In a time when everyone is chasing the latest trend, Taemin is on a different level creating them.
He doesn’t play the game he owns it.
In his third mini album Advice, Taemin keeps pushing the boundary and taking risks. Advice consists of five different songs. Each track tells its own story through various styles of music. He continues experimenting and redefining his music. It’s nearly impossible to box Taemin in a certain category.
The album opens with his title track “Advice”. A piano starts the song with a beautiful dark melody. Lyrically and musically the song is different than anything we’ve heard from Taemin so far. He blends singing and rapping so smoothly. In some verses his voice reminds me of his group mate Minho in SHINee’s song “Don’t Call Me”. All the various elements: the background vocals, the synth, instrumentations, effects – really come together to create an intense song. Needless to say, I love everything about it.
To me, this song is a bold unapologetic message to someone who tries to bring anyone down. Taemin calls out his haters. No matter how hard they try to ruin him, they can’t. Taemin continues doing things his way, regardless of what others say and do.
In the music video for “Advice” there are symbolism and metaphors sprinkled everywhere. From the color scheme, to his outfits, to the various sets, and even the choreography – it all serves the purpose of expressing the message of the song. Shoutout to the awesome choreographer Kasper and the dancers on the team. They did an excellent job in working with Taemin to bring this song to life.
There are countless of theories on the song and music video. Some theories suggest it’s linked to other SM artists’ videos or even Taemin’s previous videos.
From my own interpretation I think this music video shows how Taemin refuses to let others dictate who he is or what he should do. The dancers are dressed in either all black or all white, yet Taemin is dressed in both black and white. To me, this represents how he isn’t tied to one color or idea. Just like his music and performances it’s a blend of various genres and styles.
In one of the scenes we see Taemin is trapped in a small room. This could be another metaphor to being trapped or confined by other’s ideas of him. But in the end he stands freely outside in his iconic ‘T’ pose.
I could write several pages and talk in depth about the details in the lyrics and music video. However, we must move on and chat about the rest of his mini album.
But I encourage you to watch the music video so you can develop your own interpretation of “Advice”.
The second song on the mini album is called “Light”. This track is about someone being like a light in Taemin’s life. Their radiance shines on him. With the groovy synth and Taemin’s fluid vocals this is an easy song to listen and dance to.
One of my favorite tracks features the lovely Taeyeon from Girls’ Generation. In the song “If I could tell you” Taeyeon and Taemin bless us with their heavenly vocals. The song is about wanting to confess your feelings towards someone but being hesitant to say so. I should also mention in the pre-chorus Taemin and Taeyeon rap. I think it gives the song a distinct vibe.
There’s been moments I’ve woken up and had this song stuck in my head. It’s absolutely beautiful and I’m so happy Taeyeon was part of it. This was definitely a dream collaboration come true.
The following track, “Strings” is perhaps the sexiest song on the album. It starts off with a slow electric guitar and within the first few seconds it’s evident this is a seductive R&B song. In the lyrics Taemin compares himself to an instrument…I’ll let you search up the lyrics and you can read it yourself. Of course it wouldn’t be a Taemin album if there wasn’t at least one steamy song.
My other favorite track from his mini album is “Sad Kids”. I strongly believe this is the continuation to his wonderful song “2 Kids” from his album Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1.
“Sad Kids” is about reminiscing on young love and similar to “2 Kids” he realizes his mistakes/regrets and wishes he can go back in time and say what he really feels. The song starts with a simple melody in a guitar. The added cricket sounds in the background give this track a campfire song feel. Taemin’s voice is sincere and he packs emotion with each word.
Once again, I love hearing Taemin’s duality in his music. He can go from being bold and sensual to soft and sweet. Advice is another wonderful masterpiece from Taemin. Each song is unique and as an artist Taemin is unmatched. His work ethic and eye for artistry is inspiring.
I believe this is his last solo album before he enlists in the military. But I’m sure he’ll still release some content before he officially enlists. We already know SHINee will release a Japanese mini album on July 28. The title track is called “SUPERSTAR”, it’s already out and it’s so good! So yes, I’m excited for their mini album.
But overall I wish Taemin all the best in his future activities and I’m happy he gifted us so many wonderful songs.
Make sure to check out Taemin’s 3rd mini album Advice here: https://smarturl.it/TAEMIN_Advice
I talk more about KPOP on my channel YouTube.com/elimariereacts
I do not own any of the pictures of Taemin, they are from SM Entertainment.