Don’t be alarmed, but Shinee have just quietly unveiled the music video for their best Japanese single in years. Their jpop material has always been pretty diverse, from ornate balladry, to campy dancefloor fillers, to boyband power pop, but with Kimi No Sei De (君のせいで), they give us a song that perfectly captures what they do best: straightforward, brilliantly produced dance pop.
After View last year, Shinee segued into the more organic funk of Married to the Music, and Kimi No Sei De continues along that path, adding a propulsive 80’s beat to the mix. From the moment the track starts, we’re hit with a full, powerful instrumental that features the best use of bright brass accents since Infinite’s The Chaser. It’s impossible not to get swept up in the production alone, but as soon as it Kimi blasts into its simple, singalong chorus, all bets are off.
The synergy between the buoyant instrumentation and full-force refrain is perfectly calibrated, and contributes to a multi-pronged hook that feels like a genuine climax each time it comes around. In fact, it’s so jubilant in its sound and performance that the less-memorable verses suffer a bit in comparison. Still, there’s an undeniable cohesion throughout the entire track. Nothing feels thrown in for trendiness’ sake, or to sound “experimental” or “edgy.” Better yet, behind the song’s perceived brightness is a bittersweet, melancholic lyrical subtext, giving an otherwise uptempo pop whirlwind some extra heft. It’s the type of timeless songcraft and production I hope they transfer over to their next domestic comeback.
(Full music video is blocked in most regions. Click here to see an unblocked version)