Comeback: SHINee’s “Dream Girl”

The new thing in K-Pop is clearly to develop schizophrenia and then immediately begin to compose music and direct music videos. (The choreography is free from criticism, for the most part.) SHINee, as a flagship group of SM Entertainment, has seemingly caught the bug with their release “Dream Girl”, but at least the title of the song gives them some sort of excuse.

What I’m trying to say is, SHINEE’S BACK!

SHINee Dream Girl

…Aaaaand they look insane.

I actually thought my computer was broken at this point.

I actually thought my computer was broken at this point.

I understand the visual choices – it’s a sort of computerized version of a “dream world” (get it? GET IT?) complete with bizarre visual transitions. Think the INCEPTION of k-pop. Sadly, however, when I was watching this for the first time I actually looked at my screen for about 30 seconds wondering if it was about to explode, and then when I figured it was fine I wondered whether or not this was a visual manifestation of my migraine. The motif of falling into bed or falling onto the ground in the dream world was also way over-used, but honestly, I’ve watched this video like a million times so it’s probably why I’ve noticed it so much. We’re also treated to this awesome moment:

TWO ONEWS ONE SCREEN

TWO ONEWS ONE SCREEN

“Dream Girl” reminds me a lot of old SHINee songs while simultaneously reminding me of the 1980’s, an era that I wasn’t even alive for (am I perhaps revealing too much about myself?). This whole song is very SHINee, down to the “SHINEE’S BACK” molester whisper at the beginning of the song. I can’t say that “Dream Girl” lives up to its predecessors, while it does live in their shadow. The falsetto littered throughout doesn’t ever fit the upbeat pace of the song, and instead comes off as shrill. Super shrill. Shrill as all get-out.

Not feeling the falsetto as much as you are, Jonghyun.

Not feeling the falsetto as much as you are, Jonghyun.

Furthermore, the techno lead-in makes my ears bleed. However, it’s hard to say whether or not I would have liked this song had I known nothing about the SHINee catalog; maybe songs like “Lucifer” and “Sherlock” have taught me to expect more from them. If anything, “Dream Girl” comes off as a cheap attempt at trying to catch lighting in a bottle… again. (Meaning… the 4th or 5th time for this group. COME ON GUYS IS IT THAT HARD TO MAKE A SMASH HIT? Tell me, because it may give me hope outside of this bleak life that I lead.) I will say, however, that after the 20th time watching the music video in order to review it, the song has grown on me.

And the thing that I was the very most excited about ended up being a complete disappointment. No, I’m not talking about the prospect of Taemin’s pants ripping again. What I’m referencing is the fact that SHINee has always brought the energy to their complex choreographed routines, and for that reason they’re always fun to watch. Well, not this time. This time, we were instead treated to the sight of the boys playing around with pointless microphone stands as a form of “choreography” when they weren’t too busy chilling in their dreamworlds. 

That's enough.

They’re really just walking around now.

This is legitimately disappointing. It really confuses me, too, because it’s not like the song isn’t danceable. It’s got a good pace and has a strong beat to it. Why, then, the mic stands? I disapprove intensely of this stylistic choice, and can only hope that their next music video has more choreography. Hear me, SM? I strongly disapprove, so you better get back to work.

“Dream Girl” ends up being something like a SHINee Lite. If they pumped up the energy, and pumped down that falsetto, it would be classic fantastic elastic make me wanna go rockarockarockarocka. Instead, I just want to yawn and ask, “What else ya got?”

SONG: B

VIDEO: B

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