No one in K-pop is doing it like Taemin. As a matter of fact, no one in any genre is doing it like Taemin. The soloist and member of K-pop groups SHINee and SuperM has had a jam-packed year filled with group promotions, yet still found the time to originate his own complex, poignant storyline of love, loss, and re-birth that would be the backbone for his third solo album Never Gonna Dance Again.
Split into two parts, the concept album allows Taemin to redefine his career as a solo artist on his own terms. Act 1‘s lead single, “Criminal,” pulls you headfirst into Taemin’s world of darkness and destruction. It is Taemin at his most vulnerable, controlled entirely by someone else and yet thriving off the negative attention. “So elegant, the criminal who destroys me,” he sings. “Not okay. I try and shake my head, but I’m only getting dragged in more deeply.” The slick newtro song offers no resolution to the end of his plight, but perfectly sets the tone for the first album and makes his redemption arc in Act 2 that much sweeter. Theatrical and hypnotic, “Criminal” is pure genius.