SHINee were my introduction to K-Pop. Their song “Lucifer” was too good to not get into, and soon after that I was researching about other groups and getting into the whole industry. I was extremely excited when they finally announced their comeback and knew that it would be amazing. Their RnB-tinged pop is awesome and so catchy, and their dancing and singing skills are just crazy. There is honestly no Western pop band that is as talented as them.

Sherlock (Clue + Note) – 10/10
Brilliant. The song is exactly what I expected from SHINee – a progression from “Lucifer” that has a Michael Jackson-feel and is reminiscent of “Juliette” and “Love Like Oxygen.” The music video is great as well and I love that it was choreographed by Tony Testa (Michael Jackson and Kylie Minogue!!). The chorus is brilliant – really catchy and just enough English for me to sing along! The way the song was put together reminds me of Girls Aloud – where each verse is completely different and has a different feel. Jonghyun sounds awesome (as always) and this is definitely up there as one of SHINee’s best songs. The end is amazing as well – GIVE IT UP FOR SHINEEEEEEEEE!

Clue – 8/10
So this is where the mini-album gets kinda weird because since “Sherlock” is actually a mash-up of “Clue” and “Note,” they decided to let us hear what those two songs originally sounded like before they were turned into “Sherlock.” I’m not sure this was really necessary as there aren’t enough different parts in the song to make them stand out as an independent song. The whole intro/first verse (over a minute!) is exactly the same as “Sherlock” and is just missing the chorus. The little breakdown near the 2:35 mark by Jonghyun is the only interesting part of having “Clue.”

Note – 8/10
Love the intro and the backing track in “Note.” Again, there’s nothing that interesting about the song since it makes up half of “Sherlock” and just feels like a half-song. But the chorus (that is also used in “Sherlock”) is so awesome that I don’t mind listening to it again. Again, this song is a non-event since the majority of it is used in “Sherlock” anyway.

Alarm Clock – 9/10
I love this song. I love all of SHINee’s slower RnB tracks and this definitely doesn’t disappoint. All the boys have great voices and this song showcases it in a great way. I’m glad that Jonghyun got to write it as well because “Obsession” from their last album was great. This song has a great chorus and a great feel and I’m excited to hear them sing it live. Love Minho’s spoken bit at the end too.

The Reason – 8/10
Another slower track that is on par with SHINee’s past ballads. This song has a good chorus. It’s not really anything special but is a good addition to their catalogue and rounds out the mini-album nicely. The middle 8 is the best part of the song and I love the strings in the backing track.

Stranger – 9/10
I loved “Stranger” when it was on SHINee’s Japanese album, “The First,” so I was actually excited to hear the Korean version. The song has a great feel and has a cool chorus with a good melody. They have been performing it as part of their comeback performances as well which has made me like the song even more. The song is just dramatic enough and is another one that’s fun to listen to.

Honestly – 8/10
Oooh, an acoustic track! Something different for SHINee. This was apparently written by Jonghyun and Minho for the fans. It has a pleasant melody and is a good end to the mini-album. I wish it had some harmonies in there because I know they can pull it off, but other than that, it’s a good simple song.

OVERALL THOUGHTS:  Solid comeback! I wish we got two other tracks instead of “Clue” and “Note,” but with plans of a full album later in the year, this will hold me until then. I am very excited to have them back and will definitely be listening to these songs for awhile. Now everyone watch the dance rehearsal of “Sherlock”!