Alright Shawols and K-pop fans alike, the wait is over. SHINee’s Onew finally has made his comeback with his first full-length album and it’s everything we wanted and more. We got indie pop, ballads, and a collab with Korean hip-hop artist Giriboy. We got the R&B title track and an absolutely stunning music video. The lead-up for this album was near perfect as well, from the nature-inspired teasers to his first solo concerts being held in Seoul. While international Shawols were absolutely heartbroken they weren’t in Korea to attend the concert, thankfully there was a Beyond LIVE stream for those who could tune in.
The music video for ‘Circle (O)’ is absolutely beautiful, and Onew looks like a dream come true, but there are some moments from it that we love more than words can describe. There are three specific scenes though, that really stood out to us so we have to try and put words to the love we have for them.
At the beginning of the music video, we see Onew here, looking straight into the camera. His hair is messy and he is dressed in neutral colors, and it keeps cycling through him in different scenes. Each cycle is interspersed with different types of inanimate growth as well. He looks ethereal, the muted tones of the scene and his outfit pairing with the haunting song. The lyrics are beautiful when translated into English, comparing the highs and lows of our lives to the seasons and saying how everything will come full circle.
This next section has Onew in a theatre with a spotlight on him. The bright blue contacts that the stylists put him in are haunting. It draws the viewers’ attention to him and in the same muted colors as before really fits with the overall vibe of the song. There was a melancholy feeling to this section, especially when the disgruntled cat puppet comes out. There’s something that makes us feel like when you come inside after a walk on a brisk winter day. There’s a warmth blossoming but still a chill deep down.
The final scene that absolutely took our breath away was the alluded television show Onew was on. There was a whimsical element that whisked us back to our childhood and shows like Zooboomafoo or Reading Rainbow. Onew dressed in a plaid suit, seated on a faux grassy knoll and surrounded by towers of books as well as animal and mushroom statues gave us cottage-core vibes already. When you couple in his ‘Caramel’ vocals as well though, we were in heaven.
Onew’s first full-length album, Circle, and the title track’s accompanying music video really exceeded our Shawol ‘Expectations.’ We really can’t wait to see what is to come on the repackaged album.