Taemin dances his way into the spotlight

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The teaser photo for Taemin’s album “Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1”. Photo provided by reddit.com

Jackson Hayes, Reporter

Taemin has debuted three times in his 12-year career. In 2008 he debuted with k-pop group SHINee, in 2014 he debuted as a soloist, and in 2019 he debuted with SM entertainments collaborative group SuperM. Taemin has been busy releasing multiple albums a year since he was 14. As of right now, his group, SHINee is on a military hiatus while three of the members do their required military service. This has given Taemin time to work on his solo music and his other group SuperM. Over the past month, Taemin has been working on both a solo comeback and a comeback with SuperM. On September 7, Taemin released his 3rd album, “Never Gonna Dance Again”.

The album name shows that Taemin is being vulnerable. The name, “Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1”, holds Taemin and his fans, Shawols, worst fear. That fear being Taemin will lose his love for dance. Dancing is a huge part of being a k-pop idol and Taemin is the main dancer in SHINee. He has had a love for dance since he was young. If he were to lose his love for dancing, it would probably mean the end of his career.

The title track of this album is “Criminal”. “Criminal” is about a toxic relationship and feeling trapped. While also feeling trapped you don’t mind because you’ve developed a case of Stockholm syndrome. Some of the translated lyrics that hint to this are, “Behind your childlike innocent face, a frightening side of you gives me goosebumps,” and “So elegant, a criminal who hurts me. It’s okay, you soothe me just to torture me again.”

“Criminal” starts out synth-heavy but quickly changes into more of a bass sound. The emotion of the song is easily conveyed through his lyrics and dancing.

“Criminal” is a more mature song than the pre-release song, “2 Kids”. “2 Kids” is about a first love gone wrong. With these songs, the versatility of Taemin really shines through with “Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1”. Usually, Taemin chooses to go with a more mature and dramatic sound for his solo music, but “2 Kids” strayed from that theme a bit.

Taemin is known as a “prince of k-pop” and with his new release, it isn’t hard to figure out why. “Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1” is worth listening to. If you don’t want to listen to the full album, at least give “Criminal” and “2 Kids” a listen to.