially in their ballads. I loved Life, Quasimodo, and Your Name. I noticed that the blending of Onew and Jonghyun’s voices matured a lot. There are also more singing parts for Taemin and rapping parts for Minho and Key.

The main style of the album is obviously electronica. A lot of the songs incorporate the use of the vocoder (ala T-Pain). I also noticed that the melodies were quite repetitive bordering on monotonous. It is not all bad to be “monotonous”. It actually makes for good LSS (Last Song Syndrome). There were some standout fast songs including A-Yo (A remake of this English song), Electric Heart, and of course, the title track Lucifer.  The Lucifer music video worked to increase my interest in the song. I found an English translation of Lucifer and realized that the song is actually about being controlled by a girl. I feel that there was really no need to use the word Lucifer in the song just like how the words “elastic and fantastic” had no place in their previous hit Ring Ding Dong. Lucifer did include lyrics such as “lovaholic, robotronic”. I guess the seemingly inappropriate words are a constant. Still, for concept purposes, Lucifer does give a nice double meaning. SHINee may be associated with “morning star” or “light-bearer”since both depict shining while Lucifer’s transformation may depict the band’s dark side which they are trying to project. Once the english translations of all the SHINee songs came out, I just went crazy. I really really like the lyrics specially for A-Yo, Up and Down, Obsession, Your Name, Wowowow and Love Pain.

There were songs that were too annoying for me so I find myself skipping them. These include Ready or Not and Shoutout. Obsession had a great refrain but the verses were simply too boring for me. I liked the lyrics, though. Overall, SHINee’s 2nd album is an interesting risk and I think it worked. Do not expect the same sound from their first album and mini albums. Lucifer is definitely a surprise . Believe me, after the initial shock…the music actually grows on you.

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