Song Review: Ailee – Room Shaker

It’s been three long years since the release of Ailee’s last album, and even longer since she’s given us something relentlessly uptempo. My favorite Ailee song will always be the mighty U&I, which positioned her as a Beyonce-like superstar fusing undeniable attitude with unmistakable vocal talent. Just because you’ve got an amazing voice doesn’t mean you should be relegated to singing ballads. And if nothing else, new single Room Shaker is certainly not a ballad.

This is the sound of Ailee tackling a BLACKPINK-style hip-hop track, assuming a variety of roles that would normally be assigned to individual members. I love this idea in theory, and she definitely has the talent to pull it off without support. But with so much going on, Room Shaker is a little all over the place. It has its moments, but could have found a stronger chorus to fully capitalize on Ailee’s skills.

Shaker‘s blend of hard hitting hip-hop, EDM and trap elements has been familiar to K-pop for too many years now, making the end result feel a bit dated. Still, the arrangement is relatively strong and knows when to build energy for maximum effect. The song’s last minute is particularly effective, delivering a climactic blast of noisy production and vocal firepower. Elsewhere, Ailee spends more time rapping (or rap-singing) than belting out the kind of notes we’ve grown to love her for. With this in mind, the powerful pre-chorus emerges as a harmonic oasis before collapsing into a spoken-word hook that feels comparatively unimaginative. Luckily, Ailee’s a better rapper than expected, imbuing each moment of Room Shaker with a forceful charisma. Her energy has a way of elevating the less-than-stellar material she’s given, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this song stick around throughout the summer.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8



7 thoughts on “Song Review: Ailee – Room Shaker

  1. Listening to this song is like being in the passenger seat with someone learning to drive with a stick shift. It’s starts, then jerks you back. Things then go smoothly for a bit, then.. ..screech. On and on (and on and on) through most of the song. Near the end, you’re in the same car, but the breaks have gone out, you’re barreling down a hill, and the driver is doing her makeup in the rear-view mirror.

    I like Ailee; a lot actually. I still toss her (e.g., Heaven, U&I, et al) into the mix once in a while. I didn’t know what to expect going into this comeback. 3 years is an eternity in this industry; especially with K-pop. Maybe something mellow along the lines of “HA:TFELT – Truth” or “Katie – Remember”? ..or something upbeat along the lines of “Seo In Young – Anymore” or “Younha – Run”? ..or something……. ..ELSE?

    She’s earned the right to put out whatever she wants. I reserve the right not to listen to it.

    Ailee – Heaven:
    HA:TFELT – Truth:
    Katie – Remember:
    Seo In Young – Anymore:
    Younha – Run:


    • She is such a great talent, but what is this ? I cannot even finish listening to the whole song. Is following trend that important in South Korea ?


  2. My mind went to Blackpink as well. The first section would be Lisa, and so on. Except Ailee is doing all of the parts, and schooling them on how it is done.

    Its not a bad song, but we always expect vocal home runs from Ailee, and this is only a double or triple.

    It is nice that the choreography supports the singing, and isn’t a creation of its own independent of the vocal needs. Meaning, when Ailee is singing the harder parts and the high sustained note, she is given time several bars before and during the note to hit it properly. The live vocal on the music show was pretty gosh darn good, even on the fan cam.


  3. Pingback: Buried Treasure: Ailee – Want It | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  4. Pingback: Ailee (에일리) – Room Shaker: MV Review – TweetNewscaster

  5. Pingback: Song Review: Ailee – Don’t Teach Me | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

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