Review

Random Shuffle Review: SHINee – Juliette

With over 3,000 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: 2009

Given their penchant for hiring international composers, a number of SM Entertainment hits are repurposed songs originally meant for an English-language pop star. But back in the day, this went even a step further. Occasionally, SM singles were direct copies of established hits, switching the lyrics but otherwise retaining the general production of the original. f(x)’s Hot Summer is probably the most notable of these cases, as it began life as a hit for German girl group Monrose. But SHINee’s Juliette (줄리엣) precedes it. This song was a 2007 single for American pop star Corbin Bleu (of High School Musical fame). And, this follows SHINee’s single Love Like Oxygen — itself a cover of Danish pop star Martin’s 2008 hit. At the time, a sizable chunk of SHINee’s singles run cast them as pop music vultures!

But, the act of covering and reinventing hits is as old as pop music. What really matters is what you bring to the composition to make it your own. SHINee have an incredible dynamic, and it’s no surprise that their career has far outlasted that of both Corbin Bleu and Martin. Their version of Juliette retains the classic funk pop stylings of the original, but imbues the punchy instrumental with their flashy vocal performance.

As with many SHINee tracks, the delivery is 100% rhythmic, as the guys twist each and every syllable around the groove. Juliette improves vastly under their watch. A palpable sense of passion transforms the song into a charismatic tour de force. Vocal ad-libs abound, careening through the climax with a forceful energy. And while the chorus may be a little one-note, that note is played to the hilt, buttressed by wisps of vocal layering that nudge us toward the hook with a supple delivery. Juliette pushes all the right buttons, even if SHINee would go on to deliver more classic material in the future.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75


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4 thoughts on “Random Shuffle Review: SHINee – Juliette

  1. I love those early SHINee songs. Replay, Love like oxygen, Juliette, and Amigo. I love them all.

    Love like Oxygen was the third K-Pop song I heard. Initially, I heard the Jackson groove and Jonghyun’s vocal delivery, and initially, I thought that it probably was based on the Jackson style, that is why it sounded so familiar. It was only on my 5th listen did I realize it was a remake of Show the World.

    Fun fact: Martin later was one of the writers for Super Junior’s Black Suit.

    Like

  2. With SHINee coming back later this month, and my love for them reawakening, this review is perfect timing! I have loved this song for as long as I can remember. Reading the background of it, I am not surprised though- it does sound like something that could be sung by a western pop heartthrob (or group) some 10+ years ago.

    That said, SHINee really makes it better. Even on the more ‘sing-talk’ parts their vocal performance is never just ‘there’, it’s interesting, distinctive, it keeps you engaged.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Early SHINee gave us some of kpops most everlasting songs (covers or not) and Juliette is one of them imo. It’s just a great pop song and holds up better than most boy group fare we get 12(! god I feel old) years later.

    Liked by 1 person

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