2018 was such an emotional year for SHINee and SHAWOLS so to have 2019 start off with TAEMINs solo seems fitting. His last solo project made it hard for me to deal with so I’m excited to see what kinds of new sounds and new directions he goes in with this album.
TAEMIN released his second EP Want on 11 February 2019 with title track of the same name, a highly anticipated album from K-Pop fans worldwide. I did mention how much I loved “Move” so I was interested in what he was going to do this time around. Something I always find synonymous with TAEMIN is his unique sound as well as his gender-bending looks. I’ve always loved and appreciated the way he carries his brand and who he is as a person so confidently so I was excited to see any and everything I could for this comeback.
I did do a reaction to “Want” when it came out which I will leave below and wanted to expand a little on the way I felt about the song now I’ve heard it a few times. It’s a commonality that people liken TAEMIN to Michael Jackson and this MV is very evident of that. While there are the odd sound from this song that does seem familiar, the dance moves are how I see the link here and I’m loving it. He’s a wonderful vocal and dancer who is absolutely one of the best there is so I’m always anticipating what exactly he does next. Catch my reaction below:
Second track “Artistic Groove” relies heavily on the term groove as I can feel it already in the first verse. The pre-chorus has a little more of a haunting feeling before dropping back into that grooviness but with an emptiness that wasn’t there before. He uses a more repetitive hook in the chorus which is interesting and I wonder why he decided to do that – I’m unsure whether I like that repetition or not but the falsetto is winning me over for sure.
“Shadow” uses that haunting vibe from the previous track for this song and makes it a little more theatrical, almost like an opera or movie score purely due to the orchestra. After the first chorus I can hear a bass guitar in the mix which I love and it’s quickly becoming a standout track. I’m interested in who the woman singing is because she brings a nice energy to the song and has a light and delicate voice which matches with the rest of the song really well. This totally could’ve been the title track – it would’ve been cool to see how he tackled the ambiance of this song in visual form.
“Truth” is for sure a ballad and I love TAEMIN doing ballads – his Japanese ones are fantastic. I have goosebumps through this entire song with it’s slow-building sound which I’m all here for and I love how I can close my eyes and go along for the ride. I would’ve loved to seen an MV for a song like this and the softer side of TAEMIN.
Fifth track “Never Forever” is a lot more acoustic than I thought he could go, much less be on an actual album of his. I love the harmonies to the hooks throughout the song and it definitely gives me a warm feeling – almost like it’s a song of comfort. It’s a relaxing song I never thought I needed to hear and I love it!
“Monologue” makes me sad and I have no idea why. I wasn’t expecting this to be a normal length song with a title like monologue, so I was expecting it to be really short. It was not and now I’m sad. The vocals and music are beautiful, especially the harmonies and violins, and it’s giving me chills! This is the first song off the album that makes me want to check out the translation, that’s how sad it sounds! Wow, definitely one of my favourites!
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that I love the fact this album has an outro. “Want ~ Outro” sounds super epic and haunting with TAEMINs vocal runs on top of such theatrical music. It leaves the album on a creepy note which is weird but I’m interested to see what his next solo endeavour will be and whether it’s a continuation from this sound or something else.
This album is art. I don’t know if you noticed it or not but I didn’t really review it, just talked about the parts I liked. When you get artists like TAEMIN, its genuinely really hard to provide any kind of commentary on their art and I definitely prefer sitting back and watching where they take us and what they want us to feel.
All I feel at the end of this album is love for the whole thing. There are some standouts for me – “Shadow” and “Monologue” are fantastic – but this album as a whole is great! I do prefer “Move” as a title song but “Want” is also really good. Again, it’s hard to critique someone who is in his own league and doing what he does.
ALBUM RATING: 9/10
How did you like Taemin’s album? Were there any songs you liked or any that stood out to you? Let me know down below or leave me a message on Twitter.