The 27-year-old dance machine, who’s set to enlist in the military at the end of May, shows off his rapping chops in the fast-paced R&B track. “Advice” is a clapback to rumormongers or anyone who’s judgmental; as one translated line goes, “Hey, you/Looking for something to gossip about.” (TBH, feeling a little called out!)
The accompanying MV still has the dark, vampy aesthetic he’s been wielding as a solo artist—but this time, he bares more skin with comic-book-slash-anime villain visuals.
He sheds the aggressive energy from “Advice” to channel vulnerability and romance on the four other songs in the mini-album. “It’s about my emotions and thoughts,” he described the comeback (and technically farewell) album in a video last week. “It’s like a bridge that connects between my past and future.”
His personal pick, according to a May 18 interview, is “Strings,” a soulful guitar ballad. He and Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon duet in “If I Could Tell You”—and he pulls off a falsetto to match her light and airy vocals.
“Sad Kids” seems to be a follow-up to 2020 electro-pop song “2 Kids,” the lyrics of which he wrote himself (the choruses run parallel too, from “We were just 2 kids, too young and dumb” to “We’re just sad kids getting lost.”) Besides “Advice,” I personally would have liked to see an MV for “Light” because of how vibrant it is compared to most of his solo discography.
Overall, the EP is a fitting parting gift to devoted fans and even to himself as an artist. After evolving and experimenting in his solo career, there’s a lightness in this EP while still showing what he’s capable of. As a friend of mine described the album, “Walang tapon!”
Before he leaves, you can catch Taemin with his Shinee hyungs Onew, Minho, and Key as they celebrate their 13th anniversary on May 25 with a virtual live event. Now fast forward to a 2023 comeback please!
Header photo screengrabbed from the “Advice” music video