On November 15, 2020, SHINee’s tall, lean Marine machine, Minho, was discharged from the military. He was the third member of the group to complete his mandatory service that year; so, in my simple mind that equated to one very important thing: a potential SHINee comeback. Admittedly, as a baby Shawol, this is what I have been eagerly anticipating. The only question, when would it happen? Well, with Minho just barely out of requisite camouflage, the group pulled it off in a matter of three months. And not only that, they managed to release a full album, their seventh. On February 22nd, Don⁷t Call Me dropped with the explosive title track of the same name. Were any of us really ready?
While it is easy to focus on all that went awry and continues to be wrong with 2020, I choose instead to focus on the one thing that single-handedly has saved this difficult year for me: Lee Taemin. Even though the world was pretty much in complete ruin when I woke up to his art and music in August, I think I happened upon Taemin at just the right time. I showed up on the verge of him releasing not one, but three albums (if you count his involvement with SuperM, and I do) which ended up being remedies I never knew I needed. That is, loneliness and isolation in need of comfort, and troubling times in need of a hero. Yes, in many ways, Taemin landed in my realm at the right time; and by way of music, art and his indelible smile, rescued 2020.
In anticipation of the release of Taemin’s next album, Never Gonna Dance Again: Part Two, I find I am unable to curb my enthusiasm while I wait. The album will be released on November 9th, and although that is rapidly approaching, it is going to seem like 15 years. Ok, I am exaggerating of course, but I can’t help it, I am excited. To help move time a little quicker as I wait for teasers, the MV and ultimate album release, I am going to appreciate some of Taemin’s past performance videos. Because, why not? Lately, Black Rose from Never Gonna Dance Again: Part One has been demanding my attention, so I will start there.
I generally follow the rules when it comes to comebacks. That is, I jump all over the title tracks and want to shout their brilliance into the stratosphere. With SuperM’s latest release Super One which is their first full studio album since the group’s inception last year, I feel more compelled to talk about a B-side which happens to be my personal favorite on the album, Wish You Were Here.