Kurayami Monogatari

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alan – Michishirube November 15, 2015

Filed under: alan — solarblade @ 7:24 pm

michishirube

Track Listing

  1. Michishirube
  2. Over the clouds -RESURRECTION MIX-
  3. Michishirube Live version ~alan symphony 2014~
  4. Michishirube (instrumental)

1. Michishirube

I wasn’t expecting alan to come back to Japan, but once again she surprises us with Michishirube (even though this song was released as a digital single earlier back in March of this year).  The tune itself is interesting with the kind of clock ticking behind alan’s light but pleasant vocals.  I do like the marching drums that come in later and we even see a return of the Tibetan yell (even though it’s held back and the echo filters are in use).  It’s a pretty decent song and I like how it’s upbeat but still sounds like a ballad.  Decent track overall!

2. Over the clouds -RESURRECTION MIX-

Seems like the B-side comes in and it’s a remix of Over the clouds (which I can safely says still with avex).  This new mix really places heavy focus on the arrangement by changing it into this aggressive and dubstep-heavy sound.  Despite the short length (2:22), this track makes a unique spin of a song released a while ago

3. Michishirube Live version ~alan symphony 2014~

So it seems like this single also comes with a live version of the A-side!  Really the arrangement sounds almost the same to the studio version, but alan’s vocals do legitimately sound like she’s singing in a microphone.  Though I think the best part is when she does her Tibetan wails as she hits them with confidence.  It’s a pretty decent live version too!

With it being two years since her last single, Michishirube kind of came out of nowhere with little fanfare simply because the leading track has been out since March already.  The single itself is nice though with Michishirube being a lot more like her typical self “Dream Express” was a VERY odd single for here still.  The Over the clouds remix is cool, but pretty short and the live version is well still shows that alan is still an amazing singer all these years later.

 

alan – DREAM EXPRESS ~Mugen Kuukan Chou Tokkyu~ August 22, 2013

Filed under: alan — solarblade @ 12:01 am

dreamexpress

Track Listing

  1. DREAM EXPRESS ~Mugen Kuukan Chou Tokkyu~
  2. First Love ~Hatsukoi~
  3. DREAM EXPRESS ~Mugen Kuukan Chou Tokkyu~ (Instrumental)
  4. First Love ~Hatsukoi~ (Instrumental)
  5. First Love ~Hatsukoi~ (alan ver.)
  6. First Love ~Hatsukoi~ (Ryosuke Itamiya ver.)

1. DREAM EXPRESS ~Mugen Kuukan Chou Tokkyu~

Getting a new alan song is great, even moreso in Japanese.  Listening to DREAM EXPRESS, the song does sound a bit generic, but it is very anime so that’s to be slightly expected.  I really enjoy the strings and bright sound, but there just something that doesn’t seem to really feel like alan…it might be the generic arrangement, but I also feel like alan is just half-assing the song almost.  Oh well xD

2. First Love ~Hatsukoi~

The B-side of the single was an interesting choice since it is a duet between alan and Ryosuke Itamiya and while I have never heard of the latter, I was curious (especially after “Ai no Chikara”…).  When I first listened to it, I was like quite bored because it’s a ballad (sounds like a 90’s ballad xD).  I do like them singing together, but the song was quite the snoozefest.

5. First Love ~Hatsukoi~ (alan ver.)

Of course they would put in something like this on the single.  It’s the same song of course and Ryosuke’s part is muted so it’s just alan you only hear.  Though hearing alan by herself makes this seem like it’s a ballad you would’ve seen on “my life” (which doesn’t mean it’s a good thing either).

6. First Love ~Hatsukoi~ (Ryosuke Itamiya ver.)

Ryosuke’s is the opposite so alan is missing from the track.  Ryosuke’s voice is nice to listen to and doesn’t seem to be abrasive to alan’s smoother and lighter voice.  He does slightly go off pitch in the higher ranges but despite that it’s not a bad guy to have chosen to be her partner.

 

 

It’s been 2 years since alan has released a single in Japan and well she kind of blew it. I mean this doesn’t feel like its alan but more avex being cash cows.  DREAM EXPRESS and First Love are really nothing to put high praise for, though I will say alan chose a great partner in Ryosuke Itamiya.  I don’t know but, if this is what she wants to come back with…it wasn’t a very smart choice.

