Starting with packaging. I loved the box with the frame displaying the mini photo book inside. The cover shot had been leaked before the release. Actually it was more of a “sneak peek” than a leak. I did not get a Limited Edition; I just got the regular release with the CD and the booklet. The photo book shows a very London side to the guys. Other Limited “Special Covers” came out shortly after, revealing a different cover with each member. Those cover shots were all wonderful. I may regret this later, not having another YongHwa cover to add to my collection. Although it is harder and harder for me to just pick one favorite from the group. I am discovering I am just bias towards the band as a whole.
The first song/video, “I’m Sorry” (Lyrics: Han Seung Ho, Jung Yong Hwa, Composed: Han Seung Hun, Jung Yong Hwa Arrangement: Lee Sangho.) release was preceded by four little MV teasers. Short little 30 sec videos featuring each member from the group: Jung YongHwa, Lee JongHyun, Kang MinHyuk and Lee JungShin. Then finally the release of the full Music Video for “I’m Sorry.” It was shot in London last October when CNBLUE was there for their first concert in England. They made good use of the scenery with London creating an awesome backdrop for a stellar video. Photography, lighting, directing, costumes, all get a major shout out from this fan-girl. The sometimes overcast London sky provided for some wonderful still shots and video. The rooftop shots for the music video with the entire band and equipment, although familiar, was a great addition to the wonderfully choreographed story. I put this one in the win category!
The songs themselves showcase the writing/arranging talents of YongHwa, responsible for music and/or lyrics on four of the new songs, as well as JongHyun contributing composer on “More Than You.” Written and performed in their native language Korean, I rely on the translation skills of others to help me decode the lyrics. I usually refer to cnbluestorm.com or colormecnblue.com for translation skills. I will post those lyrics later in my blog. This is not the first music and lyrics effort for the boys of CNBLUE. YongHwa and JongHyun have worked previously on music, lyrics and arrangements for their band. This is the first CD showcasing so many of those efforts all together.
“Coffee Shop” (Lyrics: Jung Yong Hwa, Composed: Jung Yong Hwa, Arrangement: Jung Yonghwa | Han Seongho) which sounds like a snappy dance number, is a great addition to this collection. I see this song having lots of appeal amongst the younger fans who like CNBLUE for their many talents. It reminds me of another great CNBLUE song, “Rock n Roll” that can really get stuck in your head in a good way. Lets all coffee shop!!
Next we have “More Than You” (Lyrics: Han Seung Ho, Kim Jae Yang, Composed: Lee Jong Hyun, Kim Jae Yang, Arrangement: Han Seongho) which showcases one of the bands best features…The great vocals of JongHyun and YongHwa. They sound wonderful together, complimenting each others great sound.
The fourth track, “Man Like Me.”(Lyrics: Han Seung Ho, Jung Yong Hwa, Composed: Han Seung Hun, Jung Yong Hwa, Arrangement: Jung Yonghwa | Vinyl House) JungShin’s pulsing BASS drives this song from the first note. Again great vocals from YongHwa and JongHyun. This song leaves me really wanting more. I wish it had ten more verses! Well, that would be crazy long, but this was seriously some excellent work.
The last new song on this mini album…“La La La” (Lyrics: Jung Yong Hwa, Composed: Jung Yong Hwa, Arrangement: Jung Yonghwa| Han Seongho.) I am a huge fan of rock/pop groups veering off the beaten path occasionally by adding to their normal sound. The piano starts us out then helps carry the melody through to the RAP at the end. It’s a lovely addition. I hope they are able to incorporate the keyboard into live concert performances. I looked at the English lyrics and found this to be a good break up song. Running into an old love and finding them happy with someone else can be hard to take. The La La La makes it bearable. I should add If you “search” for English lyrics to this song, you will find a number of songs with the same title, American and Korean artists. I will post the translation I found.
The final song on this Mini album is an old favorite. “Where You Are” (English version) (Lyrics: Jung Yong Hwa, Composed: Jung Yong Hwa, Arrangement: Kenji Tamai, Rui Momota.) I loved this song the first time around. It provides a nice compare and contrast…the old with the new. Plus, “Where You Are” rocks it just the way I like it!
I would not be a proper fan-girl if I reviewed this entire mini album without mentioning the mad percussion skills of Kang MinHyuk. He may sometimes appear the strong silent type, always in the background, but where would CNBLUE be without MinHyuk keeping the beat. YongHwa arranged some wonderful songs that really brought this band of four together again in a wonderful way.