The late Jonghyun’s final album Poet | Artist was released today and immediately hit No.1, and all proceeds are going to the singer’s mother to help those suffering from depression.
On Dec. 18 SHINee’s Jonghyun took his own life after a long fight with depression and left fans all over the world stunned. It was then discovered that the singer had just filmed a music video for his completed album which was set to be released this month.
Last week SM Entertainment announced that they would still release the album posthumously and all proceeds would go to Jonghyun’s mother to be “the foundation for the establishment of an organization to help those who are living in difficult circumstances,” according to the company.
“We hope that Jonghyun’s heart is received by you all as he loved music more than anyone else and communicated through music,” SM said.
SHINee fans were happy to hear Jonghyun’s final work would still be shared one month after the tragedy.
“Jonghyun wanted this album to be a healing album for us all, although he’s gone he knew we would need this so he left it for us,” said fan Sabrina Jones.
“This album is so special to everyone. To SHINee, to Shawols, to Jonghyun’s friends and family, and to Jonghyun. This was his parting gift to us and we will appreciate every single part of this art he has left us,” said @1of1jinki on Twitter.
The album contains 11 songs ranging from fun dance tracks to soft ballads and was produced by Jonghyun himself. The title track “Shinin'” is an electronic pop love song about a girl whose eyes are shining when she looks at him. Beginning with the sounds of a busy street, “Sightseeing” is a groovy and enticing track with a funky bass guitar.
The track “Just for a day” opens with an acoustic melody and has an addicting and sweet chorus. “Sentimental” gives off soulful 1950’s vibes with the sound of an old record playing. The track “#Hashtag” is a finger-snapping yet calming song. “Grease” shows off Jonghyun’s unique vocals the most of all the tracks.
The final track, “Before Our Spring” is a sweet song with a piano melody accompanying Jonghyun’s honeyed vocals. The lyrics say, “Before it’s warm, should we see each other once? Before the day brightens, when everyone is asleep, let’s be sure to meet / Truthfully I like looking at you, I like keeping watch over you, looking at you smiling, just watching over you is comfortable.”
Jonghyun excels in funky retro-feeling songs as well as moving ballads and powerful hits, and this album is no different. Every song is unique an introduces various genres, and all are difficult to skip over.
After Jonghyun’s death, a big question loomed in the air: Will SHINee continue as a four-member group?
The remaining members—Onew, Minho, Key, and Taemin—uploaded handwritten letters two weeks ago confirming they would continue as SHINee and also participate in their scheduled Japan concerts in February.
In Minho’s letter he wrote:
“Jonghyun’s space is also something that can’t be replaced, there are many worries regarding whether we will be able to stand on stage as a group again, but I will prepare the fullest so my heart is shown in the near future.
Jonghyun hyung and the rest of us promised, when we were tired and wanted to quit, and when we wanted to run away since we were too weak, we will remember that [the fans] were our biggest strength, and because of this, we will continue to keep singing. Let us all overcome this battle together.”
On the cover of the album there’s a message from Jonghyun that says, “We can be together in this space, while being on the other side of the Earth. We can be together at any time, not just at 12 o’clock. Physical matters certainly remained indifferent in our space. I only hope for this to never cease. I hope this space that belongs to you and me, be the site for anyone to rest in tranquility.
I hope for our memories to rise as reminiscences and embrace you like no other. This is dedicated to those who have created our space together. Thank you.”
Jonghyun knew what this album would mean to his fans, and he knew he wouldn’t be around for its release. Hopefully this album can send comfort to everyone. You can stream the album Poet | Artist on Spotify and iTunes.