Monday, March 31, 2014

CNBlue: Ear Fun Special Limited Edition Album Review

CNBlue's products have consistently been very high quality and elegant, especially their limited edition albums. That being said, I didn't mind the extra cost of getting the Special Limited Edition of the band's third Korean mini album, Ear Fun. This special version was released in April 2012, just a couple of weeks after the normal version's release. There are four versions of this special edition, one per member, but it's difficult to find a new copy of any member (besides Jungshin...)! Luckily still has new copies of Jonghyun, so that's who I got!
This album comes in an A4 sized hardcover sleeve. This sleeve has a matte, canvas-like pattern yet the texture feels smooth with glossy lettering. Inside the sleeve is the hardcover photobook with a CD and DVD, and underneath that is the paperback individual member photobook.
The backside of the sleeve indicates which member this edition is. Jonghyun looks so chic yet laid back in those shades and attire! I love how this is a bokeh photo, making the entire album even more classy.
Here is a close up of the details on the back. This album focuses on all the details, such as framing the information like a stamp on a postcard. The CD and DVD tracklists are to the right.
The main photobook is very high quality with gorgeous front and back covers that match the classiness of CNBlue's special photobooks. This photobook has 140 pages of gorgeously artistic photos.
This collection is mostly of group photos, with individual member shots disbursed throughout the photobook. These photos have really cool angles and some look vintage with a black and white finish. There are also several artistic shots of the surroundings.
These last three pages include the tracklist's lyrics and album credits. I loved all of the photos in this book and will definitely treasure it for showing the cool side of CNBlue and for its artistic creativity!
The inside of the back cover contains the CD and DVD, both held together by a cylindrical foam in the center. This mini album has six tracks, and not surprisingly, Jung Yonghwa participated in the creation of all the tracks except the first.
Here are my two cents on the tracklist:
  1. "Hey You" was the only song that really caught my attention during the album's initial release. This main track has such a fun sound, starting with what sounds like a DJ scratching a disc, and the fast pace and fun vibe just continues. This music video takes the viewer on a backstage tour of CNBlue getting ready, then performing the song on a live stage of a music show.
  2. "Still in Love" is the other song CNBlue promoted. This track is slower and showcases Yonghwa's vocals beautifully. The accompanying music video has a vintage music show feel, with the band casually sitting in the studio and recording the song.
  3. "Dream Boy" is also a slower song with a fun, upbeat chorus. This song often alternates between Yonghwa and Jonghyun, contrasting their voices well.
  4. "Rock N' Roll" is a rapid and fast paced number with a chorus perfect for one of those oldies beach dance parties. I love how Jonghyun's angelic vocals break Yonghwa's more raw voice, creating that contrast unique to CNBlue. 
  5. "Run" has slow, calm verses that escalate to a fast and catchy chorus. The chorus is really catchy with the repetitive "run" that makes me just want to be carefree and run through a grass field.
  6. "In My Head" is the Korean version of one of CNBlue's Japanese singles that Yonghwa had composed. It has that CNBlue sound found in their Japanese songs (like "Robot"), like that rock feel.
The DVD shows the special features of creating the photoshoot for this album with automatic Korean subtitles and the Ear Fun tracklist playing in the background. Just under 20.5 minutes, this feature was really fun to see CNBlue enjoying their time in LA as tourists and as models for their album. The DVD was divided into "Shopping" and "Photo Shooting," which was the bulk of the DVD. This includes video clips of the members enjoying their vacation, such as eating snow cones and playing on the beach, with mini interviews of their thoughts. CNBlue also interacted with local kids (some of who thought Yonghwa was Chinese -.-), and Jonghyun even adorably held a Caucasian baby! My favorite part was watching Yonghwa and Jonghyun becoming creepers soon after by chasing other kids.
Here are the covers for Jonghyun's individual photobook. This looks like a glamorous accessories catalog, like for Tiffany & Co.; I love the timeless feel these photos give.
There are 18 pages in this photobook, with most of these photos are of only Jonghyun, but there are a few with the members (like in the cafe in the top photo) and one group photo at the end.These photos show Jonghyun interacting with this new and unfamiliar environment, like how he's playing with a little girl or dining at a cafe.

Overall, this album is amazing! This special edition is so worth the extra cost and the songs are all so fun and have the signature CNBlue sound. CNBlue never disappoints with their extravagant products.

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