[This review reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of allkpop.]
4. Be Your Enemy
5. Think Of You
6. Exclusive - Korean Version
8. I Think It's Love
My number one concern whenever I see a Taemin comeback is, how in the world can Taemin top what he came out with in the past? Is it even humanly possible for Taemin to become an even better performer and artist? Luckily, the 3rd album in his series, Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 2, confirms that Taemin is an artist with unstoppable range and capability and is one of K-Pop's most luminary artists to date. "IDEA" is the album's title track and opening. The song is absolutely haunting and chill-inducing. "IDEA" has perfect balance with the lilt of the instrumental against Taemin's wispy vocal delivery. The song is perfection as a single and a perfect follow-up to "Criminal."
The album continues to impress with the track, "Heaven." Immediately we are met with angelic riffs eliciting the same goosebumps as before. Taemin's vocals are intentional and give the song a haunting, impressive, and impactful feeling. This eerie feeling continues with "Impressionable," a song that feels like a villain's theme song in a movie. Mysterious, eerie, and with a certain rhythm that gives the song a club feel, the song is a midtempo hit.
"Be Your Enemy" is the album's only collaboration and features WENDY from Red Velvet. The song is nostalgic in vibe, reminiscent of the late 80s, early 90s. WENDY's part is brief, but her voice is so complementary to Taemin's that it is a welcomed addition to the song. Typically, I'm rather wary of collaborations, but I earnestly believe she is a welcomed addition to the song.
"Think Of You" is upbeat and starkly different from the first half of the album and marks a bit of a difference in sound. The song shows off Taemin's range well but isn't my favorite on the album for the excessive autotune usage and the fact that some of the vocals double as synths.
Fans of Taemin's Japanese releases will be happy to hear he has released "Exclusive" in Korean. The song in Korean is just as good as the original, if not better, and more refined. I can imagine this song going over really well once live tours pick back up.
Taemin slows it down for the last couple of tracks with "Pansy," "I Think It's Love," and "Identity." "Pansy" is acoustic and downtempo in a delicate sort of way that is distinctly Taemin. About 2/3 of the way into the song, the high notes, in particular, are impeccably done. "I Think It's Love" is another ballad, but it's softer and more delicate than the track prior. Taemin's vocals are akin to a thin layer of ice threatening to shatter. The way the song picks up at the chorus and is so impactful that it leaves a powerful impression off just one listen.
The album finishes off with "Identity," a midtempo track that starts slow but feels purposeful in its build-up. The song is well-crafted and gives the album a finale of sorts. The instrumental style ties up this intricate and insanely powerful album with a bow.
Taemin will not disappoint on visuals and has never disappointed with his MVs. His video for "IDEA" is mesmerizing, intriguing, and visually appealing. The stark contrast between the imagery as it goes with the fluctuations of the song is well-connected and thoughtful. As one artist among many dancers, it's hard to stand out, but even in monochromatic white, Taemin shines as a star. His choreography is over the top and distinctly him: a culmination of K-Pop's greatest concepts and ideas in one.
MV Score: 9
Album Score: 9.67