Song Review: Taemin – 2 Kids

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.

 Hooks 8
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.75

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!

13 thoughts on “Song Review: Taemin – 2 Kids

  1. .
    Ooh, nice and cool and chill.
    That ease into the verse at 0:23 just draws one in.
    Casual but studied delivery.
    Nice. Good job, Taemin! Rating is … maybe about right, but I might personally put it low 8’s.

    I am not quite sure about the free form interpretive dance on the streets of Paris. I don’t know what’s with that.


  2. Nice b side that would fail to make the Buried Treasure series. I guess that’s okay for a pre-release but after waiting more than a year and a half and seeing this comeback postponed several times this year, it’s a little bit disappointing to just have a nice but forgettable song.
    Maybe the Irene and Seulgi style of promotion would have been a better choice, drop the album and the alleged strongest track first, then the nice but less impactful song after. Anyway, that’s just details. My rating is probably the same and I’m happy to see a MV in my area.


    • Economically the best option is to have a pre release as a single. Melon has like new song recommendation mechanics and “Naughty” didn’t get any of them so not able to go into top 100. The actual release format basically is decided by internal structure, “Naughty” is entirely Shim Jaewon (Beatburgerj)’s passion project so it has this release format. No other companies has powerful performance directors like that.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. it’s a nice song, i like that it’s chill, it sounds like a prerelease. I’m sure the album will be better. i just think it’s important to note, when talking about the wait, that this was supposed to be released months ago (it was filmed during the superm concerts), and honestly it would’ve been a better for a winter-to-spring than August track. I have no idea what SM is doing, he’s pretty much promoting himself at this point, judging by what he says.

    I love the MV tho! And the choreo is just him free styling which is cool as we don’t get to see it often.


  4. To call this song “chill or “nice” means to really not understand it. What it expresses is bleeding pain, an intense longing for a youthful love and those moments which will never return. It’s not a fun song for sure nor is it a grand spectacle. The production could be better and the same can be said for the video which is a bit exaggerated. But through its faults, there is a personal rawness that is a revelation. It hit me so hard when I first saw it that I could not care about production or other details. It was more about seeing through Taemin’s eyes than about looking at him. Basically about him expressing himself as an artist, not just as an idol. And I think this is really underappreciated.


  5. I think this is fine. Not quite a show-stopper but pretty eazy to the ears.

    I could imagine listening to this on western radio and not changing the radio station. It’s up to you to decide if that’s a good things or not


  6. Meh. Utterly forgettable. It’s album filler and that chorus sounds like every trending western song along these lines which is not a good thing in my book. Personally, I also couldn’t get behind the effect used in the chorus. This song would have been dragged to hell and back by everyone if a popular group/solo-from-popular-group had released.


  7. His goal for the song was to be something to listen as you go about your day, that’s the kind of song it is. And it will make a great addition to any mellow playlist because it is sung from the heart.


  8. you guys dont know how to critique a song.. this song its not meant to be a show stopper. its an emotional song and something personal im tired of you people wanting a generic kpop idol song.. this is something thats new to kpop and taemin himself. just listen to the song and internalize the message it convey and maybe you realize the real essence of the song.


  9. Basically a chill breakup song i it give a 6 being this my first time rating Taemin. Something is missing. After listening to it the first song that pop up my mind is that justin beiber song love yourself. Not to sure why that song popped up.


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