For me, Shinee has been one of the most consistently strong groups in all of kpop. It’s hard to believe they debuted all the way back in 2008, since they still seem so fresh and relevant with each new release. As much as I love their music, it was surprisingly hard to rank my favorite singles. They’re so consistent that it feels like their discography doesn’t have that many peaks and valleys. Also, they’re one of the few kpop acts to have a solid Japanese catalog as well. In short, there was a lot to choose from. Shinee is also a group with a lot of great solos, but I’ve culled only from their group singles when I was creating this list.
10. 1,000 Years, Always By Your Side (2012)
It was 1,000 Years vs Fire in the battle of the Japanese ballads, and 1,000 just barely edged out as the victor. The emotive passion in the vocals sealed the deal, along with the gorgeous hook in the song’s outro.
9. Married To The Music (2015)
The group has rarely sounded as loose and funky as they did with this underrated single from last year. The boys were able to fully pay tribute to Michael Jackson’s late 70’s disco sound, to great effect.
8. Everybody (2013)
A schizophrenic beast of a song, with its blistering dubstep breakdown and intense choreography. At times, its sheer cacophony threatens to derail it, but that singalong chorus always brings it back.
7. Replay (2008)
Their debut single, and still one of their best. The breezy, laidback summer beat remains utterly infectious eight years later and hearkens back to the earlier, less bombastic days of kpop.
6. Sherlock (2012)
For me, this represents the first track in the guys’ modern, a-level material. From the production, to the anthemic refrain by producer extraordinaire Thomas Troelsen, Sherlock is an exhilarating piece of performance pop.
5. Dazzling Girl (2012)
Their best Japanese single, and that’s almost entirely down to the addictive chorus. Some songs just sound like summer, and Dazzling Girl is tailor-made for singing at the top of your lungs when driving to the beach.
4. Why So Serious? (2013)
The second Korean title track from the group’s most prolific (and best) year, Why So Serious sees them tackle stadium rock in their own bright style. Though Jonghyun wasn’t able to appear in the video, the track remains one of the group’s most powerful.
3. Dream Girl (2013)
It might not be the flashiest or most iconic of their singles, but it’s hard to find a better distillation of pure pop hooks and production force than Dream Girl. Its kaleidoscopic wave of melodic twists and turns brilliantly sets up that explosive chorus.
2. View (2015)
At first it didn’t seem like much — a simple summer euro-dance track with a catchy beat. But, View has proven to be a song with unbelievable staying power. The production and melody are in such perfect sync, creating a streamlined dance hit that feels incredibly effortless and undeniably cool.
1. Lucifer (2010)
Probably their most iconic track, and one of the heavyweights in the world of kpop. Lucifer is a propulsive, frenetic attack on the senses, at times militant, and robotic, and sexy. It sounds like very little else out there, and truly feels like it belongs on another planet. I credit it as being one of a handful of tracks that first got me interested in kpop, and it still holds up. The single version is, of course, epic on its own, but for those looking for an extra thrill, be sure to check out the extended tour mix, which elevates the song to another level with an anthemic breakdown.