Updated: May 20
Over time, the K-Pop Review community has grown from a few individuals into a full subset of the internet. Now, TheBiasList, Kbopped, 10/10 - Music, Hallyureviews, Jei’s Kulture Notes, Deforested Music, A Floating Realm in the Corner, 8.5 Music, and Kpopreviewed are working together, to create a series, where we review our favorite K-Pop summer song.
Be sure to check out everyone’s posts in the links below!
Before I start the review, I like to thank 10/10 - Music for inviting me to be a part of this collaboration. I think this community of K-Pop bloggers is essential to K-Pop, as it serves the purpose of critiquing the genre we love, hoping that people from the industry can somehow stumble across one of our blogs and read the reviews. At least, that's what I hope.
In any case, this community is a haven for us to voice our own opinions without putting each other down. Sure, we can disagree on some opinions about a song, but we're not conforming to any stereotypical trait of a toxic K-Pop fan. It's a healthy environment that offers constructive inputs about the genre/industry.
With all of that said, let's move on to my review!
When I first read that we're doing a summer-theme K-Pop collaboration, I was honestly stuck on which song to review. I don't have a K-Pop summer favorite yet!
There are a lot of candidates I could've picked for my review. There's BTS' Dope, Super Junior's Devil, Red Velvet's Red Flavor, etc. I could've been obvious and chosen one of SISTAR'S summer hits. I also contemplated featuring a group I haven't yet covered. The list of songs to review is just endless!
That's when SHINee's View came into play.
When thinking about what makes a song perfect for summer, I imagine hearing a lively vocal performance over a lively instrumental (brass in particular) blasting through loudspeakers for the crowd to hear on a hot summer day at the beach. That's my imagination of what a summer song evokes.
View is anything but that. Instead, it offers a different approach for the season.
When hearing View, I imagine walking outside on a hot summer evening, stumbling across a crowded bar where the song starts to play. The track is immersive, allowing me to throw away all my worries and lose myself in the moment. It speaks to me individually.
That's the scenario that comes to mind when listening to View.
What makes it so irresistible? It doesn't bring the same intensity as some of the other K-Pop summer songs. Well, to understand its value, let's go in-depth with its production and place in time.
View came out in May 2015, which technically doesn't make it a summer song, considering summer starts in June in Korea. Nonetheless, you can still count it for the season. I like to think of it as a warm-up for summer!
Moving on, the sound View brought to the table was relatively new in K-Pop.
The song incorporates deep house, and at the time, deep house wasn't in a lot of K-Pop songs. As Jonghyun stated, "... deep house is a genre that's been developing internationally for a long time, but I think our song 'View' is the first song within K-pop to weave in that sound...".
That's an eye-catching statement to me. I figured there would've been some K-Pop songs that already incorporated the genre. Looks like I have to do some more digging!
In any case, View was a breath of fresh air once it got released. Even after six years, it remains one of SHINee's and K-Pop's best singles. Let's examine the song to see why it's so well-produced!
The track opens up with an infectious synthesizer, setting up a calming, yet striking melody.
The first verse is relatively short but provided tight vocal performances from Taemin and Onew. There's nothing massive about this section, yet the breathy deliveries are enticing to listen to.
The pre-chorus picks things up a bit. While Key and Jonghyun offer great vocal melodies, the instrumental is the true backbone here. The ongoing synth from the intro alongside the percussion and rising synth effect makes for an exciting build before the drop.
We arrive at View's apex moment.
Compared to previous releases such as Why So Serious, Everybody, Dream Girl, and Sherlock, View presents a more subdued production. Despite not opting for another stadium-like sound, View still impresses with its combination of songwriting and instrumentation.
The repetition of "daun daun daun daun view" is the song's ultimate trump card. I think it's one of the best songwriting for choruses that K-Pop has to offer, presenting itself as a total earworm. The bassline underneath the melody provides a solid foundation for the chorus' appealing nature. It's brilliantly produced!
The song gets better with the post-chorus!
While the chorus is dominated by vocals, the post-chorus is all about the synthesizer.
Between the members singing "Neomu areumdaun" and Taemin spewing out three words, the synthesizer comes in to deliver a captivating melody. To add the cherry on top, this section ends with the elusive phrase "daun daun daun daun view".
Just like the first verse, the second verse is also short. Even though it only lasts 15 seconds, Jonghyun and Taemin made sure this section doesn't go to waste by offering vocals that are stout and heavenly.
The main difference I can pinpoint in this section is the addition of the percussion, making this verse livelier than the first. It's a cool little change that doesn't stand out much.
The bridge, as always, offers us a chance to take a quick breather. Still, it's hard not to get swept up by the vocal performances from Taemin, Onew, and Jonghyun. Each delivers a sweeping vocal delivery, successfully showing what makes each shine on his own, all the while summing up a cohesive group effort.
The final 37 seconds of View focus more on the performance aspect of SHINee. It's not as high-energy as some of their other tracks, but its tempo and sound are tight enough to conjure a dance break.
Oh, and this section blesses us with the post-chorus synthesizer. Do I need to explain more?
If you compare this to tracks like Sherlock and Lucifer, View falls short of delivering something overwhelming. However, it realizes its strength based on the phrase "simple, yet effective". The vocals, songwriting, synthesizers, and percussions combine to make a K-Pop song that victoriously replicated the deep house genre. It's a gripping sound meant for your ears to digest rather than let you imagine something other-worldly.
Not only that, but View is the perfect song to play when wanting to dance on a hot summer night.
These reasons are why View was chosen to be my K-Pop song of the Summer!
Next up is Kpopreviewed. If you are reading this and aren't a part of this collaboration, I won't give you any hints about what song he's reviewing. It's hard for me to come up with a good hint, so I'll say this- it came before this song.