Jonghyun is a member of SHINee, under SM Entertainment, and he has also released a number of solo work. He is incredibly talented, and when not working on producing and writing other artists songs, as well as SHINee’s music, he works on his own music. His album “She Is” was one of my favourite album from 2016, and I knew I would be anticipating any solo releases from him the moment I heard that album. I heard that he would be releasing a single with Taeyeon (from Girls’ Generation), and I couldn’t help but get hyped for it. His music is always fantastic. Will “Lonely” be any different?
From the opening strains of this song, I knew I would love it. It’s got the ingredients of all my favourite songs. Piano, moody and an amazing vocalist. The ballad tones hit me straight away, and I was instantly hooked. The song says that it “features” Taeyeon but honestly, she sings about half of the song, and is way more than a “featured” artist. I think it should be Jonghyun and Taeyeon singing “Lonely” rather than Jonghyun featuring Taeyeon. The song is made by her involvement in this, and whilst I love Jonghyun, Taeyeon is fantastic in this. Their duet is wonderful.
The song is incredibly sad. It describes the end of a relationship that neither person wanted to end but it was the best decision. Jonghyun wonders if it’s his fault that the relationship ended the way it did, and he ponders about how he can possibly fix his life without this relationship in it. He tries to continue on, as he always did, but he can’t seem to manage it. Taeyeon echoes this in her parts too, but she seems to be the one who ended it, as her parts speak a little of the guilt she feels about being on her own now. Their voices compliment each other in a way that I haven’t heard in a long time. Their voices are so perfectly in harmony, it sounds like one voice at times! It’s beautiful and sad, and there is so much emotion in what and how they are singing. I completely feel the pain and loneliness they are singing about.
This MV is perfect for this song. It’s just Jonghyun going about his day in his house, but clearly something is wrong. Someone is missing, and the pain is obvious. There is no one else in the video at all, and Taeyeon’s lack of appearance is crucial to maintaining the visible air of sadness that is palpable in this. In other videos, when an artist is featured and they don’t appear in the video, it can be a let down, or a missed opportunity (IU and G-Dragon recently being the most obvious candidate for this), but in this, it actually works for the videos aesthetic and vibe.
The video itself is not dark and miserable at all. We see lots of sunshine and bright lights, but the creeping melancholy is everywhere. It’s inescapable in this, and it’s a hard feat to pull off. Normally, videos like this are dripping with darkness and broody, dark, shots, but this is different. The more powerfully emotional shots here are all brightly lit. We see Jonghyun outside in the brilliant sunshine, dragging his clothed legs through a swimming pool. We see him sitting in a bathroom, with his face covered, and the bright sunshine streaming over his face. I absolutely love this video for that, and it’s a breathe of fresh air for this genre of song.
Jonghyun looks extremely sad in this video. His acting captures the emotions of the song so well, i cannot help but tear up a little watching him. He portrays what he wants you to know perfectly, and for that reason, I’m glad it was Jonghyun and not an actor.
A beautiful song about the end of a relationship and the sudden realisation that you are now alone, in every possible way. I need more Jonghyun songs now. Way more Jonghyun songs. I could listen to him sing for a very long time and never get tired of it.
If you want to hear more Jonghun, I would recommend “Moon”, “Inspiration” and “White T-Shirt”