Video of the Week: Taemin “괴도 (Danger)”

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There are some weeks when I’m unsure of which video to feature for this column. Either there are too many videos which pique my interest, or there is a severe lack of them.

This was not one of those weeks.

I’ve been anticipating this music video for a long time. Two years ago, I listened to my first SHINee song. The SM-produced five-member boyband staked their place in my consciousness with the pop/marching band/New Jack Swing hybrid that was “Sherlock,” and they haven’t left since. The whole group is wildly talented, but one member in particular who immediately garners an observer’s attention during performances is the youngest of the five, Taemin.

Taemin has been known as SHINee’s best dancer since the group debuted in 2008, but it wasn’t until 2012’s “Sherlock” that his singing skills had nearly caught up with the deftness of his moves. He’s always been able to draw a viewer’s attention, but now he could do the same for a listener. From that point, it was evident that he had become a well-rounded performer, and it was only a matter of time until he’d get the opportunity to step out from his group and carry songs by himself. Now, as he sings in “Danger,” his showtime has come.

To SHINee fans and others who have watched Taemin over the years, this video doesn’t bring any real surprises. The visuals provide enough of a dark edge to show that SHINee’s maknae is all grown up, that he is no longer the gangly fourteen-year-old from when the fivesome debuted. The choreography, many of the outfits, and the numerous backup dancers hearken to Michael Jackson, an artist whom Taemin has always cited as an inspiration and whose style has clearly influenced Taemin’s own. The only thing remotely shocking (but not actually that disturbing) is Taemin’s blond bob hairdo.

Despite the expectedness of this solo adventure, “Danger” is not boring. The song is slick and sharp, and Taemin’s gift for performance makes such a strong impression that those backup dancers feel highly superfluous. The live stages are sure to be memorable, and I have high expectations for the rest of the impending album. The only cause for disappointment with this single is the safe vocals. We know that Taemin’s become a great singer, so why not show off his improvement in this song? Beyond that, “Danger” is great thanks to its cool sound and how well it suits its artist.

Overall, I’m satisfied by this solo debut. The song works, the video works, and Taemin is as fun to watch as ever. “Danger:” definitely worth the wait.