Thursday, May 2, 2013

Infinite: New Challenge 4th Mini Album Review

I know many people have written their reviews on this album and I'm quite behind, but it's a long story as to why it took so long for my CD to arrive. You can read about my first world problem, along with my review of YesAsia, here.
I must admit that at first I thought their latest album isn't as glamorous as their past red on white (First Invasion), black on black (Evolution), or gold on white (Infinitize), but the navy on baby blue does fit this new fun, colorful and romantic concept of New Challenge.
I do love the photo on the back of the album, because it fits this concept well.  I absolutely love this new era. It's so fresh and mature and shows a completely different side of Infinite in contrast with their super dark side and super cutesy side. The outfits in the 'Man in Love' music video and comeback stages are darling and I love how Sungjong has multiple feathered hats to match each performance's color theme. In the comeback performances, I think Sungyeol fits the romantic concept the best. He sings with that 'in love' look and I love his gestures and smile when he sings his line in 'Man in Love.'
I've always said I'm not musically inclined, but this album spoke (or to me so much that I had to write about each track.  Though some are negative towards how all of these tracks have a very similar sound, I love all of the songs very much. Each track beautifully fits with Infinite's new, softer concept. I must also admit that originally I didn't really like 'Still I Miss You,' but after watching the live performances on Infinite's comeback stage on so many music shows, I also fell for this song.

  1. The intro, 'Welcome to Our Dream,' is purely instrumental and has a magical, Disney feel to it. In the middle of the track there is a mic screeching, bringing the dream sensation back to reality, and then back into the dreamy tune again.
  2. Infinite's main tracks never disappoint, and 'Man in Love' is no exception!  The music video, outfits, lyrics and overall upbeat, sunny attitude fit this mature, romantic concept beautifully.  Every time the chorus elevates, I can't help but dance in my seat.
  3. When I first listened to the entire tracklist, 'As Good As It Gets' quickly became one of my favorites.  The lyrics are very meaningful and sweet, once again fitting this lovely concept.  The chorus is also fun and I love Hoya's rap and the ending.
  4. 'Still I Miss You' is a very slow, soft ballad that I feel really showcases Infinite's singing abilities.  Kim Myungsoo can really sing high notes!  Nam Woohyun's voice is also very powerful and moving.  This is now one of my favorite Infinite ballads.
  5. I'm absolutely amazed with 'Beautiful,' which was written and composed my Woohyun.  I am grateful that Infinite members are able to contribute their unique talents and not just sing and dance to others' works.  This song is just like its title, beautiful.
  6. Originally on Kim Sunggyu's solo album, Infinite created their own version of '60 Seconds.'  I believe Infinite's version is a bit different from Sunggyu's, with added rap   This isn't one of my favorites of Infinite's songs, but I still do enjoy it and though this is a remake, this version has its own style that differs from Sunggyu's.
  7. My most favorite track of the album, and second most favorite Infinite song, is 'Inconvenient Truth.'  The sound as a whole is so upbeat, fun and lively that I can't resist not dancing! This song always puts a smile to my face as soon as I hear the giggle that starts off the track. The lyrics are also very relevant, telling girls to stop acting and dressing like a slut. I am conservative when it comes to appearances and like that this song supports my thinking.
Because by now I've listened to this entire album ~100 times now, every little detail has grown on me.  I love how the rap seems more relaxed, and it seems Dongwoo and Hoya keep starting and ending their raps with awh~, which always puts a smile to my face.

Despite ordering my album only two weeks after its release, sadly I didn't get the first press release. My CD didn't come with the hidden track, which is an instrumental version of either 'Man in Love' or '60 Seconds.'
The album comes with a 39 page photobook.  The concept for this photoshoot is very adorable, and has a sporty, game theme.  I love the format of this photobook, where each member is introduced with 'When ____ in love' (I just really wish they had grammatically correct phrases).  A lot of these photos don't really make sense, but they're still adorable.  When Dongwoo is in love, he eats microwavable popcorn?
I absolutely loved Sungjong's photos.  His loose beanie adds to the cuteness, and I like that his hair is messy, creating a more laid back vibe.
My most favorite photo is the last photo in the photobook. I love how the boys look so playful and united.
Also included is one of seven photocards (which is the size of a postcard).  You can see how the length of the photocard is even taller than the album!  The photocards are the black and white D- poster photo of each member leading up to the day of Infinite's comeback.  The photocards, however, don't really fit the lovely concept.  The members look so serious and stern (but also so manly!).
The backside of the photocard is  minimalistic and lovely, with the pale blue and white logo.

There is also a limited edition of this album, which is not differentiable from the normal version. This limited version includes one autographed Polaroid photo of a member! Each member took three different Polaroid photos, and there are ten of each photo, so there is a total of 210 albums that are the limited edition.

By far this is my most favorite, most anticipated and most played album. I was in withdrawal of these songs for a month (I forced myself not to listen to these tracks until my CD came, so I only watched the comeback performances to help me survive). Once I received my album, I listened to only this album on repeat for 5 days, totaling 85 times on repeat. I honestly listened to this album 24/7, except for in class or when I was sleeping. I am still not sick of these songs, but now I'm slowly listening to the older Infinite songs and other kpop songs, but my go-to is New Challenge.

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