After over a year and a half without a Korean comeback, Taemin’s 2 Kids arrives as a “prologue single” for his upcoming full album, to be released in two parts. As such, I’m curious what it means for the sound of that album. Is 2 Kids a peek at what’s to come? Does it provide an introduction of sorts? Or, is it just a way to build a little hype before we hear the rest of the music? Whatever the case, the track finds Taemin in a reflective mode. It feels personal, though when it comes to pop music that isn’t always a great thing.
When I think of Taemin’s music, what I really crave is a spectacle – something like debut single Danger, or SHINee’s Sherlock. There are so few idol performers capable of harnessing that kind of energy. Instead, Taemin’s solo music seems to have gotten stuck in a subdued, groove-based rut. I’m sure this is what he prefers as an artist, but I don’t think it capitalizes on his full potential. A song like 2 Kids may be evocative, but it’s not all that exciting.
The track hinges on a simple beat, blending a rhythmic guitar loop, soft electronic touches and light percussion. In this way, the instrumental fits right alongside many of the songs on SHINee’s 2018 album, though it likely would’ve been buoyed by the group’s immense vocal blend. As a Taemin solo track, 2 Kids is pretty but slight. He sounds great – as he always does. I just wish the song wasn’t so repetitive. A sense of build would have really improved the arrangement. Instead, each chorus crests and retreats, resulting in a frustrating sense of letdown once the song has finished. As a prologue, I suppose 2 Kids does its job by setting a mood. But, I’m hoping for something a little more thrilling when the full album arrives.
Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!