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!
Eighteen (End Of My World)
Eighteen (End Of My World) ends the album on a confessional note. We’re done with the dance tracks and ready to bear our soul. As such, this song has a lower energy than most of Bad Love, though it adheres to a similar electronic sound via a haunting synth arpeggio. This element runs through the entire track, crafting a through-line over which Key offers a subdued melody.
This structure occasionally crests in cathartic power notes that amp up the emotion. Eighteen’s chorus carries more anthemic heft, bolstered by backing vocals that craft a forceful centerpiece. I wish the song leaned even further in this direction. There’s a point during the finale where it feels like Eighteen is going to turn full gospel, and that would have been a thrilling way to end the album. I know it’s trendy to release short songs, but another thirty seconds of belt-it-out release would have been very welcome. Slow burns like Eighteen are at their best when they’re able to fully deliver on the pay-off.
Even so, this track makes a satisfying close to an album that feels both personal and polished. I hope we don’t have to wait long before Key’s next comeback!