On September 7th, TAEMIN released his 3rd album – Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1. This record has nine songs, including the title track “Criminal”
Lee Tae-min, known by the stage name, Taemin, is a South Korean singer-songwriter born on July 18th, 1993. He is a member of the boy group – SHINee, which debuted in 2008 and is managed by SM Entertainment. He is also a member of SM’s joint project group – SuperM. Taemin made his solo debut in 2014 with the single – “Danger” and became one of Korea’s best-selling artists with his following solo releases.
(Please note – this is a real-time review, meaning I am typing down my exact thoughts while listening to each song.)
Reaction to Official MV/Title Track:
- The visuals!!! Already I am interested to hear this song.
- Of course, the choreography is on point. It looks like a theatre performance.
- Taemin’s soft voice and this beat are doing something incredible for my ears. The rhythm is quite catchy.
- The chorus is perfect. It makes me want to bring out my few Michael Jackson moves.
- Taemin and the dancers are slick but also sharp with every movement.
- Wow, this is perfection. I am genuinely enjoying myself here.
- I need to go back and take in the chorus drop one more time.
- The visuals for the MV make it seem like an apocalypse just occurred, and Taemin appears to be the one who orchestrated everything.
- The chorus is too beautiful. I don’t have more words to describe how unique Taemin’s voice sounds in that section. I’m in awe.
- The instrumental progression is also on point. Every beat fits perfectly.
- The inclusion of news reports was a great way to intensify the bridge.
- Excellent use of silence. I almost thought the song had finished but nope, one more chorus drops.
- I LOVE THIS SONG.
- I was expecting a solid track because come on, it’s Taemin, but this has completely blown me away.
- I am overly impressed with “Criminal”, and it’s going on my playlist right away.
Here is the album preview –
- Criminal – This is a certified BOP and no one can change my mind. I’m just going to play it a few times before moving on to the next track.
- Black Rose – I love the beat, and the rapper’s flow is good. Taemin’s voice on this track is enchanting. I don’t know who Kid Milli is, but I will check him out after this review because he brought the right sauce to this song. “Black Rose” is beautiful. The high notes and background vocals are top-notch. I love this song.
- Strangers – The three songs so far seem to have a similar siren-like vocal, and I am enjoying it. The intro for this one is very soothing and beautiful. “Strangers” is another song with a fantastic instrumental. I love that the intro siren notes stayed throughout the track as backing vocals. Nice song.
- Waiting For – The melody for this song is catchy right off the bat. The dense keyboard notes and heavy bass drums are such a perfect combination. “Waiting For” is another favourite for me. I love the rhythm, and the way the chorus drops is pure 🔥. I don’t even need to talk about vocals because Taemin kills that department regardless. This track is a BOP and a half. I had to replay it before moving on.
- Famous – Korean Version – The composers for this track are geniuses. Didrik Thott and Daniel Kim, you both served because the beat for “Famous” is incredible. I am listening to this song with headphones, and the way every sound bounces on my ear is pure bliss. I might have heard the initial Japanese version, but I probably wasn’t paying enough attention then. Anyways I love it mainly because of the instrumental.
- Clockwork – This seems a bit slower compared to the rest, and the instrumental is intriguing. I hear a periodic synthetized section, and there are continuous clock ticks that make this song unique. Taemin sounds lovely on this one. This album stays giving me hit to hit, I am impressed. The vocal layering on “Clockwork” sounds quite eerie but enchanting at the same time. I love the production on this song.
- Just Me And You – Now, we’re back to an upbeat track, and I love the melody. It’s so beautiful💓. I have been quite repetitive about this album’s remarkable instrumentals, but the composers are just that good. This song is getting me in my feels. I think “Just Me And You” is another favourite for me. I might as well favourite the entire album at this point because I am enjoying myself.
- Nemo – The entry on this is quite haunting. Also, is the title a reference to the fish in Finding Nemo?😂 Anyways, “Nemo” is more on the sultry and groovy side. Songs with this type of vibes are right up my alley. Taemin’s voice on this one is like butter. It’s just melting into my ears, and listening to this with headphones makes things even better. The vocal runs on this track is taking me to heaven.
- 2 KIDS – I already reviewed this song 👉🏼 Catching Up With Recent Comebacks: TAEMIN|(G)I-DLE, so I don’t need to say much here. “2 KIDS” is an excellent close to the album –
Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1 served hit to hit. Although I have my picks, no song was a letdown. I could play the entire album on repeat and never get bored. In my opinion, this record is on an A+ level. From the vocal quality to music composition and production, everything was well fitted. My favourites on this album in no chronological order are – “Criminal” – “Black Rose” – “Waiting For” – “Clockwork” – “Just Me And You” – “Nemo” and “2 KIDS” – Seven out of the nine songs. Is there more to say?
TAEMIN’s 3rd album – Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1 gets a solid 10/10 from me. I am impressed.