 

alan – Love Song October 30, 2012

Filed under: alan — solarblade @ 5:29 am

Track Listing

  1. ~Shuijing Lian~ intro
  2. Fenghuang
  3. Yi Ai Aiangyi
  4. Love Song
  5. lan lan
  6. Zhang Da
  7. Wo Hualaile
  8. Gudu De Tian Fen
  9. Jingguo Nanqingshan
  10. Chuangwai
  11. BABY BABY
  12. Love Song ~Kitto Mou Ichido~

1. ~Shuijing Lian~ intro

Kicking off alan’s 3rd Chinese album, Shuijing Lian starts with some interesting chanting (Tibetan?) before the melody of the track begins which is so different and unique and so much cooler than her previous intros.  Though there’s this woodwind instrument that comes in and kind of takes the mystical feel away (would’ve rather had alan do her chanting, but whatever)…but once that clears up I feel it gets into this modernesque sound which is a cool way to segue into…

2. Fenghuang

Released as her 2nd digital single (of 5), Fenghuang starts off with Chinese instrumentation before alan comes in and slows things down.  It’s really awesome to hear her voice again since it seems like she’s gotten a lot better to do ballads.  The song slowly grows in pace to this mid-tempo track that has small amounts of synth in it.  It really grows on you and I seriously like the song for sure!

3. Yi Ai Aiangyi

Our next track also starts off slowly with a pretty melody and slight Chinese feel to it (whereas “Fenghuang” had a little more).  It’s a very atmospheric song for sure with how it’s handled but I really like the calming feel of the tune.  Like the last track, it does start to grow with more instrumentation and likewise, I feel like it’s so grand.  I like the previous track better but this is also quite good too!

4. Love Song

As the title track, 3rd digital single and the one that got a PV, Love Song doesn’t really speak the Chinese colors as much as the previous tracks which is a nice change (actually if it wasn’t for the lyrics, I would’ve deemed it as a Japanese track).  It’s a nice track overall but there’s just a lot of open spaces (where she could shock us with her vocals).  It’s good but not the best.

5. lan lan

As the 5th and final digital single released, lan lan is the longest track at a little over 6 minutes in length, but I felt OK with that because it’s a very nature-like song and I really like the flow of it (plus the electric guitar melody was a nice change as well)!  This song, while long, really sounds pleasant and just feels soft and peaceful and yet happy.  It’s a surprisingly good track!

6. Zhang Da

Our next track, Zhang Da tries to follow it up after “lan lan” but it somehow slightly misses it mark.  It does remind me of songs from “my life” with its light R&B and poppy affair but I think alan’s smooth vocals saved the song since she sounds good here.  I like it a lil bit but isn’t the best she has to offer on the album.

7. Wo Hualaile

The first digital single comes next and Wo Hualaile is kind of the simple ballad from alan which isn’t a bad choice but the song doesn’t seem to really leave much of a mark on me besides being that safe ballad.  However, after the first part is over, the song picks up and a male voice is singing alongside alan…which did throw me off at first XD.  It’s a good ballad, but nothing spectacular.

8. Gudu De Tian Fan

Which makes it a little funny that this track comes after the track because I feel that this track was more effective as a ballad.  Well slightly…  The song also kind of moves at a slow pace and alan’s performance doesn’t make me feel like it’s memorable but at least it’s more charming than “Wo Hualaile”.

9. Jingguo Nanqingshan

I’m kind of wanting to escape from the ballads at this point but Jingguo Nanqingshan changes it up slightly by being a little more than a cute track.  This track has more of a darker feel, but I like it since it’s slow and yet powerful (but not with powerful vocals from alan).  It’s different and I really enjoyed it for that reason!

10. Chuangwai

Another one?!?  I guess we can’t seem to escape ballad-land here.  Chuangwai is probably the one that’ll stand out because it has some Chinese elements and the the opening lines are so random lol.  I like how airy the song is, but that’s the only thing that I really took from the track, otherwise…it’s pretty forgetful.

11. BABY BABY

The last of the Chinese songs is also one of the more surprising tracks.  I wasn’t expecting a lot of synths to open the song up.  It kind of reminds me of “lan lan” but with more emphasis on synths and being upbeat.  The chorus though is catchy has hell too xD.  Different and it almost feels like it doesn’t fit on the album, but I liked it!

