Thursday, March 20, 2014

Toheart: The First Mini Album Album Review

Really quickly, here are my thoughts on Toheart in general. It's my nonsense opinion, so to skip straight to my album review, just skip this paragraph! Honestly, I was very hesitant about Woohyun collaborating with others outside of Infinite, and as a hardcore Inspirit, I was expecting Woohyun to collaborate with Sunggyu more than anyone else (as I'm sure we all were). With this, along with my irrational hatred toward SM (and how the "Delicious" music video originally spelling Woohyun's name wrong...), somehow my mindset completely changed. I watched After School Club with Toheart and saw how Woohyun and Key were so great together and how their friendship played so well into making such a successful unit and how happy they seem. I wish Toheart all the best and hope for future activities as well!
As most know, Toheart is a subunit consisting of Infinite's Woohyun and SHINee's Key. They released the main track's music video, "Delicious," along with their first mini album, creatively titled The First Mini Album, on March 10th. The music video is very creative (no sarcasm this time), having a retro feel, yet adorable, showing Woohyun and Key's real life friendship. The album has this same retro aspect and showcases the two's bromance very well.

I pre-ordered this album from, and it shipped the day after its release and delivered to the States in 9 days! It came in a layer of bubblewrap inside a waterproof envelope lined with bubblewrap, so my album arrived safely. For reference, this album is the same size as majority of Infinite's albums
The backside has the tracklist, Toheart's official website, authentication seal and artistic, colorful spots. And in the bottom left, SM managed to have its label printed twice on everything, one for SM Entertainment, the other for SM C&C.
The design of this album is similar to that of Infinite H's Fly High, with a cover slip and then the contents inside a tri-fold container (though Fly High wasn't tri-fold). On both sides of this tri-fold, in glossy black, is the album information. On the top is also a black-and-white photo of Woohyun. Also, I had to show my Inspirit pride by subtly having my L's Bravo Viewtiful and Destiny posters in the background.^^
The frontside of this tri-fold is Woohyun, while the backside is Key. This photoshoot dramatically contrasts the album cover one. Woohyun's slicked-back hair takes me back to their "Come Back Again" days...which isn't my favorite look.
Opening up the Woohyun flap reveals a black-and-white group photo on the right, along with a photobook on the left. Opening up the group photo flap shows the CD and photocard in the middle, along with another photobook on the right. The left photobook says "to" while the second says "heart." Each book has 22 pages and contains the lyrics and song credits, along with photos from various shoots.
The first photobook contains pictures from the album cover shoot, as well as another one of Wookey looking handsome in suits. This set of photos are very artistic and hipster-like, with the top photo showing just their legs and a wall of graffiti. I really like these photos; it matches the colorful spots and the font of "Toheart" very well.
The second photobook has a completely different concept and four different shoots. Starting from the top left and going clockwise, the first is the black-and-white shoot, which is the same as the tri-fold covers. Next is the fluffy hair and Key's flamboyant suit, followed by the pastel, doll-like portrait poses, and lastly the robes and roller skates. I love Infinite for their innocent concept, so seeing Woohyun's entire stomach (and in a very not tasteful way) was very mind boggling. Honestly, all of these shoots are not to my liking and don't fit at all with the first photobook nor the album design.
At the end of this second book, there are messages written from Woohyun and Key to each other. Also the last two pages include the album credits and Infinite's and SHINee's websites (along with the two pretending to be flashers).
Each album contains one random photocard out of six. There are two Woohyun cards with a pale canary yellow background, two Key cards with this pale blue, and two group cards with pale pink, all six of which have different messages printed on. The member cards are from the black-and-white shoot and the flamboyant suit shoot, white the group ones are from the black-and-white and pastel shoots. The photo has a matte finish while the backside has a gloss finish. There are also signed Polaroids in a few albums, just like Infinite's New Challenge album.
Here is the actual CD, with the pretty spots again. I had a five minute long struggle trying to take this disc was really stubborn! And here are my two cents about the tracks:
  1. "Intro" has lots of Key. I was hoping for a joint partnership, but I think Key took over on this track. This track does make for a good sample of the main track and really blends well into "Delicious."
  2. "Delicious" is the main track. It's so catchy and alternates between Woohyun and Key singing, as if they're battling each other (like in the music video). Key singing the line "dream girl" just reminds me of SHINee's "Dream Girl" though.
  3. From here on out, the songs become from super upbeat to very mellow. "Maze" has an oldies feel to it with its bubbliness and liveliness.
  4. "You're My Lady" has a jazzy and upbeat feel to it.
  5. "Tell Me Why" is apparently Sunggyu's favorite track. I absolutely love the chorus; it's very catchy in an elegant way, if that makes sense. If I could just have the chorus on repeat, I would.
  6. "Departure" is a remake of Someday's original song. I'm usually not one for remakes, but I do love Toheart's version. The instrumental has a slight country feel, the song overall is very soothing and mellow, and this type of ballad suits Woohyun's voice so well. Besides "Delicious," this is the song I've been playing on repeat all day!
Overall, I had very mixed expectations about this album and emotions fluctuating between regret and fangirling happiness, and the latter won me over. I really love the design of the album and the first photobook, and the songs have been growing on me. In the end, I'm just happy that Woohyun can have his time to shine, and despite not being with Infinite V, he deserves to share his talent more. Of course Woohyun is talented in writing serenading lyrics, which I'll hope someday will be put in an album of his own.

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