In a blend of sentimentality and dance pop fusion, Jonghyun’s posthumously released second studio album, ‘Poet | Artist’, serves as both a farewell, and a reminiscent walk down memory lane for fans. ‘Poet | Artist‘ was recorded before the singer passed, and it serves as a fitting testament to his career and unique talent and ability.
The album includes a total of 11 songs: ‘Shinin’, ‘Only One You Need’, ‘#Hashtag’, ‘Grease’, ‘Take the Dive’, ‘Sightseeing’, ‘Rewind’, ‘Just For A Day’, ‘I’m So Curious’, ‘Sentimental’, and ‘Before Our Spring’. It covers a range of genres as diverse as the back catalogue of the artist himself; he showcases pop, R&B, future bass, trap, and soul to name just a few.
Jonghyun’s ‘Shinin’ MV
‘Shinin‘, which was always planned to be the title track of the album, is a perfect example of smooth trap-meets-tropical groove; it combines Jonghyun‘s undoubted artistry with the deep house of SHINee‘s ‘View‘, the smoothness of ‘Deja Boo‘, and the pep of ‘She Is‘. It’s a bright glittery track that lets his unique crooning style shine, while showcasing how easily he was able to utilise different vocal styles, and make the most difficult of notes sound effortless.
A bright, disco-inspired video, ‘Shinin‘ puts Jonghyun front and centre, as he sings straight down the camera giving us both piercing gazes and slick choreography. The clip ends with a close-up of the artist looking over his shoulder at the camera, while standing in front of a music studio; a fitting final look at who Jonghyun was.
Jonghyun’s ‘Before Our Spring’ MV
The final song of the album, ‘Before Our Spring‘, has also been released by SM Entertainment with an accompanying video. It is a beautiful reflection of his lyricism, which was showcased through many of his songs. On this track, he sings about the troubles he’s going through; in a stunning falsetto set over a sweet jazz melody, he tells us not to worry about him, and that spring will be coming soon. In the haunting and heartbreaking last line of the song, Jonghyun sings “When spring arrives”, and repeats “when” almost as a mantra, as if he’s asking when he’s going to feel warm again.
‘Poet | Artist’ gives us more of the musicality that we have seen throughout Jonghyun’s solo discography. It’s a mix of ambient dance tracks, like the airy EDM beats of ‘Take The Dive‘, ‘Just For A Day‘ and ‘Only One You Need‘, and the funky, jazz pop of songs like ‘I’m So Curious‘ and ‘Sightseeing‘.
The album is full of tender moments and messages the singer sent to his fans: “I’ll always be with you”, he sings in ‘Shinin‘. “Throw away your memories of me, throw everything I gave to you”, he asks in the dance groove of ‘Grease‘, right after singing the line “It stopped meaning anything to me a long time ago”.
This article was only meant to be a music video review, but I felt the need to review Jonghyun‘s last album. As most of you who follow Officially Kmusic would know by now, I’m a prolific writer on all things K-pop; however, the articles that I’ve written over the past month or so have been some of the hardest I’ve ever had to write. The passing of SHINee‘s Jonghyun was devastating to the K-pop community world-wide, and it’s a strange, emotionally jarring feeling to hear his voice and see him in music videos so vibrant and full of life.
The proceeds from the sale of ‘Poet | Artist’ will go to his mother, and also towards the establishment of a foundation offering aid and support to those experiencing similar hardships. If you, or someone you know, needs help or someone to talk to, please, reach out. In Australia, you can get in touch with services such as Lifeline (13 11 14 and www.lifeline.org.au), and Beyond Blue (beyondblue.org.au) for incredible amounts of resources, information, and people ready and willing to help.
Officially Kmusic will continue to keep you up to date with the latest in Korean entertainment news.
Written by Narelle
Edited by Carmel-Lee Skinner
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