Music Review

REVIEW: Taemin – Press It

Press your nuuumberrrr ☎️

Ah yeah, my favorite Taemin era. So far, nothing has reached or topped my excitement and love for this era. I was so enthralled with this rollout and era from start to finish.

I actually made an unboxing video for my old fashion and lifestyle blog. I was just so hyped about this album from the jump. And it exceeded my expectations.

I talked about my favorite Ace songs changing over the years. But with Press It, my fave songs have pretty much stayed the same. The same songs I listened to a ton when it first dropped and a year or two after, are still songs I listen to a lot.

Or at least whenever they pop up, I still get excited to hear them. And the songs I didn’t listen to as much, are still songs I don’t really check for.

This was another album I bought through either KTOWN4U or Yes Asia. Back when, I always got posters with my Kpop albums. I still have this Taemin poster hanging up in my closet:

It matches Jonghyun’s Base album poster I have so well. I always thought they did this on purpose, for parallels. I also love a good evil clone/twin/split personality concept. I’m also a sucker for blonde!Taemin. This was like peak me obsessed with dark blonde hair on him. And red. Taemin looks so good in red.

Oh, and the prince like concept! I loved that too. This botched bowl cut hairstyle wasn’t it, but I loved everything else. I think I just ignored that haircut, just like I ignored it on Hyunjin during Maxident era, lol.

There’s so much to unpack with this album. Let’s get into it!


So we can’t talk about a SHINee related album without mentioning the composition side of these songs. I think the most notable thing about this era/album song creation wise is Bruno Mars and The Stereotypes original version of “Press Your Number“.

Wild thing about it, is most of the original parts of the song is here. It’s really not that different from the final version we got with Taemin.

Now, Wikipedia says Taemin wrote new Korean lyrics for the final version. And he never actually met with Bruno Mars because SM had bought the song years before.

There are other songs written, produced, etc but other interesting artists, but I feel like the Bruno Mars thing was the most marketed thing. Like that’s what people ran with the most.

We got another Jonghyun song, “Already”. I don’t remember if I knew that or not. I think I did and forgot. The only song on Press It Taemin has exclusive writing credits on is “Soldier” which he wrote overseas. I love this song.

However, apparently my favorite song from Press It was written by G.Soul, and that’s “Until Today”. I’m gonna save my thoughts for when we get to that song later in the article, but I have soooo much love for this song. Taemin knocks it out of the park with his delivery.

We have some usual suspects with producers and writers SM uses for their artists music. Kensie, The Stereotypes, MZMC, LDN Noise, and Daniel “Obi” Klein. Someone I wasn’t expecting to see a credit for is Shaun. He has song credits on “Guess Who”.

I think he’s still most known by international Kpop fans for the controversy over “Way Back Home” on Korean streaming services, which was later proven false. But I fookin love “Thinking Of” feat Ovan and Sumin.

That’s such a gooood song, and it’s on the same album as “Way Back Home”, which is also a very good song. I should see if he has other songs like “Thinkin Of”. I’m getting off-topic, lol.

There’s also a song credit to Ray Charles, that must be related to the creation of the original version of “Press It”. I never knew about this, and I feel like y’all should know too. Okay, let’s get into these songs individually.


Drip Drop

I was excited for Press It before “Drip Drop”, but when this performance video dropped, pun intented, I was overjoyed. My excited increased 200%. I loved LOVED “Drip Drop”. Don’t you just love when you instantly click with a song?

Like, you know within the first 30 seconds you’re gonna love this song, and you’re never gonna be the same after listening to it? That’s how I felt on my first watch of this performance video.

Like everyone else, I love watching Taemin dance. His styling here is absolutely perfect. It was crafted just for me, it feels like. I definitely would wear this exact look. Minus the suspenders. I never noticed he’s wearing a scarf here.

And we got black backup dancers too? What a time to be alive. I think some of the dancers were in the “Press Your Number” video too.

I never get old of “Drip Drop” and the performance video goes by so fast. Perfection. 10s across the board.


Press Your Number

They wildin in this music video. I always talk about some of my favorite music videos being plot driven. “Press Your Number” is a mini movie. And yeah, all the dancers from “Drip Drop” reappear in this video.

We love the continuity. We love Taemin in a turtleneck. The cinematography, the pacing of the video, everything is immaculate. I’m still a bit confused on what exactly is going on, but it’s great.

