Shinee – Lucifer (album review)

Still being considered the juniors from the SM Entertainment family, I think Shinee should be getting a lot more attention than Super Junior. They sing better, they are a lot more homogeneous as a group and, as an all they seem to inspire more professionalism. It is hard for me to take SJ seriously as a band, I get lost among so many faces, many of them completely useless to the economy of the group and the songs juggle from being very good to being awfully bad.
The 5 members of Shinee are the happiest version of a boyband: 2 strong vocalists, another vocalist with both vocal and rapping skills, a flexible dancer and one model, I mean rapper. As far as itgoes, Lucifer, aside for its obvious flaws and weaknesses, it is one of the best albums in kpop ( I may be a bit subjective … on a decent measure).
I’m not a fan of intros. Sometimes there are bits from what could have been a great track, but most of the times are a mix of samplings from the entire album filled with way too many ridiculous adlibs. I totally prefer a promising start like Up&Down. I can easily foresee the loops that will take me up and down the road of a good listen during this album. It is the perfect appetizer.
Lucifer is saved by the amplitude of the live performance. The boys had already had a rough start with Minhoon the bench for most of the time, trying to perform the best he could, but visually they managed to do wellon a 4 men formula and to keep up with the crazy rhythm of the song. It isn’t a bad song, but I find it hard to find the melody inthis song. I especially hate the part where   Jonghyunhas a never-ending verse. It’s just …eeeeww.
If on Year Of Us, Y.O.U. was the song that was a healing patch for my broken heart, on Lucifer that role belongs to A-Yo. Forget the original version, forget Shinee, it is a good song that was saved from being mediocre.( The classic Cinderella story ). What I don’t really understand is why put Obsession right after A-Yo. The two similar tracks should be separated by at least 3 other songs. Maybe one of them belongs to the end of the album in order to create a grand  finale. Also I like the dramatic tone of the song, maybe because I am a Drama Queen ? And hallelujah for the guitar solo, such a breath of fresh air for k-pop.

Going next, Quasimodo is a nice ballad. Electric  Heart, on the other hand, is one of my favourite upbeat songs from Lucifer, especially because of the “My love is active, baby” verse. It’s funky, it’s fun and it fits their voices. The rap could have been better polished by a more deep voice. Poor Minho, it’s getting harder and harder for him to keep up with the other guys. Especially in the case of Shout Out, such a lame excuse for a skill show off.

Wowowow is another one of my favourites, the same funky sound they should embrace and start having children with because it fits them like a glove. The autotune it’s a nice touch, totally opposite to the nightmarish one in Shout Out. It also has the best rapping on the whole album.

 I could be superficial and underestimate SM’s ballads by saying that they all sound the same. On a smaller scale I could say that Your Name resembles a lot some of DBSK’s songs. Life is simply put : forgettable.

Prrrraaaaaaaargghhhh, and so the party started. Oh no, the party started a long time ago. Awkward number 11 for such party song. Still I like Onew’s parts and the Girrrrrrrlll shoutings. This was Ready Or Not.

Love Pain isn’t forgettable but rather painful for me to listen to it. Don’t know why but the feeling is visceral. Yes, that deep!
In the end, Love Still Goes On brings nothing but an ok chorus. Such a failed attempt to close a lovely chapter. I especially hate the instrumental part of it. It sounds rather cheap.

For an album to be great it is not necessary for all the tracks to be great. It doesn’t need a story or hidden meanings. Not even the impression of a main musical style or genre. A good album contains diversity, surprising elements and creates a soothing atmosphere. Lucifer is that kind of album. It makes me listen to it as a full and it even manages to make me forget about it’s not so strong parts. I’m looking forward for their next project and I anticipate it will have an even more refined but still fresh sound.

Patience, for now they seem to be testing the the Japanese waters.
Final rating : 9/10








P.S. The diversity of these gestures is simply killing me!