12. Love Song ~Kitto Mou Ichido~

What closes the album out is a Japanese version of Love Song *makes me wish she was still releasing in Japan*.  Love Song in Japanese actually makes sense because earlier in the review, I said that the Chinese version feels more like a Japanese track.  It sounds really pretty and alan sounds so good still.  Definitely the better of the two and a good way to end the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • Fenghuang
  • lan lan
  • Jingguo Nanqingshan
  • BABY BABY
  • Yi Ai Aiangyi

Song of Avoidance

  • Chuangwai

I have to say, Love Song is alan’s best Chinese release yet (yes, even better than “Xin De Dong Fang”).  I will say and with Sylfi explaining it better, I seriously am missing the wailing storm of alan in Japan, though with Love Song she put out good quality music even without the need to explode.  I will say the ballads are still her weak point, but when she gets them right…it’s soooo good.  Impressive, but I WANT YOU BACK IN NIPPON!

 

alan – Minna de ne ~PANDA with Candy BEAR’s~/”Ikiru” June 28, 2011

Filed under: alan — solarblade @ 6:24 pm

Track Listing

  1. Minna de ne ~PANDA with Candy BEAR’s~
  2. “Ikiru”
  3. Minna de ne ~PANDA with Candy BEAR’s~ (Instrumental)
  4. “Ikiru” (Instrumental)

1. Minna de ne ~PANDA with Candy BEAR’s~

With a title like that above, it really makes you wonder if alan was really trying to shock people with such an uber cute title.  I was happily surprised that Minna de ne isn’t sugary cute like the title would suggest and this is one of the more interesting songs she has to date.  You can hear the Chinese Elements like the flutes and alan’s unique vocal properties.  It does turn from a ballad into a light pop track which is also a plus.  And I swear, alan is sometimes trying to vocalize herself as an erhu and I was impressed that a few times I heard that fully!

2. “Ikiru”

As the secondary A-side, I was wondering what “Ikiru” would be like and it sounds like more of a ballad than “Minna de ne” did in the beginning.  I love alan’s vocals in the song and it gives off this fairytale-like atmosphere which is cute and pretty at the same time.  I do prefer the previous song, but this isn’t half bad either.

 

 

After alan’s first best-of album was released, I was wondering what direction she would take and it seems she’s going to continue the way she’s been since “Kaze ni Mukau Hana” in the way she’s doing songs with Chinese elements.  Minna de ne/”Ikiru” isn’t a bad single at all and if she keeps it up her next album will sound really good….I hope.

 

alan – JAPAN PREMIUM BEST & MORE (CD 2) May 17, 2011

Filed under: alan — solarblade @ 9:14 am

Track Listing

  1. ECHOES
  2. Komorebi
  3. eternal love ~Koi no Hana~
  4. Venus Flower
  5. Wasurenaide performed by S’capade featuring alan
  6. Ai wa Chikara performed by alan×Kei Fukui

1. ECHOES

Starting the second disc of alan’s first best-of album, ECHOES is the first of four new songs featured and I’m so happy this came first.  To me, the song has a very interesting feel by being kind of either Native American or Tibetan or an odd mixture of both because I seem to get vibes on both sides.  I seriously enjoy alan’s vocals in this song except how she does the whole ~hey ya~ parts, they sounded pretty stressed, but this song is what I’ve missed so much from alan since she’s been Ayu-fied.  However, this was a Japanese translation of “Huhuan” which was released as a digital single in China.

2. Komorebi

Which clearly makes the other songs seem like crap.  Komorebi is also a ballad, but stuck with a beat that kind of makes it sound a little R&B-ish in a way.  Sadly, this feels like something leftover from “my life” in which that album barely had anything memorable on it for me and that’s what I feel about this song.  Not much to really go by.

3. eternal love ~Koi no Hana~

Another translation move, from the Chinese digital track, “Yinghua De Yanlei”, eternal love is a definite upgrade after “Komorebi” since there’s a little bit of a mix of mystery and a positive ballad together.  I also found alan’s vocal performance to be pretty damn strong and that made me happy for sure.  There’s still quite a lot of ballads that are better than this track, but this isn’t too bad.

