Friday, February 16th, 2018

Jonghyun – Shinin’

A smiling goodbye from a Kpop star…


[Video][Website]
[7.00]

Alex Clifton: I’ve had the hardest time listening to Jonghyun’s music. It took me more than a month to listen to “White T-Shirt”, my favourite solo song of his, and when it came on shuffle, I began weeping in public immediately even though it’s about how good a girl looks in a shirt. It’s surreal to listen to “Shinin'”, knowing he’s gone while singing a chorus with the line “always be with you.” I would love this song anyway if he were still here–it’s funky, it’s catchy, and Jonghyun’s voice as always is the star of the show–but it’s impossible to divorce the song from its posthumous context for me. At the same time, though, songs like “Shinin'” are how I want to remember Jonghyun. He made upbeat pop music that lifted my spirits, and every song felt like a vow he’d stay by me though he never knew who I was. Specifically, he fought through his own demons to make songs like this, which inspires me to keep fighting against my own depression. Jonghyun shone brightly himself, and I count myself lucky to live in a world where I got to hear his art.
[8]

Tim de Reuse: It’s a little cluttered, a little bloated with unnecessary moving parts, and generally not as tight a package as “She Is,” which I haven’t been able to get out of my head since we covered it eighteen-odd months ago. Still, Jonghyun’s snappy delivery builds momentum as well as it ever did, and his transition into the chorus is too plucky and joyously effortless to get bogged down by particulars of melody and form. The message of “Always be with you” ought to be particularly poignant, but I can’t bring myself to get all that melancholy over such a confident, blue-skied presentation, despite the circumstances of this song’s release — that says a lot about his music, I think.
[7]

Maxwell Cavaseno: The tragedy surrounding Jonghyun’s demise would no doubt cast a shadow over the music that should emerge from he or his group despite any of the better efforts of those who would choose to release it (and judging from this video, perhaps be gambled upon). “Shinin'” is soft-edged bordering on a pillowy dullness, suggesting either perhaps a rush-job to capitalize or just a poorly designed single thanks to a light modernized disco-shuffle that never quite hits the grooves it traces along. The “Always be with you” refrain can only be bittersweet in the wake of Jonghyun’s passing and with this to memorialize him, perhaps his fans will find a sentimental value beyond more than a single could provide.
[5]

Alfred Soto: Jonghyun’s silken finesse doesn’t unduly disturb the stuttering competence of the backing track, which means “Shinin'” is closer to VIP lounge fare than I’d like. But wallpaper looks textured after a couple glasses of prosecco. 
[7]

Katherine St Asaph: Reminds me of one of my favorite neo-disco deep cuts lately; this one’s got about ten times as much going on where it’d be better streamlined to three times as much, but the slink is the same.
[6]

Thomas Inskeep: This slightly woozy, upbeat pop record is so good, it makes Jonghyun’s suicide in December sting that much more. He sounds full of life, the percussion snaps and crackles, and the synths woosh back & forth, all combining to create a magical pop record. “Shinin'” is, in fact, sunshine and joy and smiles. Rest in power, Jonghyun.
[9]

Reader average: [7.85] (7 votes)

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