Sherlock (EP)

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EP by Shinee
Released March 21, 2012 (2012-03-21) (South Korea)
Recorded January - March 2012
Genre Pop, R&B, Dance, Electronic
Length 25:37
Language Korean
Label SM Entertainment
Producer Lee Soo Man (executive)
Shinee chronology
The First
Dream Girl – The Misconceptions of You
Singles from Sherlock
  1. "Sherlock (Clue + Note)"
    Released: March 19, 2012
Music video
"Sherlock (Clue + Note)" on YouTube

"Sherlock" is the fourth EP of South Korean boy group Shinee. The EP consists of seven tracks including the title song "Sherlock (Clue + Note)" a hybrid remix of the two songs. It was released on March 21, 2012, in South Korea under the seal of the label S.M. Entertainment and distributed by KT Music. The album was made available online worldwide on March 19, 2012. The EP is Shinee's first Korean release after a year and 6 months hiatus.

The album was commercially successful in South Korea—the title track topped the Gaon Digital Chart, while the album charted at number one on the Gaon Album Chart with about 135,000 copies sold in the month of March, setting the record for most album sales in March 2012. It also placed 10th on the Billboard Weekly Heatseekers Albums and 5th on the Billboard Weekly World Albums charts respectively.

Background and release[edit]

Sherlock is Shinee's first Korean release after a year and 6 months hiatus since the reissue Hello in October 2010. The EP was physically released on March 21, 2012 but was made available online worldwide on March 19 through online music sites such as Melon and iTunes.[1][2] The choreography for the title song "Sherlock (Clue + Note)" is characterized by a unique and distinctive style, and is the work of the world-renowned choreographer Tony Testa.[3][4] The music video for the title song was released on March 22 and was directed by Cho Suhyun and shot in early March at the studios in Namyang-ju. Shinee can be see in an 1800s-like museum acting like detectives working on a case. Girls’ Generation's Jessica makes a special appearance in the music video as a mysterious female lead who offers a decisive clue in figuring out the incident.[5] After its release the music video exceeded one million views in a single day.[6]


The album consists of seven songs in a variety of music colors, including "Stranger", the main theme song of Strangers6 with thrilling sound and melody composed by Kenzie. The song was first released in Japanese, as a bonus track of their debut Japanese album The First.[7][8] The lead single and title song "Sherlock (Clue + Note)" is a hybrid remix; which means the song consists of two independent songs that are remixed together to create a new style of music. The two songs that were remixed for "Sherlock (Clue + Note)" are "Clue" and "Note".[9] The lyrics describe Sherlock’s solving of a crime through logical "clues" and intuitive "notes". The title song combines the lyrics from the two songs to create a single storyline.[8] "Honestly" is written by member Jonghyun with the help of bandmate Minho who wrote the rap lyrics and expresses the groups appreciation towards the fans unchanged love until now. "The Reason" features a splendid guitar solo and string session. "Alarm Clock" is also written by Jonghyun and tells about a man who wants to wake up from the nightmares of a breakup. Minho participated in rap making.[8]

Promotion and reception[edit]

Shinee performing "Sherlock" at the MBC Korean Music Wave in Bangkok on March 16, 2013.

After its release the album topped various music sites in South Korea like Melon, Bugs, Mnet and Olleh Music. It is also ranked highly on iTunes lists in various countries, especially in Japan. On March 22 the group started their official promotions and performed the title song for the first on M! Countdown.[10] It was followed by appearances on other South Korean music programs such as Inkigayo and Music Bank.[2] Furthermore, the album sold over 135,000 copies and was ranked number one on the Gaon Album Chart making it the most sold album in March 2012.[11] The title song "Sherlock (Clue + Note)" topped the Gaon Digital Chart[12] and was ranked on number 10 on the Gaon Download Chart for the month March with over 740,000 downloads,[13] and was also named as one of the "50 Greatest Boy Band Songs of All Time" by Rolling Stone, stating the song proves how innovative and experimental K-pop can get.[14] It became the fifth most sold album of the year in South Korean with over 180,000 copies sold.[15] The album also placed on number five on the Billboard World Album chart as well as at number 10 on Billboard Heatseekers chart.[16][17][18] In April the group won first place for two consecutive weeks on Music Bank and three times on Inkigayo. Shinee performed their final music stage via KBS's Music Bank on April 20 and MBS's Music Core on April 21, 2012.[19]

Track list[edit]

Credits adapted from the official homepage.[20]

No. Title Lyrics Music Arrangement Length
1. "Sherlock (Clue + Note)" (셜록; syeollok) Cho Yoon-kyung Thomas Troelsen, Thomas Eriksen, Rufio Sandilands, Rocky Morris Thomas Troelsen, Thomas Eriksen, Rufio Sandilands, Rocky Morris 3:57
2. "Clue" Cho Yoon-kyung Thomas Troelsen, Thomas Eriksen Thomas Troelsen, Thomas Eriksen 3:37
3. "Note" Cho Yoon-kyung Thomas Troelsen, Rufio Sandilands, Rocky Morris Thomas Troelsen, Rufio Sandilands, Rocky Morris 2:46
4. "Alarm Clock" (알람시계; allamsigye) Jonghyun, Minho (rap parts) Niara Scarlett, Philippe-Marc Anquetil, Christopher Lee-Joe, Iain James Niara Scarlett, Philippe-Marc Anquetil, Christopher Lee-Joe, Iain James 3:59
5. "The Reason" Kwak So-young Sim Eun-ji Yoo Han-jin 4:17
6. "Stranger" (낯선자; natseonja) Kim Jung-bae, Minho (rap parts) Kenzie Kenzie 3:13
7. "Honesty" (늘 그 자리에; neul geu jarie; lit: Always at That Place) Jonghyun, Minho (rap parts) Brandon Fraley Brandon Fraley 3:52
Total length: 25:37