Song Review: SHINee – Superstar

SHINee - SuperstarFollowing the strong double punch of Don’t Call Me and Atlantis, SHINee refuse to release their grip on 2021. Prior to youngest member Taemin’s military enlistment, the guys shot a video for new Japanese single Superstar. The song itself has been available for weeks, but its promotional package is now complete. And while it may not be the biggest or most momentous SHINee single we’ve ever heard, it plays like a welcome (and well-deserved) victory lap.

Looking under the hood, Superstar was co-composed by LDN Noise, marking their first single with SHINee since 2015’s Married To The Music. Unsurprisingly, these two songs share a ton of connective tissue. They’re both upbeat, funk-inspired jams, bursting with brassy stabs and punchy rhythms. Superstar doesn’t ever approach Married To The Music levels of perfection (few songs do!), but its groovy chorus certainly harnesses similar energy.

Like Atlantis, Superstar feels quintessentially SHINee. It’s the sound of a group in their comfort zone, which could easily feel like diminished returns. Instead, the track harnesses SHINee’s engaging confidence to elevate its weaker moments. Superstar is a bit subdued at first, but quickly builds to an addictive chant-along climax that’s sure to raise your spirits. There aren’t any gimmicks here – just solid pop songcraft bolstered by an enthusiastic performance. This is particularly evident during the chorus, which traces the rhythm with its rapid-fire delivery. This blooms into an even more explosive post-chorus refrain. I still prefer some of SHINee’s 2021 b-sides (I Really Want You, Heart Attack), but Superstar more than gets its job done.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

6 thoughts on “Song Review: SHINee – Superstar

  1. Another great track from SHINee! It’s not quite the sound I love from them but it is upbeat and catchy enough for me to enjoy. They have delivered heaps of amazing tracks this year but I’m still waiting on Stray Kids to give us something substantial. Sure, I liked their collab with Alesso or their ‘Oh’ track, but they are for sure the group I’m really craving something big from now. Has there been any news on their comeback? I haven’t looked into it yet.


  2. I’m gonna play this over and over until I’m completely sick of it. I find it more thoroughly pleasurable to listen to than Don’t Call Me or Atlantis, and I liked those a lot. It’s an uncomplicated pleasure, if I can say that without making the song sound dumb. This is probably what you mean by saying it’s in their comfort zone. They took off all the fancy costumes and put on their leisure suits and are obviously having a blast. It’s so relaxed, somehow, as in “We’re so good it’s just second nature.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • It has way less intensity waves and drama than Atlantis and Don’t Call Me, which makes it easier to listen to in any occasion, I find. I’ve already played it so many times!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There’s not much to say about this one. It’s just good, solid – for any other group this would be pretty outstanding, but for SHINee it feels like just a fun encore. A lighter dessert after the full meal we got with the previous two comebacks.

    Liked by 3 people

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