20131011_seoulbeats_SHINee4I admit it, I didn’t have high hopes for this “Everybody” SHINee comeback. The teasers were rife with dubstep and random images and flashing lights – the hallmarks of so many mediocre K-pop releases. With SHINee’s tendency to be used as the group that tests out SM Entertainment’s avant garde concepts the concern that they would finally go astray was legitimate. Thankfully, this song and MV both surpass expectations and are similar to some of SHINee’s earlier work, what with the dark eyeliner and heavy electronic beats.

If you’re feeling like this style seems extra familiar it may be because “Everybody” was directed by the same person that directed “Lucifer.” Although not everyone liked “Lucifer,” or that era, those that do will be happy to have this particular side of the boys showing again. SHINee has experimented with many looks and many different types of song, but as charming as floral suits are, SHINee really does well with the metallic, futuristic rave-boy look and sound. That being said, SM still could have done a better job on this MV.

SM was clearly trying to be “edgy” with this concept, as evidenced by the random — and somewhat creepy — images at the beginning of the MV. You could spend hours trying to decipher what the meaning behind them was, but it would be kind of pointless because the MV just goes back to typical “dancing in rooms” style shortly after. Boxes full of flashing lights and solo shots are typical of SM and that just made the “artsy” beginning feel out of place because of the lack of context in the rest of the MV. The imagery of “plugging in” SHINee was a part of the overall MV concept, obviously, but that action could have stood on its own without the upside-down crow and masked people. Leaving all of that out would have avoided creating an anticipation for something other than what the MV turned out to be. 20131011_seoulbeats_SHINee1

On the other hand, the fashion in the MV fit perfectly. The faux-military wear somehow works with the over the top techno beats and black eye-makeup. Like everything they wear, SHINee makes what is originally a boring and official type of clothing into something eye-catching and sexy – yes, just like they did with the floral suits. The pure white uniforms were particularly stunning when combined with the bright lights of the set and the white hats really brought out the dark, extravagant eye-makeup. The outfits for the solo shots were interesting as well, but it was the multiple different military-esque outfits that really gave the MV a “look.”

20131011_seoulbeats_SHINee3Speaking of the eye-makeup, although it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, the dramatic look the makeup stylist went for perfectly fits the dark, robotic concept of “Everybody.” The rhinestones at the corner of Jonghyun’s eyes were a particularly nice touch. Minho is really the only member not sporting super obvious makeup but that is typical for his “manly” image. Despite that, he looks just as fabulous as his group-mates because the formal-wear look really works on his tall, muscular frame. The hair styles are also on point this comeback. Onew, although I fear for his scalp, looks incredible as a platinum blonde. Even Key managed to pull off his hair extensions, which were vaguely pirate-esque.

20131011_seoulbeats_SHINee5One complaint I do have with the costuming is the decision to make Taemin shirtless in his solo shots. Now, I know what you’re thinking, how could I possibly be complaining about the gorgeous maknae of SHINee showing some skin?
Well, it just seems unfair that Taemin is always the one being subjected to objectification by SM for marketing. Minho and Jonghyun have also been shirtless during concerts, of course, but Taemin is the one known by the public for his shirtless photo-shoot and now this as well. SHINee, and this MV, simply don’t need Taemin’s nipples to make them awesome. But hey, that faux-fur coat is gorgeous.

The highlight of the show, as it often is with SHINee, is the choreography. They have a way of pulling of performance tailored dances effortlessly, something not every group can do. The dance was weird, choppy, and awesome. From the partner lifts, to the jittering bounces, to the DJ-scratching arms moves, this dance had all the potential in the world to look stupid; but it didn’t. They showed their signature team work and group dances, as well, making the dance feel very “SHINee.” The music and the dance fit together like lock and key and SHINee performed each move more convincingly than seems possible. The result is an incredibly cool performance piece that utilizes all of the member’s talents.

20131011_seoulbeats_SHINee6“Everybody” is an intense song with an equally intense visual concept. SHINee demonstrates their typically flawless and unique dancing and once again proves that they can make any outfit look stylish. Unfortunately, this MV and song aren’t marketable to the general public. The dubstep and the use of abstract fashion make the whole concept appealing to only a portion of people. Not even all SHAWOLs will like “Everybody,” but for those that do enjoy this side of SHINee both the song and the MV are a real treat. The MV itself isn’t anything special, but the pieces of the concept puzzle are stellar. Overall MV rating: 3/5. Overall rating for components of the MV (dance, fashion, etc.): 5/5.

(SM Entertainment, YouTube)