It almost feels surreal to have SHINee back again. Their return to the scene has been a fantastic one with their stunning ‘Don’t Call Me’ album receiving almost unanimous critical and commercial acclaim. Don’t Call Me was a different sound for the group but one that won over many in the long run. And while I still enjoyed that track, I don’t think it grew on me as much as it did for many others. I was still longing for the boys to promote something on the brighter, more funk laced side like the stunning I Really Want You from the same album. And thankfully, repackaged single Atlantis does exactly that.
Repackages have always been great for showing off two different sides of a group and much like 2016’s one two shot blast of 1 of 1 and Tell Me What To Do, the two singles off Atlantis are polar opposites. Both Don’t Call Me and Atlantis are as far away from each other as can be, harnessing completely different musical directions and concepts to create a nice contrast. We’ve gone from dark, lurching industrial to bright, funk laced groove and for someone who adores it when groups tackle brighter sounds, this is my kind of shift.
Opening with an instantly catchy guitar riff, Atlantis announces itself with a soaring opening line from Taemin. Which brings me to the first big draw to Atlantis, the stunning vocal arrangement. SHINee have one of the most instantly recognisable and powerful vocal blends in the industry and the arrangement here amplifies it to immense levels. Every single line is delivered with a sense of urgency, layering the boys vocals to create moments which stretch an already potent melody to extraordinary levels. This is best shown during the climax where in classic SM style, Onew blasts into a searing extended high note. The production follows suit, consisting of the aforementioned guitar loop as a base with the inclusion of some grandiose strings and a delightful funk beat during the chorus. There’s also a rock guitar assisted rap breakdown! This is all fantastic stuff.
But as with the best SHINee songs, Atlantis is home to a great chorus. The melody here is groovy as hell and the clipped delivery comes across as incredibly rhythmic. This is followed by an immense melody that layers the boys vocals for a brilliant two part core. It isn’t the most instantly gripping chorus and I can understand why many would view it as a little underwhelming but I personally see it as one of the most catchy centrepieces of the year. I guarantee it will only take a single listen before you’re subconsciously humming “My love goes deep deep deep”.
Final Rating: 9.25 / 10