SHINee, a group that is known on social media for being one of SM’s artists with the most diverse discography. While that claim is personal opinions, it is a well-known fact that SHINee has dabbled in all types of musical genres and styles and from having a 1970’s discotheque title track to ballads where the harmonies are incredibly tight to even a song with a musical theatre style production.
As a Shawol, I’m often asked by friends who are interested in the group to recommend some songs that will help them get into the group. I always struggle with that question at the moment because there are so many songs that I love from the group. With their recent anniversary and as I was recently asked to make my friend a SHINee playlist to get them into the boys, I decided to make a list of songs I’d recommend to a new Shawol.
- Don’t Stop
As someone who needs music to be able to study or do assignments, I usually turn to Lo-Fi beats as they’re relaxing and can help me focus. That being said, the first time I listened to SHINee’s 1 and1 album, Don’t Stop reached out to me as a song that was perfect for when I was studying and writing. The backing track was much like the Lo-Fi I loved for studying purposes and the way the song was mixed, the vocals weren’t too overpowering. It was perfect for lack of a better term and stays as the only song with lyrics on my For Work Stuff playlist.
- Ring Ding Dong
When it comes to Ring Ding Dong, there is so much I can say. Having first being exposed to this song during the episode SHINee guested on Korea SNL, I remember asking my friend about the song and instantly falling in love. It’s the epitome of what K-pop was in 2009, from the styling to the energy and the overall aesthetic of the music video. It’s one of those songs that is a constant pick me up for myself, and I know those who aren’t even Shawols know the iconic line that is “Ring ding dong, ring ding dong” and the choreography that goes with it.
A song that is constantly called by fans ‘the best debut song ever’, Replay is most definitely in my top 12 SHINee songs. An incredibly catchy song that has me humming ‘replay, replay, replay’ all day long, the song has such a sunny disposition that I can’t help but smile when listening to this song. The music video is also one of my favorites and seeing the boys when they were as young as they were at the release of the song, just shows me how far they come and I can’t help but feel a sense of pride.
The perfect summer song, View is definitely one of those songs that every K-pop fan should know, regardless of whether or not they’re a Shawol. It’s an upbeat vibe and the repetition of 너무 아름다운 다운 다운 다운 View, it always gets stuck in my head in the happiest way possible. The styling is also amazing in my opinion, the boys being dressed in something reminiscent of college kids on summer vacation and the video is so carefree as they explore the tropics of Thailand.
- Woof Woof
If you know me, this should come as no surprise. Woof Woof is a song that’s just pure fun while it’s slightly outrageous, you can tell from live performances that SHINee themselves had a blast with it. A more flirtatious song when you read the lyrics, the song takes being a dog and uses it as a way of saying how they’re enamored by a girl. While the lyrics are quite well written, I still see the song as one that’s just to put someone in a good mood with its fun nature and if you ask me, it’s hard to be unhappy when you have a K-pop group barking at you.
There are so many things I could say about Everybody but the main thing that puts this song in my top 12 has to be the choreography. Having been a dancer myself, intricate choreography is something that always catches my eye and I remember watching this music video for the first time at 2 o’clock in the morning and just being completely in awe with it. The styling was so beautiful to me - from the heavy eyeliner to the stark white attire in dance breaks to the cut scenes of SHINee looking for lack of a better phrase - expensive. Then while watching live stages, the choreography blew my mind. I wish I could rank this song higher, but the following songs deserve their rankings as well, but I know Everybody will always be in my top 12.
- Odd Eye
There’s a reason that Odd Eye is one of the songs I always recommend when friends ask me about new songs to listen to, but I can’t explain why. Maybe it’s because it’s from my favorite SHINee album, maybe it’s the high note that Onew, Jonghyun, and Taemin hold during their respective parts in the chorus. I’m not entirely sure, but I do know there’s something about this song that gives me chills in the best possible way.
