Track: Lucifer | Artist: SHINee | Album: Lucifer

Ahh, SHINee. SHINee, SHINee, SHINee. Where to begin.

Among the three songs I’ve introduced to you as my K-Pop gateway drugs, Lucifer was probably the last one that I was exposed to, and the one that firmly cemented my entrance into this crazy world.

SHINee may have one of the most balanced, high-quality discographies of all time (I’m inviting a bunch of comments by saying this, I’m sure, but I stand by it). On one hand, we have songs like the one above and Ring Ding Dong — then they turn around and release tracks like 1 of 1 and Colorful. To listen to SHINee’s title tracks through the years is to take a heady trip through the development of K-Pop itself.

In recent years, the group is notable for a much sadder turn of events: the death of one of their vocalists Jonghyun, which was ruled a suicide and linked to depression. His suicide note stands in contrast with his public image and is a reminder to us all that mental illness remains an understudied subject, especially in South Korea.