Saturday, September 28, 2013

IU: Last Fantasy 2 2nd Full Album Review

Ever since watching the drama Dream High long ago, I had been captivated by IU's angelic, gentle voice and instantly became a fan.  I've always found her voice to be very soothing, calming and peaceful, so I decided to buy her second full album to use while I'm studying for school.
Here's IU's Last Fantasy 2 album!  It's titled '2' because it's her second volume, or second full album.  The album is made of thin cardboard and has a matte finish.  The concept for this album is an innocent and pure Victorian style, which is captured on the album cover.  The album is fairly big, about 7.75 by 7.75 inches.
The back cover has a similar image to that of the front.  Included is the tracklist and song lengths.
Here is a close up of the tracklist.  Five of the tracks have featured artists, creating diversity of different harmonies on this album.  Because I bought this CD more as background music, I haven't paid much attention to the lyrics or style of the songs.  However, I did notice that IU participated in writing the lyrics for many of the tracks on this album.  She co-wrote lyrics for tracks 6, 7, 8 and 10, completely wrote track 11 and worked on track 12.  I always gain so much more respect when artists write their own songs, showing such well-rounded talent.  All of the tracks are also fairly long, making each song well worth the purchase. Here are my quick thoughts of the songs:

          1-3. IU's gentle voice shines beautifully in these first three tracks.  The songs are very calming and have a carefree, running-through-an-open-field kind of feel.
          4. "You and I" is IU's main track, and for good reason.  This song is so enchanting and especially fits IU's voice so well.  The music video is also well done, with a holiday toy store theme (or so it seems) and co-staring charming Lee Hyun Woo.
          5. "Wallpaper Design" has a more mature tone that illustrates IU's varying moods in singing.
          6. "Uncle" is upbeat and puts me in a dancing mood.  The interaction with the featured artist is entertaining, like IU is cutely bickering with a man.
          7-8. These songs are uplifting and soothing tracks.  They're perfect to listen to if the weather's getting me down!
          9-11. These three tracks have a similar slow and gentle tone.  They're very peaceful and relaxing; songs of which I could sleep well listening to.
          12. "4AM" has a hipster, upscale cafe feel to it.  The instrumental, as well as the way IU stretches her notes, make this track very different from the rest of the album.
          13. "L'amant" sounds like a sophisticated instrumental piece, but paired with IU's voice, creates an even classier tone.  It's a slow piece that does showcase the instruments more than the singing, but is a glamorous way to end the album.

Clearly my insight on the tracks aren't the best, but because I sincerely bought the album for the calmness and peacefulness of IU's voice, there's not much I can say to interpret and dissect these songs.
The packaging of this album is unique.  You lift the front cover upward, which reveals another flap that you flip downward.  Both sides of these flaps reveal more photos of what looks like doe-eyed IU starring at headlights.  In the center, there are two side flaps that hold the CD.  Underneath these flaps and the CD is the photobook.
I personally don't like this design at all.  The flaps can easily tear from taking the CD in and out of its packaging.  Also the back of the CD is exposed to the photobook, so it can get scratched easily.  Because of this design, the sides of the album are also creased because of the flimsy cardboard exterior.  I care deeply for my albums and wish this one had more sturdy packaging.
This is the photobook, which is nearly as big as the album itself.  It's 34 pages long and bound by two staples instead of having a real spine.  The back cover is white with the credits.
Inside are lyrics and photos matching the Victorian concept.  In all of the photos, IU is emotionless and has an eerie silence to her.  Her outfits and surroundings seem very old-fashioned and Victorian, matching her title track "You and I"'s music video well.  Honestly, the photos creep me out a bit because the styles...just aren't my style I suppose.

I bought the official poster for this album a few years ago from YesStyle's store in San Francisco for $10. The dimensions are 24 inches by 17 inches.  The image is simply the album cover, but wider.  IU looks so elegant and innocent here, and I'm obsessed with both eyelet pattern and Peter Pan collars, so I love this poster.

Overall I love the songs, as they keep me at ease without distracting me when I'm feverishly studying and doing homework.  I love the album covers and poster as well.  I just don't like the packaging design nor the photobook, which is fine with me.  All that matters is that I like the songs!

No comments:

Post a Comment