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Album Review: SHINee’s Jonghyun Stands Apart From His Contemporaries On ‘Base’ [AUDIO]

By Adrienne Stanley | January 12, 2015 03:43 PM EST

(Photo :SM Entertainment)

On January 12, SM Entertainment released the first solo mini album from SHINee’s Jonghyun, Base. The album follows the successful August 2014 release Ace from Taemin of SHINee which is the recipient of the popularity vote in the Album Division for the 29th Golden Disk Awards.

Base incorporates R&B, hip-hop, and dance for a musically cohesive release. The mini album features six songs with two bonus tracks, “Beautiful Tonight” and “Fortune Cookie.”

Jonghyun is credited as a lyricist for all of the tracks and for production on “Déjà Boo,” “Love Belt,” “NEON,” “Beautiful Tonight,” and “Fortune Cookie.”

The hip-hop infused track “Déjà Boo” was released on January 7, prior to the album and “Crazy (Guilty Pleasure).” The funky R&B song was a hit upon its release, achieving an all-kill on the Korean real-time charts. “Déjà Boo” incorporates the retro musicality that can be heard in the work of British producer Mark Ronson with Jonghyun’s sensual vocals that are punctuated by Zion. T’s impeccable flow.

“Crazy (Guilty Pleasure)” is a hip-hop infused pop track which features rhymes from rapper Iron. “Crazy (Guilty Pleasure)” offers a balance to “Déjà Boo” while serving as another strong track on the album.

“Hallelujah” is one of the most compelling tracks on the album. The song features lyrics from Jonghyun and Korean R&B vocalist Wheesung (Choi Hwee Sung). “Hallelujah” provides Jonghyun with the opportunity to fully extend his vocal range, providing the uninitiated with an opportunity to hear him at his best.

The album then transitions to “Love Belt.” “Love Belt” features cloying female vocals from Younha. Her voice mixes with Jonghyun’s to establish a captivating harmony.

As a mid-tempo dance track, “NEON” brings the album back from the territory of ballads. “NEON” is another song which highlights Jonghyun’s vocal abilities. The track also incorporates interesting breakbeats which enable a respite from the monotony which often occurs on vocal albums.

Base begins to draw to a close with “MONO-Drama,” a R&B track that was produced by the The Underdogs, the collective responsible for EXO’s “Overdose.” “MONO-Drama” reflects the nineties soul style that has become synonymous with SM Entertainment’s male artists. “MONO-Drama” is a track which will be enjoyed by fans of SHINee and EXO.

“Beautiful Tonight” and “Fortune Cookie” serve as bonus tracks on the album. “Beautiful Tonight” is jazzy, soulful, and sensual. The track helps to establish a romantic atmosphere while encompassing the music style of the overall album. The incorporation of whistling helps to add an element of innocence to the song while maintaining its jazz sound.

Jonghyun has served as one of the main vocalists in SHINee and his talents are highlighted on the album. Base is an album which exemplifies Jonghyun’s potential as a solo artist while leaving room for future accomplishments.

Listen to the first solo album from Jonghyun ‘Base’ HERE.

Tagged :  Jonghyun, SHINee, SM Entertainment, base, zion.t, iron, Younha

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