Friday, April 25, 2014

Infinite: The Origin Album Review

As Inspirits and other Kpop fans know, Infinite has had a remarkable career, especially these past few months, and they can add "being the first Kpop group to release an instrumental album" under their belt as well. On April 1, 2014, Woollim announced Infinite's release of The Origin, an all-instrumental album, to be on April 10th. Since it was April Fool's, I honestly thought this was Trollim striking again. But when pre-orders hit the next day, I'm so thankful to have secured my album, as there are only 30,000 copies released! I'm thinking this will be as rare as Over The Top...I ordered mine from Kpoptown and it arrived 11 days after shipment, in a bubble wrap bag inside their typical bubble wrap lined waterproof envelope.
At first I was hesitant about an instrumental album, as it's not Infinite themselves creating the instrumentals, but now that I have the album, I couldn't be happier! The packaging is really elegant, yet streamline; definitely like a keepsake. The contents are inside a 5.5 inch box with a vinyl-like 6.5 inch square plates as the front and back covers.
This album comes in a plastic wrap with a black sticker containing copyright information. This same label is printed on the back of the album and on the back of the CD case inside. The back of the album also has two holographic stickers and this era's glossy logo in the top left corner.
The case closes surprisingly tightly (in a good way, so it's really sturdy!). Once opened, on the right there is a ribbon to easily access the contents.
From top to bottom (right to left) is the music sheet book, followed by the CD case, and lastly, the coin. The book and case are so adorable in its 5 x 5 inch size!
The music score booklet is minimalistic in design, with the album's name and logo printed in glossy black on a black background. This booklet is really adorable, from its size to the draft-like music sheets inside that make this look like a little notebook. It has a distinct "new book" smell as well.
There are a total of 87 pages, mostly of Infinite's sheet music. Each song is about two to four pages long and is ordered by the songs from the white disc, then black, then gold. The last four pages are song and staff credits. I was hoping to use these on the piano, but its size is a bit small, so I'll just use some scans found online.
Underneath the music booklet is the CD case. The front and side have the symbol while the back side has the same information has the album back cover. This is a tri-fold case made of cardboard. The CDs don't seem to be too well protected.
Flipping open the case once reveals the tracklist on the right. Flipping it completely open reveals all three CDs. The three discs generally split up Infinite's songs: the white disc contains Infinite's softer ballads, the black contains their dark and powerful songs and the gold contains more uplifting dance tracks.
Here is the close-up of the tracklist. Each disc contains 10 songs, for a total of 30 instrumental tracks. Infinite seldom released instrumental tracks in the past, only "BTD" in their "BTD" Japanese singles, and all of the New Challenge tracks as bonus tracks for first press. I used to skip these tracks because I preferred Infinite's voices, but now listening to The Origin's tracks gave me a stronger appreciation for Infinite, as well as the instrumentals themselves. Surprisingly, all the tracks sound really mellow, which made me appreciate Infinite's vocals for adding so much power and emotion to each of their songs. Also now I really appreciate the beauty of these instrumentals; they're so complex and sound really different from when Infinite's voices are combined. These tracks are also great to relax with or listen to while working and you don't want to get distracted by Infinite's voices^^
The coin is tightly embedded in a solid foam board that layers the bottom of the case.
There are three coins, all with the same design, either in gold, silver or bronze. Mine is silver, but in the light it looks a bit gold and bronze! It took me a long time, and my dad, to figure out mine was silver and not gold -.- One side says "SINCE 2010 INFINITE" while both sides have the wreath pattern and the Origin's logo, which is just for this album. Surprisingly the coin is pretty big, 2 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick. At first I thought it was strange to have a coin, especially since I have no where to display it, but now it seems pretty cool! I'll just keep it in my album though. 

Overall, while there is no sign of the members of Infinite in this album, I still love it. The packaging is so gorgeous, the music booklet is great for those musically inclined, the tracks are breathtaking, and the coin is a lot cooler than I had expected! It's fun to listen to these tracks and try to sing along, or listen to the middle of a song and guess which one it is! Without vocals, all of this is so much more challenging!

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