I’ve come to realize that this blog is suffering from severe SHINee overload, which seems to be rather paradoxical to the fact that I’ve been [making an attempt to be] paying attention to various other K-pop acts as of late. However, when both K-pop and one’s personal schedule/workload are simultaneously in very bad places, then it is natural to focus one’s attention on a single point of interest.
Translation: Guiz, it’s SHINee up the wazoo until midterms are over and K-pop stops sucking.
Of course, it’s not to say that SHINee has no place whatsoever in the latter clause, because a song with a Sesame Street-esque MV, uninspiring hook, and tacky filmography should not, by any means, be considered a work of musical or artistic genius.
But hey, it’s cute. Almost everything about it is cute. That’s the great thing about being a SHINee fangirl: on the rare occasion when their music is sucky or their performances are lacking, you can always fall back on the adorableness factor.
The thing about SHINee is this: there is no way they’ll ever escape from the “adorable” label. Their debut piece was entitled “Noona You’re So Pretty”. Taemin will probably stay babyfaced until he’s, like, 33. And they’re called SHINee, for heaven’s sake. Whether they like it or not, these guys’ll be doing the “cute” thing until they’re headed to the army, no doubt.
So if “Hello” is how SHINee does “cute” for their sophomore album, then I’d say that they’re at a good place in the almighty Kpop-Time Continuum. Granted, the blatant abuse of leopard print and Key’s red footie pajamas may not be in the same good place as the rest of the concept, but I’ll let that slide. The live performances are energetic, charismatic, and full of charm. And boy, do those smiles make a difference on stage:
And despite the near-tragedy that is the copious overuse of leopard print, I’m kinda in love with the stylists for putting my boys back in jackets and blazers. ‘Cause you know I’m a sucker for a boy in a blazer.
Now, as for the MV:
So it’s “No Other,” basically, with more bizarre camera shots and less Eunhyuk-shirtlessness.
I was gonna write this huge thing about SM and their methods of consumer targeting and delusional fangirls and all that, but at this point I don’t believe it’s worth the effort. Both the “Hello” and “No Other” MVs speak for themselves. SM only has two active boy groups right now, and to use nearly identical concepts for both groups is, well…kind of pathetic.
Granted, the difference between SHINee and Suju’s base concepts isn’t as distinct as that of, say, SNSD and f(x). Which then begs the question of whether or not entertainment groups even bother putting any effort in designing the concepts of boy groups, because, generally speaking, the fangirls will eat up whatever’s put in front of them. On the other hand, the consumer demographics of girl groups seem to be a bit more diversified and, to some extent, a bit more picky. Therefore, concept designers must invest more thought and effort in the presentation of these girl groups. It might even be fair to say that SNSD fanboys will be less likely to freely spend their parents’ hard-earned won on three versions of the same SNSD album, whereas SHINee fangirls will impulsively hit the preorder button at anything that says SHINee across the cover. Why? Well, what better way to express their love towards their precious oppas than to buy their stuff by the dozen?
Hot dang. Isn’t that embarrassing, ladies – being one-upped by the supposedly “stupid guys.”
So in the end, the girl groups will have original, well-designed concepts with every new comeback, and they will be awesome and interesting and appealing to a diverse audience. The boy groups, on the other hand, will be stuck with the “you’re-so-pretty-let-me-make-googly-eyes-at-your-prettifulness”-slash-“I’mma-take-off-my-shirt-because-I-know-that-gets-you-all-hot-and-bothered” concepts, and they will hit an out-of-the-park homerun every time… with hormonal fangirls between the age of 12 and 17. And from SM’s perspective, the fiscal profit gained from girlgroups versus boygroups will be fairly similar, but the artistic merit of a girl group concept will be greater than that of its boy group counterpart.
Or maybe I’m just being whiny because I can’t bring myself to fall for the childish, fantastical ideal that’s presented in the “Hello” MV – that is, the ideal that’s supposed to be making me spend my money. Hence, disappointment. Either way, it just kinda sucks that the majority of fangirls fall for this cookie-cutter, pseudo-sexy-romantic fluff over and over again, which means that all we’ll ever get from boy groups is the same cookie-cutter, pseudo-sexy-romantic fluff. Over and over again.
Ah well. It sucks, but as long as we’re stuck in K-pop Land, it’s an unfortunate reality. But hey, at least concepts aren’t everything. SHINee still rocks the stage live, and as far as SHINee’s concerned, that’s all I really care about.