It’s been a decade since K-pop star Key (Kim Kibum) got his start as a member of boy band SHINee. A popular singer, actor, and television personality in South Korea, he revealed a new side to himself today (Nov. 26) with the release of his first-ever solo album, Face.
The third member of SHINee to release a solo project, Key goes for a funky, electro-pop on much of Face’s tracks, but the album starts off on an evocative note with the alt R&B single “One of Those Nights.” A duet with soloist Crush, the song begins with a rhythmic clapping beat and gentle strings as Key sentimentally sings, showing off his falsetto in the second verse before the beat drops and Crush comes in with an addicting dance break that ushers in lush house beats as the pair play their vocals off one another for the remainder of the song.
The single was released along with a video that features Key ruminating on a romance melancholically while awash in atmospheric lighting in a variety of settings, ranging from a forest to a subway car, as he yearns for the woman he loves. Throughout, the SHINee member shows off his sleek choreography, which culminates in an artistic floor routine as rain falls on Key and his backup dancers.
Watch the video below.
“One of Those Nights” kicks off a 10-track LP that overflows with throwback vibes, such as the video game-style synth blips of “Honest,” the groovy, punk-rock instrumental of “Good Good,” and the distorted, Daft Punk-esque chorus of “Imagine.” From start to finish the album showcases Key’s diverse tone and tastes, and ends off with the reflective “This Life,” which the SHINee member has reportedly said is a based on feelings of wanting to quit — though he has no plans on quitting music anytime soon — and his ruminations about his career over the past decade.
Prior to its release, fans were already familiar with two of Face’s tracks, the pre-album-release single “Forever Yours,” which featured soloist SoYou, and the dramatic, Skrillex co-written EDM track “Chemicals,” which Key performed during a Seoul Fashion Week event in October.
This year has been a busy one for Key, who has released several albums with SHINee and featured on a remix of Years & Years’ “If You’re Over Me” in July. SHINee most recently peaked at No. 4 on the World Albums chart with their The Story of Light trilogy of EPs.