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Can't Leave

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"Can't Leave (Sleepless Night)"
Song by Shinee
from the album Chapter 2. Why So Serious? - The Misconceptions of Me
ReleasedApril 26, 2013 (2013-04-26)
FormatDigital download
RecordedSM Studios in Seoul
GenreR&B, soul
LabelS.M. Entertainment
Songwriter(s)Im Kwang Ok, Matthew Tishler, Shim Changmin, Choi Minho
Producer(s)Lee Soo-man (Executive)
Chapter 2. Why So Serious? - The Misconceptions of Me track listing
  1. "Nightmare"
  2. "Why So Serious?"
  3. "Shine (Medusa I)"
  4. "Music Box (Orgel)"
  5. "Dangerous (Medusa II)"
  6. "Like a Fire"
  7. "Excuse Me Miss"
  8. "Evil"
  9. "Can't Leave (Sleepless Night)"
  10. "Better Off" (repackage only)

Listen to the song Can't Leave or Buy it on amazon

"Can't Leave" (Korean: 떠나지 못해; also "Sleepless Night") is a ballad song performed by South Korean contemporary R&B boy group Shinee. The song was included as the finishing track in their fifth album Chapter 2. Why So Serious? – The Misconceptions of Me released on April 26, 2013 under the record label of S.M. Entertainment.[1] The song was chosen as one of three promotional singles from the album alongside Teddy Riley produced "Shine" and the title track "Why So Serious?".

Production and background[edit]

"Can't Leave" is a soft pop-ballad song accompanied by bittersweet tunes of piano.[2] The song was produced by a Canadian songwriter, Matthew Tishler, in his debut collaboration with Shinee, although he had worked with their record agency S.M. Entertainment before. Tishler had previously co-produced BoA's song "Don't Know What To Say" from her sixth Korean album Hurricane Venus and also wrote the track "She" from TVXQ's fifth Korean album Keep Your Head Down. Korean music producer Im Kwang Ok also worked extensively on the song. Fellow label mate Shim Changmin of TVXQ penned the lyrics of the song. Shinee's resident rapper Choi Minho contributed to the rap portion of the track, in addition to three other songs on the album.

The song was placed as the finishing track of the two-chapter concept album project. "Can't Leave" was also the longest track and concludes the relationship and restraint between the two lovers explored in the previous 17 tracks present on both the albums. The lyrics of the song talk about "two people who know they're bad for each other, but can't seem to let go."[3]

Critical reception[edit]

K-Pop news site Allkpop commented on the song that it sounded like something that TVXQ could have performed. The critic continued that "Can't Leave", in view of style, was the most out-placed track on the project, since it relied on group's emotional vocals and tight harmonies to carry it instead of a dramatic arrangement. "...the change reflects the honesty of the song in contrast to the warped views of the other songs..." concluded the reviewer.[3]

Seoulbeats was satisfied from the song, citing that "Can't Leave" was not over-produced, had clean instrumentation and a simple structure. The critic enjoyed the plain lyrics that spoke of longing and loneliness, which in normality should be stock standard but "following all the at times labored metaphors in the previous tracks, it’s like a breath of the freshest air." The blog also praised the 'natural flow' of the piece, the way the vocals slightly overlapped, and that each member got the chance to shine.[4]

Hallyu Smash! honored the ballade a reviewer rating of 5 out of 5, exclaiming that it "brings people to tears". The critic pointed out the it matched the love forlorn vibe of the album but lacks the darkness the other [tracks] have and also praised the lyrics for being relateable, saying "all of the world can identify with these feelings of wanting something to work out so bad...and it hurts like nothing else when it falls apart."[5] Dinoseoul said that it was easily its instant favorite on the album and the group haven’t made something like it in a long long.[6]

Live performances[edit]

Shinee's first public live performance of "Can't Leave" was on their 'Music Spoiler' Dream Girl premier and press conference that was recorded on February 14, 2013 in Olympus Hall at Gangnam District.[7] It was their only song to be performed from the 18 tracks that were included in their two-part third Korean studio album under the umbrella title Dream Girl.[8] The performance was later uploaded by LOEN Entertainment on their official YouTube channel on February 18, 2013.[9] The song was also the only track from the part 2 album to be performed during the Dream Girl Showcase, alongside songs from part 1 album including "Aside", "Beautiful" and "Dream Girl". The event was held on February 20, 2013 and streamed live by Naver on their website.[10]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart Peak
position [11]
Gaon Weekly singles [11] 100
Gaon Download Singles chart [11] 53


  1. "Why So Serious?: The Misconceptions of Me". iTunes. April 26, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  2. "Shinee Chapter 2. 'Why So Serious? - The misconceptions of me'" (in 한국어). Naver. April 26, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "[Review] SHINee 'Why So Serious? – The Misconceptions of Me' - Part II". Allkpop. May 4, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  4. "Chapter 2: Why So Splendid, SHINee Album?". Seoulbeats.com. May 3, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  5. "SHINee 'Why So Serious: Misconceptions of Me' Album Review". Hallyusmash.com. May 7, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  6. "SHINEE: CHAPTER 2. WHY SO SERIOUS? – THE MISCONCEPTIONS OF ME ALBUM REVIEW". Dinoseoul.com. May 3, 2013. Retrieved Jul 15, 2013.
  7. "SHINee Releases 'Music Spoiler' Videos from Premiere Event". M! Wave. February 18, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  8. "SHINee Reveals Their "SHINee Music Spoiler" Show". Soompi. February 19, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  9. SHINee Music Spoiler_2 떠나지 못해 Live. LOEN Entertainment. February 18, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  10. "SHINee's 'Dream Girl' comeback showcase footage released". Allkpop. February 23, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "Gaon Singles Chart" (in 한국어). Gaon Chart. Retrieved July 15, 2013.

External links[edit]

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