- Excuse Me, Miss
Excuse Me, Miss is one of those songs that has gone viral on social media and I think it’s much deserved for the song. Having gained notoriety for the video from SHINee World Concert 4 where the group is clad in all white and Jonghyun does the ‘Say SHINee’ call and response with the crowd. I will admit, that video was the first thing that introduced me to Excuse Me, Miss, but ever since having found that song it quickly became one of my most played. I love the crooning vocals but the fact the song also has an upbeat tempo and an overall sense of fun. The lyrics are incredibly sweet, comparing an unknown woman to sweets and saying how captivating she is to the boys that are serenading her.
Where can I begin with Lucifer? It has to be one of the most well known and iconic songs of that specific era of K-pop and I know many fans out there would agree with me. With the extreme styling that was Taemin’s extensions, Key’s bleached sides with the dark mohawk and even Jonghyun’s straightened hair that I’ve seen fans lovingly compare to anime characters. Even the fashion is something that is on the more extreme – such as Minho’s silver vest that I’ve seen be compared to tinfoil and then Onew’s all-white look of a denim vest, skinny jeans, and a single knee pad. The song itself is one that’s incredibly well known, even to the point where those who aren’t fans of SHINee recognize the melody and even know parts of the choreography. Lucifer may not have been the song that truly introduced me to SHINee, but even before I was a Shawol, I knew of its existence and loved it.
Just because Picasso is the only Japanese single on this list doesn’t mean I don’t love their other Japanese songs. It just means that Picasso is on a tier of mine with the other songs closer to my heart. A song whose lyrics reference the famous painter in a way that can’t be considered superficial. The reason I love this song is it radiates a sense of safety. From the lyrics that translate out to ‘I’m by your side/so don’t cry anymore’ and ‘Let’s tear this world into blue pieces/to make it more beautiful’ to the melody, the overall song reminds me at my hardest times that there’s someone out there who is watching over me and wants me to know that while things may be bad at that moment, it can get better.
- Selene 6.23
Selene 6.23 is a song that many Shawols hold close to their heart. Lyrics written by Jonghyun as a love note to his beloved Shawols, specifically to those who were overseas, this song means the absolute world to me. The melody is haunting in the best way and its meaning is just glorious. When I say this song means the world to me, I mean that I love it to the point where I have a tattoo dedicated to the song.
- Married to the Music
Married to the Music will always be my number one SHINee song. It was the song that got me into the group originally and when I listen to it I’m always taken back to the time at my friend’s house where they said I just had to watch the music video because it was right up my alley. They were absolutely correct. Due to the beats and the tempo to Minho’s rap and the sheer fun yet creepy nature of the music video’s Halloween theme I fell in love with the song and the group instantly. It doesn’t help that Married to the Music is on one of my favorite SHINee albums and is a part of my favorite era styling wise. Is that related? Probably.
I love SHINee, they’re easily one of my favorite K-pop groups out of the many I listen to. Their music radiates a safe feeling for me and always brings me to a happier time regardless of where I happen to be in my life. There’s something that SHINee has that can transcend my worst moments and bring me out of that rut of negativity. The music they have has a certain amount of safety that I feel untouchable in a healthy way, that nothing can hurt me and bring me down because I’m protected by those five men and their music.
If you don’t listen to SHINee, I most definitely recommend you start, and if you need songs to start with, I will always recommend these twelve. If you’re already a Shawol looking for the perfect way to celebrate SHINee’s anniversary, I recommend checking out the anniversary merchandise that’s available at SM Global Shop.
SHINee 12-Year Anniversary Playlist
- Don’t Stop - 1 of 1
- Ring Ding Dong - Year of Us
- Replay - replay: The First Mini Album
- View - Odd
- Woof Woof - Odd
- Everybody - Everybody
- Odd Eye - Odd
- Excuse Me, Miss - Why So Serious? - The Misconceptions of Me
- Lucifer - Lucifer
- Picasso - I’m Your Boy
- Selene 6.23 - The Misconceptions of Us
- Married to the Music - Married to the Music
DISCLAIMER: Everything written is the personal opinion of the author.