Release Date: March 4, 2009
Label: Avex Trax
Number of Songs: 15
Personal Rating: 5/5
1. Tennyo ~interlude~
2. Ashita e no Sanka
3. Sora Uta
4. Natsukashii Mirai ~longing future~
6. Kaze no Tegami
8. Yume no Garden
9. Gunjou no Tani
10. my friend
12. Tsuki ga Watashi
13. RED CLIFF ~Shin Sen~
14. Megumi no Ame
Tennyo ~interlude~ may just be over three minutes long but it’s no doubt, one of the best opening in existence! I mean, it’s probably not even considered an interlude since there’s actually vocals in this song. (I’m pretty sure that an “interlude” is a song all instrumentals, right?) Love all of the traditional music elements played throughout the song after all, I like the glimpse of a very unique style!
Ashita e no Sanka, meaning “A Hymn for Tomorrow,” makes an appearence for Alan’s debut album. I mean, “why not? It’s definitely a song worth your time.” The beginning did indeed sound like a hymn. I could see how Alan tried to make is sound all scary at the beginning with the traditional chinese background music but when the song progressed to the chorus, she takes me by surprise when she starts screaming all of the sudden. Her vocals were priceless and very breathtaking.
At the beginning of Sora Uta there’s uplifting beats that’s had never been used in Alan’s past releases. The reason for this? It’s the change in Alan’s style! This appears to be the only song that’s not a ballad! Overall, I thought that Sora Uta was totally a great new change of style and she executed the mood flawlessly. I think she did a great job with the change.
Natsukashii Mirai ~longing future~ marks the beginning of the five elements project. As always, her ballads are very dramatic and gives listeners a very strong impression and reaction. But the one thing that makes this ballad very special is that the way the song was composed sounded like the works of Ayumi Hamasaki’s composer, making this song more popular in Japan. Since in Japan, people there prefer very pop-like and modern songs rather than ballads. Not to mention, Alan is more of a singer of tradition type music. But once again, Alan blows me off the chair with her extremely high voice. I think that Alan’s new approach to ballads was the reason why this single hit high on the charts than usual.
Hitotsu starts with the sound of a piano followed by Alan’s light and rhtymic vocals. Surprise, surprise, this happens to be another one of Alan’s beautiful ballads with very powerful vocals during the chorus and very calm during the interludes. A very beautifully made song. Totally worth the effort! There’s a thing with Alan’s voice that makes it wasy to reach those incredibly high notes. The song sort of shared the same style as “Ashita e no Sanka.”
The third installment to the Five elements project begins with Kaze no Tegami which shows the new materials that Alan has been experiencing with. After the sudden change from ballads to pop in her last single Sora Uta, Kaze no Tegami continues with the new style. After her somewhat solo beginning, powerful guitars and drum beats follow it. It’s pretty obvious that Alan got a new composer for her songs now that her lyric style changed as well. Unlike her ballads, this track shows Alan’s all new side of her voice.
After hearing most of Alan’s old songs throughout this “great-so-far” album, it’s finally time to get another dose of Alan’s newer songs! BRAVE shares some characteristics from her older songs but it’s still as awesome as usual. (And it’s not a ballad!) The whole song itself is very appealing to the ears and the acoustics in the background is what totally got me captivating into continuing to listen to this song. There was no sign of a boring chorus and an ordinary melody, so BRAVE was an excellent addition to Alan’s collection of songs.
Another new song is Yume no Garden which is also not a ballad but rather, a mid-tempo pop oriental song. I loved that there were some string instrumentals in the background since we don’t usually hear many pop songs with string instrumentals. It’s true that I’m a little tired of her singing just ballads and that her pop style also fits her perfectly but I guess that Alan’s vocals weren’t all that great here. At least, it wasn’t boring and there’s still no disappointments with this album yet. I have a feeling that this album is transitioning from her ballads to her more aggressive music….
And I was right! Gunjou no Tani starts with Alan singing calmly. When I first heard her voice, I thought that it was a voice of an angel! No one would have thought that Japanese was her second language! Anyway, powerful instrumental is played following Alan’s solo interlude. At least this wasn’t a ballad like most of her other singles were. I liked how Alan mixed up a variety of crescendos, rhthym and ones; all of them totally shook this awesome song up! Well done Alan!
Finally, a new ballad! (And I can’t stress enough how joyful I am not to hear a song with only ballads!) I pretty much expected that my friend would be a ballad because I’ve noticed that all of the Japanese songs that I hear with the title with the word “friend” in it usually turn out to be ballads. Anyway, the feel of the song is very sweet. I have the same feeling with one of her past singles called “Megumi no Ame,” that the song was nice but I thought that it wasn’t as captivating as most of Alan’s ballads.
Now I don’t really have a straight opinion with Liberty. It’s another ballad, not surprise but the beginning was pretty weak until the end. When the song was near the end, I thought it was pretty powerful. (Like some bands say before a concert, “we could start whatever way we want but we have to be strong at the end!”) At least Alan’ made it a memorable song near the conclusion since the last thing listeners hear is their last impression of the song. I still have some mixed opinions with this track but this sort of shares the same comment with “Yume no Garden.”
Tsuki ga Watashi is what I’m talking about! (And this new track actually has a title that suits the title of this album! It means “I am the Moon.”) Just like “Gunjou no Tani,” the song kind of sounds like a ballad at the beginning but it becomes more faster paced after the first verse. I liked how there was a large addition of instruments added throughout the song and how the chorus sounded a bit “fluid.” J-pop in general do share some sort of the same style but this song is definitely the most unique.
I seen many of my fellow bloggers post that RED CLIFF ~Shin Sen~ seems to turn out to be one of Alan’s most epic pre-released song, and it turns out they’re totally right! Although Alan may have been mostly doing ballads, it seems that she did try some experimenting with the pop style but now…she went back to her ballad style and took it to the next level! She has no doubt, greatly improved and touched up her ballad style since her last. I liked the part of the song when she began to build up her voice while softer versions of Alan’s voice also began to somewhat echo along with it. The chorus is also pretty darn powerful that I almost fell off my chair in surprise.
After listening to most of Alan’s past singles, I was pretty much expecting a lot from her since she always released good music. Maybe I was expecting too much since I wasn’t really fond of Megumi no Ame. I thought that it was a little too plain and a little boring compared to her other ballads. I mean, she was pretty much monotoning which really made me a little disappointed. It’s not so bad or anything; just “decent.” At least her beautiful voice is still present in this song.
Finally, there’ Together which is actually Alan’s first song she’s written. I’m not going to complain about it being a ballad since ballads do make a great ending to a great album. This song isn’t all that slow and boring but at least there’s a great combination of string instruments in the background. (Background music is key to making a ballad interesting.) I thought this song was an excellent way to end this incredibly beautiful album.
Okay, Alan’s Voice of EARTH was a total phenomenon! Although the album mostly consisted of her previous releases, the album was very refreshing to the ear. I mean, Avex Trax always picks extraordinary artists to be a part of their label and including Alan was probably one of their best miracle yet! It has been a total blessing that I was given a chance to give this single a listen and I will vow to treasure my copy of this extraordinary album! There’s a chance that she could be the next Ayumi Hamasaki!
Personal Rating: 5/5