Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Infinite: 24 Hours Single (First Press Normal) Review

Following the release of Dilemma on April 29th, 2015, 24 Hours is the second single that Infinite has released in Japan ahead of Korea, making Inspirits unsure of whether Korean versions will ever be released officially. This is also the first time Infinite has released a version per member, along with a normal version and a limited version, making for a total of nine versions of this single. The first press normal edition comes with a 16-page photobooklet and a random photocard out of eight (though I heard it's very common to pull the group card). While the normal edition can also be non-first press, all other versions are only first press. The limited edition comes with a DVD, a different 16-page photobooklet, and a photocard. These two versions include the Japanese versions of "24 Hours," "Just Another Lonely Night," and "Together." The member version, which I review here, has that member's image on the disc, and instead of "Together," the third track is that member's message.
Here I'll be reviewing the first press normal edition of 24 Hours. I ordered it from YesAsia for $15.99 and it arrived nine days after being shipped. I honestly wasn't going to buy this single until after Woollim released the Korean version, but I've been waiting for five months and couldn't wait any longer. So here it is^^ One last thing: I also always tend to order the limited edition first since it's labeled as "limited," but it seems like the first press normal edition gets sold out first so I've started buying that one first instead.
Here is a closeup of the external sticker. That smaller sticker hanging out on the first photo is from YesAsia.
This CD comes with an external slip case. Here you can see the two photoshoots they used for the normal edition. (They are honestly both a little weird to me...I wasn't excited about the photobooklet).
The top and bottom sides of the slip case have the logo, new font, and album title in a metallic sheen, just like on the front. The sides of the jewel case have the same design printed.
The backside of the slip case has individual photos of the members in those floppy white tops.
This is the front of the jewel case and photobooklet, as well as the digital album cover.
Here is the backside of the jewel case, which is a very similar photo to the front.
Here is the inside of the jewel case.
Underneath the CD is an image of a chandelier.
Inside the first two pages of the photobooklet are the random photocard and the event paper.
These photocards are different from Infinite's usual rectangular cards from their Japanese releases; they're like Infinite's Japanese debut BTD photocards with the rounded edges. As expected, I pulled the group card. All the photocards are from the limited version photoshoot (which I'm very happy about, those photos and outfits are so much more appealing).
The backside of the photocard has the album title and new Infinite logo and font. This is the first time Infinite has used a new logo and font on a Japanese album. Sadly the photocard shifted inside the photobooklet before I opened it, and the corner was dented.
There were several events going on, so I'm not sure exactly for what this event application is. There was an event going on where if you buy all nine versions, you can apply for a bonus DVD; another one is the 24 Hours release event.
The photobooklet, including both covers, is 16 pages long. There is one photo of each member from the white shirt photoshoot.
There are two pages of mini group photos from the other photoshoot. I personally don't like the layout of the page; it's just so chaotic and the photos are weirdly cropped and layered on top of one another.
The last five pages are the lyrics and staff credits.
I'm so proud of Infinite and Woohyun for creating "Together"; it's such a deep and meaningful song.

Overall, I really like the two new songs, "24 Hours" and "Just Another Lonely Night." They're slower than Infinite's usual title songs yet are still poppy; I can't wait until the Korean versions are released!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Infinite: Dilemma Single (First Press Normal) Review

On December 24, 2014, Infinite released their single Dilemma. I wrote more about this single in my review of the limited version of this album here, and here I'll be writing about the first press normal edition.

The Dilemma first press normal edition comes with a 16-page photobooklet and a photocard while just the normal edition only comes with an 8-page photobooklet (according to YesAsia). In this sense, this normal version seems much more limited than the limited edition; this same logic goes for Infinite's most recent Japanese singles Last Romeo and 24 Hours (though YesAsia states the non-first press normal of Last Romeo still comes with a photocard).
I bought a new copy of the first press normal edition on eBay from Japanese seller 08308yusuke for just under $38USD. The seller had quick communication (though he wasn't flexible with my requests), provided a tracking number, and shipped it within 5 days. It arrived 12 days later, in a very large bubble-lined envelope with my CD inside wrapped with another layer of bubblewrap. It also came with some Japanese candies and tea bags. There is a small crack on the side of the jewel case, which is tolerable because it's relatively easy to replace jewel cases.
I was too excited that I had already unwrapped the seal before taking a picture, so that's why the wrapping looks a bit loose. I love how the photoshoot for the normal edition is different from that of the limited edition (but then again, it makes me have the need to get both versions).
Though this normal edition is in the form of a jewel case, I love how there is also this gorgeous exterior slip case.
The lettering on the front cover and sides are reflective silver.
The spines of the slip case are of the same design as on the jewel case.
Here is the backside of the slip case, with another gorgeous photo of Infinite. On the top is the tracklist, which are the Japanese versions of "Dilemma," "Back," and "Diamond."
Here is the front of the jewel case, which is also the cover of the photobooklet.
The backside of the jewel case shows individual photos of the boys wearing the outfits from the photobooklet cover.
Here are the back of the photobooklet and the CD.
Inside the first two pages are the photocard and two pieces of paper.
Like the photocard from Last Romeo, there are eight different photocards, including one per member and one group card. Also similar is that the backside of each card makes up one eighth of a puzzle that has the Infinite logo with "INFINITE" and "Dilemma" printed underneath. All the outfits of the photocards are the same as the photobooklet cover. I got Woohyun's, just like for my Last Romeo~
The backside of my Woohyun card makes up the bottom left of the puzzle.
The black piece of paper is to apply for the handshake event that was held in March 2015 and the teal piece of paper is for the Dilemma Japan Tour that was held earlier in 2015.
The photobooklet is 16 pages long, including the front and back covers. It contains one full-page photo of each member in the outfits from the external slip case.
There are also two group photos using the other outfits, one photo being the photobooklet cover and the other being this one.
Three pages are for the song lyrics.
One page is for the credits. One staff member is named Kim Dong-Woo^^

Overall, I love how Woollim is upgrading the normal edition of these jewel case albums with the external slip cases and different photoshoots than the limited edition. This album definitely contains one of my favorite photoshoots as Infinite looks even more perfect. As for the songs, I'm waiting until they officially release the Korean version of "Dilemma"~