With over 2,300 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the “Random Shuffle Review” feature.
The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!
Year Released: 2008
Back in 2008, SHINee burst out of the gate with Replay — an undisputed K-pop classic. In the same year, the group released their first full-length album and repackage, which was a pretty aggressive roll-out for a debut group. I’ve always thought that Replay, Love Like Oxygen and Juliette formed a cohesive trilogy of sorts, with repackage title track Amigo the odd duck in the middle.
SHINee would eventually move on to more aggressive dance material, but Amigo was the first time they dipped their feet in a harder-edged sound. Along with 2010’s Hello, Amigo has always been one of my least favorite SHINee title tracks, though “least favorite” within a stellar discography is still pretty relative. The song’s focus is production and attitude, with melody taking a backseat. The crunchy electronic beat is definitely ear-catching, and provides a wonderful frame for the standout verses.
The repetitive chorus is where we start to get into trouble. Though its call-and-response nature begs for listener interaction, it’s a bit one-note for my tastes and doesn’t give the guys much chance to really let loose. The lockstep arrangement feels a bit claustrophobic, crying out for a dance breakdown where the instrumental opens up and delivers some much-needed sonic diversity. Still, Amigo acts as a vital stepping stone towards later classics like Ring Ding Dong and Lucifer.