"Sherlock" is the fourth EP of South Korean boy group Shinee. The physical CD was released on March 21, 2012 in South Korea, but the album was made available online worldwide on March 19, 2012. According to statistics released by Gaon, Shinee’s fourth mini-album Sherlock sold 135,370 copies in the month of March, setting the record for most album sales in March 2012. The title song "Sherlock (Clue + Note)" topped the weekly download chart for 5 weeks and digital chart, various music charts as well. On March 27, 2012, Sherlock placed 10th on the Billboard Weekly Heatseekers Albums and 5th on the Billboard Weekly World Albums charts respectively. At the end of the year, Sherlock places 4th on Hanteo's Top 50 Chart for 2012.
The album consists of seven songs. The lead single and title song "Sherlock (Clue + Note)" is a hybrid remix; the two songs that were remixed for "Sherlock (Clue + Note)" are "Clue" and "Note". The dance in the "Sherlock" music video was choreographed by Tony Testa, who previously worked for Kylie Minogue.
The lyrics to "Honesty" are written by Jonghyun and Minho, to give thanks to their fans. The lyrics to "Alarm Clock" are written by Jonghyun and Minho, about wishing to wake up from a nightmare of past break-up. The album also includes "Stranger", the main theme song for Strangers6, a Korea-China-Japan joint drama scheduled to be aired in Korea, composed by Korean songwriter Kenzie. The song was first released in Japanese, as a bonus track of their debut Japanese album The First.
After a year and six months after the release of Hello, Shinee finally made a comeback with the announcement of their fourth mini-album, Sherlock. SM Entertainment stated that this comeback would be "world-class level with the best quality music, performances, and style" while "the album will contains songs of various genres with the members’ upgraded singing abilities and unique vocals". On March 8, 2012 the teaser photos of the members were revealed, starting with Minho and ending with Jonghyun on March 12, 2012. On March 18, 2012 a teaser for Shinee's "Sherlock" music video was released on SM Entertainment's YouTube channel.
The digital version of Sherlock was released online through various online music sources, such as Korean music portals and iTunes, on March 19, 2012. After the album was released, title song “Sherlock” achieved a real-time all-kill and maintained the number one spot on various music charts. Shinee also gained a lot of attention in global music charts, such as in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and France, and achieved 8th place on the iTunes Top Albums chart. They also reached first position on the Japanese, 6th on the Swedish, 9th on the Canadian, and 10th on the Mexican iTunes Chart.
The physical copy of the Sherlock album was released on March 21, 2012 in South Korea. On March 22, 2012 Shinee's music video for their title song "Sherlock" was released on SM Entertainment's YouTube channel. Hours later Shinee made their return on Mnet'sM! Countdown where they performed "Stranger" and "Sherlock".