Song Review: Minho (SHINee) – Chase

Minho (SHINee) - ChaseOver the past eight years, SHINee have become known for their solo projects. Members like Taemin and Key developed entire sonic universes of their own. But up until now, Minho hadn’t released an album of his own. To call Chase (놓아줘) “long-awaited” feels like a huge understatement. Sure, he’s recorded a few one-off singles, but fans have had the patience of a saint. Finally, that patience has been rewarded. This long build-up made me curious about what sounds Minho would pursue on his own. He doesn’t strike me as the flamboyant type that would deliver a Bad Love or Criminal.

For whatever reason, SM have Beyoncéd this debut and released Chase without accompanying visuals. The music video will come next week, and I’ll update the post once it’s available. But, I don’t think this is the kind of song that will improve immensely with a visual component. Chase is all about mood and vibe, and listeners’ enjoyment will be tied to their expectations. Personally, I don’t usually listen to this style of music. It’s just too slow and muted for me. Slow burn R&B can be immensely satisfying and dramatic in its own way. The “quiet storm” genre was practically invented for this purpose. But, a song like Chase is just kind of… boring.

In fact, I don’t have much to say about this one. Minho has a nice voice, but it’s not idiosyncratic to inject Chase’s dullness with any unique touches. The song plods along its languid blend of atmospheric synths and trap beats. The melodies are similarly subtle. There’s a softness to the track that makes it ideal for late nights and hushed conversations. Chase has its place and will likely thrill some listeners. But as a solo debut, it feels pretty underwhelming.

Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 6
 RATING 6.75

Grade: D+


22 thoughts on “Song Review: Minho (SHINee) – Chase

  1. Its not that I didn’t like this, it’d be an 8 – 8.25 for me but I really liked Heartbreak so expected a bit more from the release…


  2. Huh, kinda surprised at the rating. You were so generous when reviewing Heartbreak, and this song (along with the rest of the album) feels like Heartbreak five times over.

    It’s decent city pop isn’t it? 7 across the board with waterfall being a tad better than the rest.

    I don’t know what more to expect from Minho? He’s not an artist in the same way that the rest of Shinee is.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are absolutely correct to say that Minho is not an artist in the same way that the other Shinee members are, because one of Shinee’s greatest strengths as a group is that they have diverse yet distinctive styles as artists.
      Surely you are not suggesting that Minho is somehow not an artist simply because you prefer his solo work less, because that would be incredibly narrow minded.


      • It’s the other way around.

        Minho’s more invested in acting and other facets of idol-life, and it shows in his music. He’s always been the least musically interested of the five.

        Liked by 1 person

        • hmm don’t you think it is your lack of preference and liking towards the genre? It seems you are suggesting that since his album is not your cup of tea, that means he is less musically interested? if anything, this album demonstrate clearly the type of music he personally likes. It is about the mood and vibes. It is so minho. He showed his colour perfectly.

          If you watched his press conference or his recent in depth album podcast with his friend or read up on his interviews, you can tell that there so thought and effort he put into his album and made absolute sure that it contained stories he wanted to share and tell. This man is so detailed and knows exactly what he wants.

          That is so important as an artist and minho clearly demonstrated that. I can confidently say that for their debut albums, minho and jonghyun
          showcased who they are the best.

          It is interesting how minho’s interest in 2 industry has got people on both side say he lacks passion for them. indeed intriguing that some like you uses the release of solo albums as a benchmark for their interest in music.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, musical activity and ability is typically what I use as benchmark for interest in that field. There’s nothing wrong with being more invested in something else, like acting.

            In every regard, Minho is not a peer to Onew, Key, Taemin or Jonghyun. His EP is nearly as good as theirs. That doesn’t mean I dislike the album, it’s perfectly serviceable city pop.

            Liked by 2 people

  3. “For whatever reason, SM have Beyoncéd this debut and released Chase without accompanying visuals.” you didn’t have to remind us Nick!

    jokes aside, this is decent, but sadly nothing groundbreaking… I feel like he would suit 90’s hip-hop/new jack swing more.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This was kind of exactly what I expected from Minho. I just think his interest is in his acting career, which he has always seemed more invested in than music. He can carry a tune and has a nice voice, but he is not exciting. I think the minialbum as a whole is pleasant and well-done, with 0 bite. I don’t find it disappointing because I wasn’t expecting anything else to be honest, it’s just not for me.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. I kinda have expected the output having learnt his genre preference, but was still hoping to be surprised, like I did with Heartbreak. Except for Heartbreak and Waterfall (oh, how I love having Lim Kim’s voice in one of SHINee members’ songs), the rest of the songs feel rather… well, dull. It makes the much-awaited album feel too underwhelming compared to the other members’ works. That said, this debut kinda reminds me of Onew’s debut, predictable.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I wonder if us finding the work predictable is a consequence of the music or just SHINee being such a staple that we all know what to expect from them at this point.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I guess it could be both? Maybe because every member has a very distinctive colour that at some point we kind of know what to expect from each of them, but at the same time we also don’t. Key & Onew’s transitions from their debut to their current sound is probably a good example. It’s just personally, I don’t enjoy this style of R&B that Minho chose.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Yes, I am the same, I definitely enjoy the more dramatic sound of Key or Taemin than the pleasant chill R&B of Minho or even the sweeter sound of Onew’s voice.
          I honestly feel like Key’s current sound is what I expected from him much more than his first album back in the day.
          Just something I was wondering about, since predictable isn’t necessarily a negative, just perhaps not a positive in that it isn’t attention-grabbing.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m a very simple girl. SHINee does a thing, I listen to thing a billion times. This is my least favorite of their solo projects this year, but I still really really like it. This R&B sound works for exactly me and exactly me loves it a lot.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I like it, but I’m an RnB amd ballad girl at heart. I was a bit disappointed that the mini album didn’t experiment a bit more, the joy of an album is that you have multiple songs and you can play around with the story you want to tell. Just one uptempo song would have made it for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I like ballads, but this album is a little sleepy for me. Im starting to think the songs I liked by Gemini last year were a fluke, and the collab doesn’t change my mind. But Prove it is decent, and Waterfall is marvelous. That one is a real standout, very satisfying.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It’s definitely an album full of vibes. Some of them work for me, and others don’t. Chase falls into the latter category. Didn’t care for the processing or the melody line in the chorus overly much. Runaway was better, and I do like Prove It. Heartbreak is by far and away my favorite track on the album though. I’ve loved that one since I first heard it. Same with I’m Home.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. In my opinion Minhos album is very satisfying. The city r&b style of the song suits Minho really well and I think it’s gives him his own colour.SHINee as a group is filled with excellent singers like Jonghyun and Onew who are considered vocally stronger than Minho, it must be burdensome to match his other members level of artistry. I think he perfectly demonstrated a good mini album good for the winter weather. The sings meanings are also deep and mysterious like Minho’s voice I think it all blends very well. All over I think it’s a 7/10 album I keep listening although it may be a case of tastes.


  11. Personally, this is one of my fav shinee solo albums. And as of this year, it is tied with onew’s. Minho’s songs are all about the mood and vibes. I love that he knew what kind of meaning he wanted to portray in each song of his album. The styles fits him well and he knows how to play by his strengths and weaknesses. Overall a solid album as a whole. A satisfying debut with chase as the title and GREAT lyrics. The lyrics with its double meaning and inferences elevates the experience. So many kpop songs lack in this area. Plus the choreo matches chase well.

    I can see why it may not be everyone’s cup of tea some people just prefer flashiness which is more mainstream kpop. Still a great debut from him.


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