As far as solo male pop idols go, I think Taemin is my fave… yes over more obvious choices like G-Dragon or Taeyang—- Taemin’s solo output is consistent and he’s blessed with a songwriting team that keeps him laced with solid hooks and production.
I was a lil geeked when I heard that a new album from Taemin was on the way as his solo debut Ace still remains one of my top K-Pop albums. However, I felt a bit disappointed by the first listen of the new single… which made me wanna do anything but “Move”. I was expecting something a bit more uptempo along the lines of “Danger” or “Press Your Number” so the left field-edness of “Move” threw me off but… then I saw the video.
It’s amazing what a strong visual can do as Taemin’s latest video was the much needed slap in my face to let me know, “Hey Dummy… how could you NOT recognize that this track is hot?!—- It’s a slow burner though!” It’s a song that takes it’s time reeling you in, waiting until the hook to reveal that it’s a big ol’ 80’s influenced synth-y pop/R&B jam. The video finds T. flanked by a small army of all female(!) dancers executing choreography that is beautiful in it’s deceptive “simplicity”. While other male K-Pop artists opt for the flashy tricks/hip hop dance battle style as of late, Taemin adopts an effective fluid minimalist approach this time around which is a natural fit for his decidedly androgynous-even-for-K-Pop aesthetic.
Aside from the concept version, his agency has also released not only the requisite practice video, but there are alternate concept takes featuring only him and his dancers and a duet version with the choreographer, Koharu Sugawara. The video made me give the song, which now makes me think of Kylie’s “Slow”, a second chance and I love the track and the visual for their refusal to embrace any of the “right.now!” trends in K-Pop—- videos of slo-mo running in the mountains or that “tropical” sound that won’t die. BTS’ “Not Today” was my favorite K-Pop video of the year, but “Move” might now be my choice as it succeeds in creating it’s own artistic lane rather than joining the crowded street of what has worked for everyone else.
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