Kurayami Monogatari

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alan – Voice of EARTH March 3, 2009

Filed under: alan — solarblade @ 4:45 pm
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Track Listing

  1. Tennyo ~interlude~
  2. Ashita e no Sanka
  3. Sora Uta
  4. Natsukashii Mirai ~longing future~
  5. Hitotsu
  6. Kaze no Tegami
  7. BRAVE
  8. Yume no Garden
  9. Gunjou no Tani
  10. my friend
  11. Liberty
  12. Tsuki ga Watashi
  13. RED CLIFF ~Shin Sen~
  14. Megumi no Ame
  15. Together (Bonus Track)
  16. RED CLIFF ~Shin Sen~ (Modern Rock Version) (Tower Records bonus)

1. Tennyo ~interlude~

Who knew an interlude could really be past 3 minutes long.  Already by starting out, alan is using her fierce mountain to get her point across.  After her blowout, erhu and random synths start coming which reminded me of a past interlude “sign”.  Maybe not as similar, but there’s a small beat and alan’s ad-libbing just kind of makes sense right?

2. Ashita e no Sanka

Probably a smart move to begin the vocal tracks with her debut A-side.  Ashita e no Sanka was the first song she’s done in JPN and fully adding in those mountain notes really sent shockwaves across the online sites.  Now the verses do seem like her weakest points in the song, but the choruses and the ad-libbing done near the end was just amazing, if not orgasmic.  Still the breakout song of late 2007. 

3. Sora Uta

Sora Uta was her first A-side to stray away from the ballads and to use some English as well.  I do love the fact the song has an airy atmosphere to it.  There’s traces of guitar and alan’s singing normally besides her entrance.  There’s something really sweet and ethnic about that is just wondrous.  I’ve definitly grown to love this song.

4. Natsukashii Mirai ~longing future~

The next two A-side are always forgotten about whenever someone mentions alan.  First up is the first of the GoDai elements singles.  I don’t know why I can never remember this track because it is a pretty good ballad.  It’s alright, but it just seems to be covered by the rest of her ballads.  Well, the biggest inclusion is the whole “choir” injection that was brought in to support it, nice try alan, but it’s still very simple.

5. Hitotsu

That’s the same problem here.  Her 2nd A-side pops up and it still doesn’t leave much of an impression on me.  It’s even simpler than the last track…Seriously.  She doesn’t whip out the mountain notes in this song…probably a good thing because it would’ve made this song even more obvious. 

6. Kaze no Tegami

Wow, 5 old tracks in a row?  I think that’s a new world record right?  Just like “Sora Uta” it’s upbeat and stands out in her discography.  I will say the song’s arrangement really sounds like something Nami Tamaki would do moreso than Ayu.  Still, it’s kind of gotten a bit bland since its initial release because alan isn’t really showing much power of even interest.

7. BRAVE

ABOUT DAMN TIME!  It’s great to see alan kind of hitting a more electronica sound because alan’s vocals at the beginning is messed around with which is cool.  The dance beat is a little of the safe side, but at least alan has more interest here than “Kaze no Tegami”.  The chorus is still pushing the boredom line, but I do like how everything else seems to just feel right.

8. Yume no Garden

Our next new track has a pretty interesting opening.  It’s very quiet and breezy and then alan comes in with quiet vocal just like the music.  That’s all that goes for it because it gets really boring really quickly.  I know it’s trying to be an epic song, but it just didn’t connect with me at the end and to me it’s her worst song.

9. Gunjou no Tani

Thank god this song appears next.  It was the last A-side to represent the album and it’s a way better upbeat pop/rock track than “Kaze no Tegami”.  She seems to be channeling more emotion here and to hear this cool rhythm and melody mixed with strings was well made.  I notice her voice seems a little odd in the verses, but the chorus just made up for that in a big way.

