SHINee Pays Homage to the 90s in “1 of 1”


Every time SHINee has a comeback I can’t help but look forward to what it is they’ll do next. It’s very rare that the group disappoints me because of their consistent single output. So when I heard they were having a comeback, I was pretty excited. But what we have here is something that’ll appeal to a certain group of people – it’s just unfortunate this person is not…well…me.

            After releasing “View” and “Married to the Music” last year, “1 of 1” feels like a major step back. Rather than building on what they established last year, “1 of 1” seems like a nod to SHINee’s early work before their major breakout with “Ring Ding Dong” and “Lucifer.” According to this article, the style for this comeback is “90s new jack swings,” which makes sense because “swing” has never been my cup of tea.

That being said, it’s not a bad song if you are into that kind of thing. The instrumental is very gentle in comparison to many of the other releases this past week, so there’s no doubt it’ll at least stand out from other comebacks (not that they wouldn’t if they didn’t, because this is SHINee we’re talking about). It’s also quite bright in its gentle nature, which despite not liking the genre it takes from I can acknowledge.

On a different note, though, the music video is all in what you make of it. The imagery seems to take a massive page out of Jonghyun’s “She Is” video, but makes it a little more watchable. In “She Is” it was like everything had bright yellow highlighter accent, which was hard on the eyes. In “1 of 1,” it looks like what you’d imagine all the intense colors from a child’s 12-pack crayon box would look like against a white background.


The inclusion of the intense colors, though, gives this a very distinct early 90s flare. Back then televisions were not as HD as they are today, and it makes the video look very authentic in the same way that Wonder Girls’ “I Feel You” did with the MTV footnotes at the beginning of theirs. From the coloring of the music video to the actual outfits, “1 of 1” is the perfect homage to early 90s boy groups.

It’s almost…too good.

Also: massive props to the guy who did the transitions between different shots in the video, because that looks so cool in this video.

So what’s my verdict? Well, it’s a mixed bag. The song isn’t necessarily my forte and I don’t think it measures up to SHINee’s other comebacks within the past few years. However, I have to give credit to the fact that this song and video did what it wanted by making a 90s song and video and doing it so authentically with some Kpop gloss in between. So I guess, in that case, it’s still a solid comeback even if I’m not going to be bopping to it this month.

What did you guys think? Did it measure up to your expectations? Let me know in the comments below!


2 thoughts on “SHINee Pays Homage to the 90s in “1 of 1”

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