“Drip Drop” and “Press Your Number” have always been in my top 3 fave songs from this album. I don’t typically like to have title tracks included in my fave songs, because it’s so easier for them to get overplayed. But I can’t help but to rank these songs that high.


Soldier

Y’all know how I get about boring ballads. I think Taemin’s vocal performance on this album is astounding. You can tell the improvement between this and the previous album. I don’t listen to “Soldier” as much as I used to, but I love it. I gotta be in the mood for it.


Already

I’m gonna be honest. I never listen to this song. But rediscovering this song for this article, I added it to my midtempo Kpop ballads playlist.

I do like it, but it’s very dramatic, in a good way. It does feel a bit like a b-side that could be on Base. It gives me “Monodrama” vibes. I think I’ll be listening to it more in the future.


Guess Who

I like the guitar riff in “Guess Who”. Other than that, I don’t check for this song. It’s fine. Just not something I actively seek ever.


One By One

Man, if you liked the guitar in “Guess Who”, they really gave us a treat in “One By One”. I know I said “Until Today” was my favorite song from Press It, it just barely passes “One By One”. I think my attachment to “One By One” is how Ace adjancent it is.

I looked to see what some of the previous writters/producers are and if they did anything on Ace. I discovered something else.

One of the people credited on “One By One” is Ryan S.Jhun, and he’s worked on a ton of SM artist and other Kpop artists from all over the industry songs, but with SHINee he also worked on “View”, “Married to the Music”, and “Excuse Me Miss”. Other songs I love. Go figure.

I gotta link the Wiki here. This man got BANGERS for days. He’s currently CEO for Marcan Entertainment (a publishing company) and Ateam Entertainment, home of VAV and bugaboo.


Mystery Lover

Another song I loved instantly, but I don’t listen to as much as I used to. There’s something kinda eerie and haunting about “Mystery Lover” I just adore.


Sexuality (Rearranged Version)

I didn’t care for this song back in 2016, and on my revisit of it, I’m still not a huge fan. It’s fine. I think this is a cover, anyway. The instrumentals are superb. But nothing I gotta listen to again, lol.


Until Today

The drama!! Out of all of Taemin’s vocals on this album, I feel like you can feel his heart and soul pouring out in “Until Today”. I don’t know how you could listen to this song and not feel the genuine emotion pour through the speakers.

I think this was another song I loved because it reminded me of Ace in a way. I really wanted more songs like that album, and I wasn’t ready to let that go, even though two years had gone by, lol.


Hypnosis

I don’t check for this song, and I bet that’s not a surprise for y’all. It’s too boring ballady for me. But Taemin does a wonderful job singing on “Hypnosis”. “Hypnosis” was going to be on Ace, but got scrapped.

I’m glad it did because of how out of place it feels. I think the placement of it on Press It works so well because we’ve had a larger variety of songs previously.

This song being at the end of the album feels perfect because it’s the only song like it. Taemin spilled his heart out on the previous song and sets the stage perfectly for an even slower paced song like “Hypnosis”.

I think genre wise, Press It has waaay more variety and options versus the R&B heavy Ace. And then the faster paced, loud songs were more pop and dance leaning.

So whatever the final ballad song would have to sound closer to “Play Me” and I just think the two songs are too different. Now maybe “Soldier” could hang with Ace. But I’m 100% happy with this decision.


Press It is Taemin’s first solo album and I remember being so proud of him at the time. I was so excited to see what he would do next, despite me wanting more R&B Taemin.

I didn’t realize how impactive this album was at the time and how much of a bridge this album was for his future work. Because you really can see the bones of Move and Taemin releasing more of a dance/synth pop sound.

Next Taemin post will be on Move. I’m not exactly sure how this article will come out. One of my favorite Taemin songs ever is “Thirsty”, but I didn’t care for this album as a whole back in 2017. So we’ll see if I still feel the same or if I’ve had a change of heart. Guess we’ll see when we get there.

I hope y’all enjoyed this post. I’m trying to get caught up on posting articles on here. I have the next few days, so I’m trying to spend that time writing. What are y’alls favorite songs from Press It? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll see y’all next post,

Ash🦋 

1 Comment

  1. My Other Fave Taemin Songs – Ash Talks Kpop

    December 18, 2022 at 7:54 pm

    […] we’ve made it to the finale of this Taemin series! We’ve covered my thoughts on Ace, Press It, and Move. So now I want to talk about the remaining Taemin eras all together. I didn’t […]

Leave a Reply