In honor of SHINee’s Key taking charge of his sound on new mini album Bad Love, I’ll be taking a look at each track throughout the week. Check back every day, and make sure to explore my other In-Depth Album Reviews if you’re interested!
After the synth throwdown of Bad Love, Yellow Tape moves into funkier material that sounds like a full-group SHINee track. In fact, it would have fit quite comfortably on their most recent album. And while I think the song would have benefitted from the diverse tones of the members, Key convincingly drives it forward on his own.
Yellow Tape’s introduction is incredibly atmospheric. We’ve got the rumble of synthwave tied to police sirens, setting the scene for a dramatic arrangement. The verse hits us with a funky beat, bringing a more energetic sound than Bad Love. I’m particularly infatuated with the infusion of rhythm guitar during verse two. I love the blend of rock and dance, and I think Key does too.
From here, Yellow Tape offers a simple hook. The melody is clipped and aggressive, coupled with a catchy “breathe in, breathe out” response that adds great texture to the chorus. There are stronger refrains on the album, but Key tugs on the phrases to generate a satisfying oomph. The siren-like electronics are very effective here, and add to the song’s momentum while giving it a disco sheen. Yellow Tape is Key thriving within his comfort zone, and that will always be thrilling to hear.