Sunday, March 29, 2015

CNBlue: Can't Stop (Original Version) 5th Mini Album Review

In February 2014, CNBlue released their 5th Korean mini album named after their spectacular title song, "Can't Stop." CNBlue has always held a special place in my heart, and I love how the members write and compose the songs themselves and have their own unique sound as a band. This album actually has three versions, all released just a few weeks apart in February and March of 2014, with the same songs but just different packaging. I didn't really know the major differences between the three, so I decided to buy the original version. The second version, Can't Stop II, looks very similar in packaging, and the third version, Can't Stop Special, has a completely different look and comes in an LP format (like those old vinyl records).
This album has really interesting packaging I've never seen before. It's a square, 6.75" x 6.75" and comes in a transparent slip case. The overall concept has a monochromatic color scheme revolving around time and clocks.
This is the backside with the slip.
Here is the slip cover. The slip case is made of plastic sheeting (like those for overhead projectors), and it's really easy to get grease on it from your hands, from fingerprints to palm prints. I'm sorry I complain about the weirdest and more irrelevant things. The side reveals the tracklist.
This is the album without the slip, with the city as its design.
Oddly enough, the CD makes up the back cover; the backside is made up of two thick layers, and the CD is held by a plastic middle and embedded into the cover. I don't know why the CD is also so prone to fingerprints...also because of the plastic CD holder in the center, it gets in the way when putting back on the slip case.
I like how the back cover, including underneath the CD, continues the city look and the monochromatic theme.
Flipping over the front cover reveals the standing paper and photobook.
This version comes with one random member standing paper out of four, which is basically like a paper photo frame with a standing back. I want to preserve this, so I won't open up the backside. If you want to though, keep the standing paper faced down and fold the two vertical flaps upward and inward. Here you see I got Minhyuk's~
The photobook is absolutely gorgeous and is of the same high quality as the photoshoots from CNBlue's limited albums and Blue Travel photobook; at first I was having doubts for buying a non-Infinite album, but now I'm so happy to have this album for the songs and for the photobook.
The photobook is 54 pages long and includes three photoshoots at various locations. Their YouTube page also released the jacket making for this album, which includes two of the three photoshoots in New York. Each section includes a couple of group photos and several pages dedicated to each member. The first set is of CNBlue on Brooklyn Bridge. This is my favorite; it's impressive they were able to take these beautiful shots without others in the background, and the compositions are just gorgeous.
The second set is of the band on a luxury tour bus.

The last set is of CNBlue sauntering around Times Square at night.  I somehow have to link every post to Infinite: Myungsoo wore that same spotted jacket Yonghwa's wearing while Myungsoo and Yonghwa were both MCs for the 2014 SBS Gayo Daejun. It's a tough suit to pull off, but they both work it so well~

The last few pages are for the lyrics. I really like how they take the space to showcase the song lyrics, instead of cramming all six onto two pages. Each song has one page and is beautifully laid out.
Because the photobook is only connected to the actual album by gluing the back page onto the album, it is not strong. The further I looked through the photobook, the more the last page's binding broke apart. I definitely have to be careful next time I'm looking through it!
Here is the tracklist printed in the photobook. Yonghwa participated in creating all the songs except the fourth track, which Jonghyun participated in creating. I cannot express my love enough for the title song, "Can't Stop," as it has such unique combinations of sounds that make this song timeless to me. Just the amazingness of this song outshines the other five tracks. Those tracks also have a similar feel as the title track, as they're all more classical, slow, and relaxing, but they just don't compare to "Can't Stop."
The music video for "Can't Stop" is really amazing, with the band performing in pastel suits and in a European-inspired setting and in various other locations, like a dark basement and in a bright bedroom. There is also a parallel world linked by a mirror between Yonghwa and a Caucasian girl. I really like how FNC isn't afraid of using non-Asians as part of their music videos, such as CNBlue's "Love Girl" and now "Can't Stop."

Overall, I absolutely love this album. The photobook is one of my favorite photobooks included in a Kpop album. The title song is one of my favorites of CNBlue and adds to their always-impressive musical creations. Excuse my pun, but I honestly can't stop playing "Can't Stop"!

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