TAEMIN - WANT

 
 

 

The day has finally come for me to review a TAEMIN track. I was rather disappointed that this day didn’t come last year, as all he released for 2018 was a Japanese album and I don’t review those, but I guess better late than never, right? If you’re somehow not familiar, TAEMIN is a solo artist under SM Entertainment and also one of the members of the boy group SHINee. Oh, and he’s one of the best dancers in the industry and you won’t convince me otherwise. He’s my bias in SHINee and one of my all time favorite solo artists, so I had high expectations going into this comeback, especially since it’s been a year and a half since we last saw him.

The Song

Sonically this is much closer to “MOVE” than his more recent works of last year, following with the sexier, brooding atmosphere and darker tones overall. The chorus doesn’t particularly stand out as the instrumentals don’t heavily change during it and the vocals keep that hushed delivery, which, while leading to smoother transitions and more cohesion throughout the track, also gives the song a very underhanded delivery. I think that this worked out a little better when it came to “MOVE” because there were nice backing vocals that gave the song more texture and energy, but I don’t think it damages this song too much to not have a hard-hitting chorus.

I do wish there was just a little more variation throughout the track on the whole, but again, I don’t think that in itself hurts the song all that much. The production was still slick and the vocals were still sensual and gorgeous, really pumping the song full of that wonderfully mysterious vibe effortlessly. As I said earlier, everything flows in a seamless manner and I seriously appreciate that because a lot of the K-pop we’re getting these days have massive shifts of genre and sound constantly, so to have a bit of a return to form felt like a breath of fresh air.

Overall I actually enjoyed the song and thought it fit in well with TAEMIN’s already established discography. There are a few minor issues that pile up and take away at least some enjoyment of this song, but I still think it’s solid.

The Video

Well damn. It seems like TAEMIN isn’t even going to try to skirt around the fact that he’s often viewed by fans as literal perfection. The video literally starts off with him lowering his arms down from a raised position and a quick flash of an image - the Vitruvian Man. For those somehow unfamiliar, the Vitruvian Man is a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, and it’s supposed to represent a man with the ideal body proportions. So for that to be thrown into this video right off the bat? Wew, lad.

Things don’t stop there, of course, with TAEMIN flirting with a snakes coiling around his body and magnifying glasses inspecting every part of his face. Upon my first watch without lyrical translation, I thought that this was actually a jab at anti’s hating and trying to rip on him for even the smallest of faults. However, with the lyrics in mind, it turns into a completely different story. Now I fall more on the snakes being symbols of sex and temptation. There are several cultures that saw snakes as phallic symbols and therefore alluded to them having connections with sexuality, and obviously in biblical terms the snake was the ultimate form of temptation. What’s more interesting to me is that TAEMIN isn’t the one going to the snakes. They all come to him, as if he’s an even greater temptation than they are. Seriously, I feel like the confidence levels in the symbolism for this video were off the charts.

There were other parts, like where he’s singing about seeing a new world while an image of himself in the background has his hands covering his eyes, or the eclipse, but there’s way too many small things like that to really dig into. Let’s just say that I really dug the heavy symbolism and move onto talking about that dance. I don’t know that it’s possible to talk about a TAEMIN comeback without inspecting the new hot moves that he’s sporting, and I’m so happy to say that this dance does not disappoint. There’s a certain elegance that TAEMIN’s showed throughout all of his solos and it is still present here. There’s a bit of a callback to “MOVE” with the smaller movements during the chorus, but there’s also much more theatrical bits that showcase just how great of a dancer he is. I don’t know what more I could have asked for, honestly.

The color palette in this video has a pretty wide breadth, going from warm to cool and having bits of black and white splashed in for extra effect. And obviously TAEMIN looks amazing throughout all of it. Whoever the director for this video was did a great job incorporating new ideas with older, as well as balancing out the visual imagery, gorgeous shots of TAEMIN, and the dance. It’s overall just a really well-done and thought out video that matches with his previous works much like the song.

Conclusion

TAEMIN’s “WANT” blends in beautifully with his previous works, adding another solid track to his seemingly impervious record. While I don’t think it has the same kind of impact that “MOVE” had, I still think it was an enjoyable comeback nonetheless. The song coupled with a fantastic music video to feast your eyes on is certainly worth checking out if you haven’t already. If you liked “MOVE” or if you’re just a fan of songs that are dark and sexy, I think that “WANT” is a solid pick to add into your playlist.