shinwha we album review

SHINHWA “WE” Album Review

After nearly two years and a scandal, Shinhwa is back and these legends are ready to rock your world all over again! WE is the group’s 12th full-length album and it was released on February 26th, 2015. Minwoo wrote the lyrics for Alright, Give It 2 Me, and I’m In Love, whilst Eric arranged and wrote the rap lyrics for all 10 songs on the album along with David Kim. The general theme of this album shows their maturity and sophistication but still delivers an urban pop feel.

For most artists, inspiration for lyrics usually stems from good and bad experiences. Since being in the industry for almost 20 years, I don’t doubt that a lot of Shinhwa’s lyrics come from their own personal experiences, whether individually or as a whole. With most members in their mid thirties this year, this album displayed a side to them in which they haven’t fully exposed in their previous albums. Each and every member was able to display a sexy and mature side of them, a side in which was already expected since they’re older “idols”; it is simply just another reminder to the listeners that although they’re in a “boy band”, they’re fully grown men who mean business! Long live the kings!

1. Alright

The lyrics of this song has the members of Shinhwa questioning about whether or not if this fairy like goodness whose in front of them is real or just a figment of their imagination; she’s perfect in everyway, from the “twinkling” in her eyes, to her sweet scent. This track has a feel-good vibe, one in which you’ll continuously find yourself twiddling your fingers and nodding your head back and forth. ChaCha Malone and GRAY from AOMG took part in composing and arranging this song, which lightly sprayed a swag element to the track. Hands down this is my favorite track off this album!

2. Cat

Eric, Junjin, and Andy’s rap caught me completely off guard in this song. The chorus is easy to follow; it’ll have you saying, whoa ah ah ah, whoa ah ah ah in no time. The guys sing about women that play hard to get and the effort that they have to put in just to get a little attention from those ladies, which only leads them to wanting the women even more. They talk about the distinctive features that makes her so appealing, the dimples when she smiles and her fatal s-line. It’s unfortunate though that this song was deemed unfit for broadcast for their simple usage of “Coca Cola” in the lyrics. It’s a fun and upbeat song, which will be a great listen, especially in the summertime.

3. Sniper

The whistling element adds a twisted vibe to the song. This is a rather dark concept for Shinhwa, taking them in a never before seen direction. Sniper, as their title track and first music video release off of the album, shows their maturity. It has a smooth, edgy and catchy feel and the lyrics are very clear and direct: there is only one mission in mind, and that is to catch the girl, no matter how many obstacles may get in their way, the only ending that Shinhwa wants is an ending with the girl.

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4. White Shirts

This is the first ballad of the album. And what’s a ballad if you don’t talk about a breakup? The color white symbolizes purity, innocence, and starting off on a clean slate. Everyone owns a white article of clothing, whether it’s a simple T-shirt, polo, or a button up. The white shirts that are referred to in the song represent the love and joy that once filled the now dissolved relationship. Upon opening up their closet and seeing that white shirt hanging, it prompts the members to reminisce back on their significant other and all the good times that were created and shared and all the happiness and innocence that came along with the relationship which no longer exists. The harmonization and mesh of vocals in this song gives a calm ambience, even though the outcome of the song is rather negative.

5. Don’t Cry

Can you imagine Shinhwa telling you to not cry every time something went wrong? This song tells of a one-sided love story, the one where the person that you’re in love with is continuously getting hurt by another person and you want to do everything in your power to shield and protect that person. However, in reality, that person doesn’t see you in a romantic way, which just leaves you feeling helpless. This is an overused scenario in many songs, but the fact that Shinhwa, a group of men in their 30s, are singing about it makes it all the more real.

6. Bad 4 U

This track has a late ‘80s, early ‘90s ambience, and the members each give off an alluring tone. Every time they think the girl is within reach, they extend their hands for her to grab. But instead of holding on, she just drifts further and further away. This vicious cycle continues, and for some reason Shinhwa, knowing that this is bad for both sides, continue to latch on and play this never-ending game.

7. Give It 2 Me

The rappers (Eric, Junjin, and Andy) definitely came out to play in this track. For such an upbeat and joyful tune, the rapping is very seductive. The members are in a deep trance, due to the mysterious, bona fide beauty they stumble upon while a night out. The woman steals their hearts with her breathtaking glance. She’s a perfect 10 in their books, from her sophistication, to her body language, to her bewitching charms. She has them right where she wants them, wrapped around her fingertips. Noticing a trend so far with this album?

8. I’m In Love

You circle around me all day, I keep thinking of you
Baby I’m So Into You My Love, you fill up my heart.

The lyrics get’s a little childish at times, but it isn’t overly corny. It talks about the fresh feeling that comes with being in a new relationship. The song is light hearted and each member brings a sense of brightness to it. It a delightful song thanks to their charming voices. It’ll be a great song for the spring or a song for those who are in love. I get butterflies just listening to it and I would love to see Shinhwa perform this live one day!

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9. Memory

It’s hard having a regular life let alone a love life when you’re always in the limelight. The song takes them back to memories that have been stored and put away, private and happy memories in which they can’t openly speak about. When you’re in the spotlight, you’re in the public eye 24/7; everything that you do is put under a microscope and everyone who is apart of your life may also face some hard times. It’s hard to maintain a relationship when it’s being analyzed from people who aren’t even apart of that relationship. Promises are usually made; some unfortunately have to be broken along the way, which leads to empty memories.

10. Never Give Up

Every step that rises,
Let’s go farther, till the end.
The six boys filled with passion, we keep going forward, don’t know how to stop.
Even if waves crash on us, we’ll only go forward as we pray.

After all the hardships they’ve gone through, they’ve gone through them together, and no matter how many more obstacles may get in their way, they’ll rise above it all, as six. Never Give Up takes Shinhwa full circle. Although they don’t know what will be waiting for them at the end of the road, a road in which they have no rush to see, they’ll walk with one another, together, to that unforeseen end.


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