10. my friend

my friend seems to introduce a more acoustically driven alan here.  I feel that the song’s whole acoustic feel is a nice change to the album and alan seems a lot more calmer.  Some people will probably call it out because it seems very simple to her other works, but I think it’s alright

11. Liberty

Liberty was originally going to be a single release and honestly they made it a good idea not to make it because honestly, it’s nothing really special.  I mean “Hitotsu” was almost like this, but even better.  It kind just ends up being another “Yume no Garden” very unoriginal and pretty damn boring.

12. Tsuki ga Watashi

Yeesh, more ballads?  I’m already getting tired of hearing these and this definitly pushed my thoughts into thinking that she’s getting more unoriginal as the album gets close to the end.  I’ll give it that it sounds very wintry and the orchestration works nicely for alan.  I’ll give it that it’s a nicely done ballad.

13. RED CLIFF ~Shin Sen~

RED CLIFF I think is one major powerhouse of a song.  It begins quiet and full of mystery and alan’s ad-libbing is sweet and easy to the ears.  Even the arrangement is epic almost.  The slow-going beat and the various strings moment just all leads up to this huge climax where alan belts out one of the most bone-chilling mountain note phrases in her career.  If there was a song that represented her, it has to be this track.

14. Megumi no Ame

Ugh, why did they have to make this the last track?  Megumi no Ame is still a very boring A-side.  Nothing has really changed my initial opinion of other than the nice erhu solo near the end.  That was nice, but alan just seemed very out of it here.   It has a good ending quality though I’ll give it that too.

15. Together

Our bonus track, Together is probably one of her more interesting tracks.  It seems to be tribal and full of chinese heritage that it’s just taken so well.  I love the when alan just sings out loud and includes these Chinese sounds.  Then she has a speaking part, but it’s kind of heard to hear due to the strings being loud.  This was a better way to end the album.

16. RED CLIFF ~Shin Sen~ (Modern Rock Version)

If you got the album via Tower Records you got a seperate disc with this new version of alan’s most recognizable track.  Obviously if you can’t tell, this has a strong representation of rock throughout.  It kind of erases the whole original feel, but this is a pretty cool track they decided to give a new touch to.  I really loved the fact they did the rock portions through alan’s mountain cry, now that was something special.

Tracks Recommended

  •  RED CLIFF ~Shin Sen~
  • Ashita e no Sanka
  • Sora Uta
  • Gunjou no Tani
  • BRAVE

Song of Avoidance

  • Liberty

Wow….this album was alright because of the numerous singles released beforehand.  They were full of life and made so much more of a good listen.  Now the new tracks were pretty much crap.  BRAVE, Together, and Tsuki ga Watashi were the only good ones…The rest was downright uninspired and was such a bore…Then again looking at the tracklist, it was covered by the A-sides.  Maybe it’s me but this album was a disappointment much to chagrin that I love her stuff

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7 Responses to “alan – Voice of EARTH”

  1. Lizzie Says:

    Thank you for the review! I am listening to the album right now and this was very helpful!

  2. nice blog!!! please visit us, thanks^^ asianworldmusic.blogspot.com

  3. Daniel Says:

    This is why I never read reviews on music. They never resonate with what the album and songs really sound like to individual. Music is just too subjective to judge and it all depends on one’s personal taste.

    • solarblade Says:

      yet, there’s a wholw bunch of people who are better reviewers that feel the same way, nice try.

      • Daniel Says:

        yet, that still doesn’t speak for any individual and it’s still just “their” opinion. Not everyone likes or hates the same thing. And just because many people agree on one thing it doesn’t mean everyone else would feel the same way. And that’s the beauty of music (or art in general). Being a “reviewer” yourself I thought you’d know better.

        BTW, “nice try”? Looks like someone couldn’t take criticism.

    • Lex Says:

      Then why are you reading? Go somewhere else.

    • Megumi Says:

      You write your comments as if the reviewer doesn’t count as an individual. The review speaks to how the music sounds to the individual who wrote it, so you can say that “it doesn’t speak to any individual”. Honestly, so what if a review doesn’t reflect YOUR opinion. Why would it? If you don’t enjoy reading opinions from other people, then you shouldn’t be reading reviews at all.


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