4. Venus Flower

I was kind of pleasantly surprised that Venus Flower comes up next and kind of gives us an interesting tune.  It’s got this caribbean feel to it and it moves along the song quite smoothly and so does alan oddly enough.  I thought this was a pretty cute song and perfect for summer days for sure.  Catchy ^_^

5. Wasurenaide performed by S’capade featuring alan

Since “Venus Flower” was the last of the new songs, Wasurenaide comes up and I was surprised she added this song onto the second disc.  I honestly don’t remember any hype for this song when it was released back in May of 2010.  To me it should’ve stayed on S’capade’s album (oh yeah S’capade is the producer here BTW).  It seems to drag most of the time and even though alan is giving a good performance, I was too tired of the song to continue further.

6. Ai wa Chikara performed by alan×Kei Fukui

Odd that she closes the entire album with the last released A-side for this release and it had to the “weird” song.  It’s weird because it’s nothing like her songs and she’s collaborating with opera singer, Kei Fukui.  Dramatic strings and all, I was surprised alan went this direction with the tune because it’s really pretty and alan pulls this off like she’s been doing it for years.  Sadly, I still think Kei takes up too much and he overpowers alan quite a bit much.  Either way grand performance ^_^

I was pretty much interested in seeing what alan actually did for the second disc despite two tracks were new and two were just Japanese takes on the Chinese originals.  For the most part the songs were alright but some of the songs felt like “my life” wannabes which is a poor move…but songs like ECHOES and Ai wa Chikara stood out firmly.  It’s OK but not an amazing second disc.

 

alan×Kei Fukui – Ai wa Chikara December 28, 2010

Filed under: alan — solarblade @ 7:19 am

Track Listing

  1. Ai wa Chikara

1. Ai wa Chikara

I’m just still surprised that alan would have released an opera song after such strong singles (minus “Diamond”).  For alan’s first JPN collaboration with opera singer Kei Fukui, the song makes “Kuon no Kawa” seem lightweight as an epic song.  The music is very orchestral and grand that it definitely feels like alan’s regaining her “Voice of EARTH” style.  I will say that Kei’s tenor vocals kind of overpowers alan’s in a few parts of the song they sing simultaneously.  It’s still pretty much alan’s gold tune and a great way to perhaps finish the era off. 

I was surprised alan would have released it to open 2011 with a bang and Ai wa Chikara was pretty much what alan needed to regain the awesomeness on my part.  Kei Fukui definitely has a strong tenor and while I honestly think he sings more in the song, the two sound great and for alan’s first “opera” tune, she did it with flying covers.  Makes me wonder if it’ll be on her third album…

 

alan – Kanashimi wa Yuki ni Nemuru October 10, 2010

Filed under: alan — solarblade @ 2:50 am

Track Listing

  1. Kanashimi wa Yuki ni Nemuru
  2. Namonaki Tane
  3. Kanashimi wa Yuki ni Nemuru (Instrumental)
  4. Namonaki Tane (Instrumental)

1. Kanashimi wa Yuki ni Nemuru

Because we can get Winter-y songs as early as October >.>, alan’s contribution to the cold season is of course the usual alan calibur.  I really like how simple yet pretty it is to listen to alan singing the beginning with just acoustic guitar and then leading into a really gorgeous strings section.  Sometimes I do feel like the song moves into a waltz for a little bit when the light percussion comes in.  Ok, I think alan really saved her ass here cuz I enjoyed this song a lot.

2. Namonaki Tane

I think if I remember right that we’ve known about this song since “BALLAD ~Namonaki Koi no Uta~”.  Still as the B-side of the single, it kind of pales in comparison to “Kanashimi wa Yuki ni Nemuru” because this is more of a simple ballad ala “my life’s” rather generic and boring ballads.  It hurts that the best part of the song is when she gets towards the end and just belts the rest of the song to its closing.  I thought that was amazing.  It’s a song that you’ll have to warm up to, but it’s definitely not bad.

Wow, alan sure has recaptured my attention with this single.  I’m happy that it isn’t a blowout like “Kaze ni Mukau Hana’s” uber huge tracklist which is great.  Kanashimi wa Yuki ni Nemuru is definitely her best ballad in a long time (even though I do like the last single, this one blew it out of the water).  Namonaki Tane is definitely a grower kind of song, but at least we know she can still sing loud and proud ^_^.  I hope this is the last single of the era…I mean what we have A-sides wise is great and so much of an approvement over the last era.