Hey, SHINee’s back! The SM quintet hasn’t released a single since their impressive 2013 run of “Dream Girl,” “Why So Serious?” and “Everybody” so this is one of the times where the group’s signature phrase is completely warranted. While SHINee releases can usually be identified thanks to their very, very bombastic and loudly electronic style and clearly defined (and also very, very bombastic and loud) vocal work, ‘View’ provides a much different sound for SHINee to play off of that the group executes almost all-too easily.
The best and worst thing about ‘View’ is that it sounds a lot like a stereotypical Euro-Pop track and that’s admittedly a bit welcomed for a K-Pop scene that could use a alternative point of view, no matter how derivative it may be for another music scene. The spacey keys and slow buildup to a burning synth addled and very, very, very repetitive chorus are hallmarks of an electropop track that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Calvin Harris album. Indeed, it comes as little surprise that the production was headed up by UK composer team LDN Noise as the Western influences on the track are almost surprisingly jarring considering how familiar it is. That’s not to say that ‘View’ is bad. The familiar beat and buildup is formulaic but it’s a formula that works and it is the type of track that SHINee is overqualified in executing. The hook of “Down, down, down, down, down” may be dumb but it’s the sort of dumb that is forgivable on the dance floor or in an H&M dressing room where this type of track is ubiquitous. In all, ‘View’ isn’t a song that is groundbreaking, but it does offer a different perspective from what K-Pop usually provides and it’s mindless fun so it’s hard to find it offensive.
What ‘View’ lacks in concept, it tries to make up in style and direction. Simply put, there’s not a whole lot going on in ‘View.’ Part dance-in-a-box, part “summer-jam-festival-by-way-of-Urban-Outfitters-catalog,” the video does its best to get by with what seems like three random Instagram filters, some admittedly thoughtful shot compositions that go above and beyond what is usually found in dance-in-a-box videos and Minho’s well-defined shoulders. Given the shallowness of the concept, it’s a bit of a minor miracle that ‘View’ is able to be as visually interesting as it is, although I’m pretty damn sure Minho’s Magical Muscles ended up contributing way more to this video than anything else.
In some ways, ‘View’ as a video is a perfect mirror of its song. Both may be a bit lacking ways of imagination or substance but both understand how to make the most of flash, whether that be through some stupidly catchy chorus work or through the power of tank tops. It may never be a classic in my book but damn if I haven’t played ‘View’ fifty times on repeat since I first heard it and not regretted it in the least.