“Atlantis” by SHInee

Just to note this song is not about Atlantis, a mythical island which, according to legend, was buried by the sea. Rather it is romantic in nature and is actually based on a pretty-clever metaphor(s) surrounding said locality. 

And basically what the vocalist is saying is just as Atlantis is buried “under the ocean”, his feelings for the addressee likewise is that deep. Or put otherwise, he is thoroughly in love. In fact this is the first time in his life that he’s ever been smitten by someone to such a degree. 

And also, as if being drawn by the currents of the sea, he feels as if this love is one which is “unpredictable” and that he cannot escape from. But that latter sentiment is not to imply that he’s actually trying to get away. Rather it’s more like he is completely caught up in his loving emotions for this person.

So simply put, this is very much a love song we’re dealing with here. And the motif at hand centers on the singer relating the featured romance, or more specifically his feelings for his partner to the lost city of Atlantis in a number of different ways. 

And at the end of the day, despite taking on such a challenging lyrical task, the point is effectively put across that he is head over heels in love with her.


Although you may not hear about them as much as some of their contemporaries, Shinee has actually been around notably longer than the likes of BTS and Exo. 

The group traces their origins back to 2008 and as of the release of “Atlantis” have a dozen studio albums under their belt. This is in addition to embarking on a few Asian and world tours (as well as dropping a couple of books also). 

In other words, Shinee has proven mega successful in their own right and, despite not being as globally popular as those mentioned above. Indeed they can perhaps be deemed as predecessors to the likes of BTS in regards to helping pave the way for acts that came after them.

But that is not to imply that Shinee is currently slacking. In fact they released their seventh Korean studio album, “Don’t Call Me”, in February of 2021. And this track is from the “repackaged version” of said project, which in the West, we would commonly refer to as a deluxe edition. 


But on top of adding three new songs to “Don’t Call Me”, Shinee also renamed the project “Atlantis” and re-released it, along with this title track, on 12 April 2021.

The label behind this song is SM Entertainment, a powerhouse in the K-pop industry. The aforementioned label also has the aforementioned Exo, as well as many other popular South Korean pop acts (such as NCT and Red Velvet) on its roster.


Shinee started off a five-boy group.  And the membership has remained the same throughout the years with the exception of one member, Jonghyun, passing away in 2017. So as of the release of this track Shinee consists of:

  • Key (age 29)
  • Minho (29)
  • Onew (31)
  • Taemin (27)

And “Atlantis” was composed by a couple of other K-pop musicians, rapper/producer Changmo and lyricist Hwang Yoo Bin.

More about Shinee

The last album Shinee dropped prior to “Atlantis” (and by extension “Don’t Call Me”) was “The Story of Light”, an album that came out in 2018. And the reason it took them so long to come out with another full-length was two-fold. 

First of all group member Jonghyun, who was referred to earlier, apparently committed suicide at the age of 27 in late 2017. And then in 2019 the older members of crew (i.e. all but Taemin) began their mandatory military service, which lasted until late 2020. 

And just to note Onew, the first to enlist, was an active-duty soldier; Key joined the military band and Minho the marines.

And as far as the aforementioned “Five”, it peaked at number there on Oricon’s Japanese Albums chart.


Despite many people staunchly holding onto the belief that the city of Atlantis did at one time exist, it is a fictional landmass which was created by the famous 4th century BC Greek philosopher Plato. 

And what the tale of island and its subsequent dooming is supposed to represent is an idea like a cocky, imperialistic nation being judged by the gods which the Ancient Greeks believed in.

2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this article. Although I have something to point out: they had released an album in 2018 called ‘The Story of Light’, months after Jonghyun’s passing.

    • SMF says:

      Hi, thanks for pointing that out. We greatly appreciate your contribution and have updated the article to reflect that. Thanks.

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