I haven’t touched a solo artists’ discography yet. However, I feel like it is fitting that the first soloist I tackle is the king of reinventing himself, Lee Taemin. Yes, I know I did SHINee previously, but Taemin has an extensive solo career that is almost a decade old and tops not only the Korean charts but the Japanese as well. I usually don’t include Japanese releases but it would be a crime if I didn’t for Taemin. So buckle up as we take a ride back to 2014 for this listen down memory lane.
ACE (Debut EP, 2014)
ACE – It was a hard race between this and Play Me, and honestly it really depends on the day to see which is the best B-side. But ACE sets the EP up in a way that lets you know exactly what kind of Taemin you are going to get. It’s a mid-tempo R&B track that lets Taemin transition from SHINee’s Maknae to grown-ass man.
Press It (First Studio Album, 2016)
Soldier – Maybe it’s because he was such a seasoned performer at this point. Or maybe it is his religious background, but Soldier just hits different. The build-up in the verses pays off with the powerful choruses. If a song can wrap its arms around you, this is one of them.
Sayonara Hitori (Debut Japanese EP, 2016)
Sekaide Ichiban Aichitahito – It is hard to beat a song like Goodbye, and this doesn’t. But something about this just makes me feel like I binged the saddest Japanese drama and I’m in all my feelings. I love it.
Flame of Love (Second Japanese EP, 2017)
Door – It is official that Taemin just makes beautiful music. Sometimes the songs feel like you’re listening to a painting being put on canvas. And then when you watch him perform it, you release that is exactly what he’s doing. Head empty, heart full. That is what Door is for me.
MOVE (Second Studio Album, 2017)
Heart Stop (feat. Seulgi) – It is a crime that we do not have a live performance of this song. All we have is them performing Drip Drop, but it’s not enough! This song is so sexy and embodies both artists to a T!
MOVE-ING (Repackage Second Studio Album, 2017)
Hypnosis – There is a reason that most of the videos I have are of live performances. It’s because when you see these songs in the flesh, they change you. This is another song that tugs at your heartstrings and the way that Taemin performs it, you can’t help but be there with him.
TAEMIN (First Japanese Studio Album, 2018)
Holy Water – Taemin is the king of Japan, right? Cause if he isn’t, this song is here to tell you why he should be!
WANT (Second EP, 2019)
Truth – I could have gone with Artistic Groove because that too is an amazing B-side but it felt more like a lead single. Now Truth is that hot girl in class but she’s quiet but when she wants to get loud with it, she can. That is Truth on this album.
Famous (Third Japanese EP, 2019)
Exclusive – Again Taemin proves here that he can give us the dancey club banger that we all crave, but keep it sexy and stylish. The chorus breakdown is just chef kiss.
Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 1 (Third Studio Album, 2020)
Black Rose (Feat. Kid Milli) – Lee Taemin said you’re not keeping me in a box. I do pop, R&B and even trap. This song felt like a cultural reset. Lee “Tamari” Taemin got invited to the cookout with this one.
Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 2 (Third Studio Album, 2020)
Heaven– I know I keep picking the songs that are a slower groove than most but this could not be overlooked because Taemin killed it vocally. Showcasing that he isn’t a one-note pony and boy got range.
Advice (Third EP, 2021)
Sad Kids – Being the last release before his enlistment, I loved this EP. And even though Advice was that both of 2021, Sad Kids really touched me. I love how it was a call back to 2 Kids from NGDA Act 1. It just puts you back in that same mind frame as the first song. A continuation.