Key is back and ready with even more tracks primed for the dancefloor! The SHINee member has dropped his second mini album Good & Great, following the release of Killer a repackage of his second full-length album earlier this year.
Unlike the production of Killer, Key opts for more suave and hypnotic tracks powered by funky instrumentals and synthwave. The title track, “Good & Great” has Key playing with tempo, going for a more precise and rhythmic delivery in the verses, and stretching out the choruses. The faster pace of the verses is a nice switch-up and shows off Key’s vocal prowess. The addition of piano in the track adds nice texture to what otherwise would have been an entirely electronic dance track, and it’s touches like that that bring the singer’s artistry forward into the spotlight.
“Can’t Say Goodbye” brings a more bombastic sound compared to the first track, but still keeping it sleek. Key’s tips his toes into his falsetto range in the chorus, adding a fusion of R&B-style vocals into a disco track. It’s a nice contrast hearing the more booming bass of the track against the higher vocals. “Intoxicating” dives fully into the synthwave vibes, transporting listeners to a mix of futurism and 80’s pop. The song reaches a satisfying climax in the bridge, with Key going for the power note, and it gives the track the perfect moment of depth to keep things from staying at the same level.
“Live Without You” is where the album starts getting into its stronger tracks, with Key really digging in with his vocals surrounded by a more moody sound. His voice echoes out as guitar riffs and submerged synths pull you into an immersive landscape. “CoolAs” is, in my opinion, the strongest track on the album. It’s an ethereal dreamscape, with a driving bass line, and airy synths. Key’s vocals heighten the mood, with a talk singing delivery in the chorus as he oozes charisma. I would go as far to say that this is one of Key’s strongest songs in his whole catalogue.
The album’s closer “Mirror, Mirror” is an interesting 180 from the themes of the previous songs. While the other songs on the album largely celebrate oneself and show gratefulness for what they have, Key reflects on imperfections, as he “search[es] for my flaws / The boundary between truth and lies.” It’s an introspective moment, and an intense one at that, as he lays his insecurities bare for the audience to here. It’s a touching moment, and an excellent choice to be the closing track as a reminder that artists like Key are just like you and me, and they go through highs and lows too.
Good & Great is another solid release for Key. The more subdued, but still danceable sound of the album is solidly produced, with each track, while definitely belonging to the same genres, have their own character. While largely a fun record, with tracks hyping the singer up and showing the greener side of life, has a touching moment of reality with its closing track. With each release, Key proves again and again that he isn’t just a fantastic vocalist, but an artist who knows how to keep things fresh and interesting, while still remaining true to himself.
Featured Image: SM Entertainment