Voice of EARTH

Voice of EARTH was alan’s debut Japanese studio album. It was released on March 4, 2009 and reached no. 15 on the Oricon Charts with 11,056 copies sold. In all it has sold over 17,296+ copies. This album released in two versions, a CD edition and a CD+DVD edition. It features alan’s first two Japanese singles as well as her 5 Elements Campaign and her latest single Gunjou no Tani. The song Liberty was used as the theme song for the drama Hikon Doumei.

Voice of EARTH - alan

Tracks:
1. Tennyo ~interlude~
2. Ashita e no Sanka
3. Sore 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

Tracks:
Beginning alan’s debut album is Tennyo ~interlude~ lit. Celestial Maiden. I really wouldn’t call it an interlude as it’s more of an intro, but it’s certainly one hell of a beginning. It’s over three minutes long and features various Tibetan elements. Throughout the song you can hear alan singing in Tibetan, just like sign. There’s a great use of the percussion, strings, and the various beats. The wailing at the beginning was pretty good too, made the whole thing seem somewhat ominous and ancient almost. A spectacular opening.

Next is her debut single Ashita e no Sanka. It’s somewhat old being released over a year ago, but it’ still amazing. Her vocals are what really impress me, especially how she holds those long notes. The oriental elements are really strong, namely the strings and percussion. Now that I look back at it, it doesn’t seem as amazing as it did a year ago, but it’s still mesmerizing.

Continuing with the oriental / enthic sound is Sora Uta. It was originally released as her second single in the 5 Elements Campaign. And it’s obvious that this song represents the sky, especially with it’s name. This song was her first step into mainstream pop you could say, it’s not a ballad. Instead it’s more up-beat and features various elements of pop and ballad. The music isn’t heavy enough for pop, yet not solemn and epic enough for a ballad. Anyway, the strings during the chorus sounded so oriental and went great with alan’s vocals. Overall despite it being rather mid-tempo, it’s catchy.

And now we come to the song that brought alan into the limelight. Natsukashii Mirai ~longing future~ was alans first single to chart in the top 20 as well as her first single in the 5 Elements Campaign. The theme was earth and it holds true to the theme. This ballad features the harmonious strings, epic piano chords, and even the er-hu. alan’s vocals were really spectacular, such power and strength. And I just adore the melody, it’s not overly infectious yet it’s still memorable, just right for this ballad. I personally think it was the best single from the campaign.

And time for the winter ballad Hitotsu. It’s a magical ballad that’s rather mediocre in terms of melody but it’s great in the vocal department. The strings arrangement is astounding, the piano chords are enchanting, and the accordion was unexpected yet incredible. I honestly love this song for the vocals, that first line is just so powerful. It’s a great listen for anyone that loves exotic ballads.

This is really alan’s first true dip into the world of pop music. Kaze no Tegami is one of the best songs that she’s released, then again I love most of her songs. It utilizes various synth riffs and beats alongside the electric guitar and percussion. It’s still pretty unique compared to all her music, but I still think it’s great. Despite all the criticism it received I still love this song, it’s equally catchy as it is unique.

The first real new song on the album is BRAVE. The first thing that drew me to this song is the fact that there’s some English. But besides that there is the whole exotic factor going on. The strings sound really foreign and different yet it’s amazing. There are some synth elements as well as some distortions. The chorus is by far the catchiest thing, the synth riffs are just awing and the vocals are impressive. There’s even the hint of the electric guitar, channeling Kaze no Tegami are we? I especially loved the distortions with the ad-libbing at the end of the chorus. It has that epic quality and it’s a fairly good song. It’s worth a listen.

And yet we have another unique song following, this time it’s Yume no Garden. This song is mid-tempo and it still features some rock elements, but with the strings and the guitar riffs it has an oriental sound to it. The vocals weren’t all that impressive but the melody sounded great and the song itself was epic. The instruments really made this song which isn’t saying much about it. It sounds nice, but it’s not single quality.

Picking up the pace is the aggressive yet passive Gunjou no Tani. This was the last single prior to the album and honestly it’s the best yet. It’s more of an aggressive ballad with some great strings and percussion. alan’s vocals were strong and intense and the music was so epic. And the chorus is just unforgettable. Truly an epic song for the ages.

We now come to one of the only acoustic songs on the album my friend. It has such a different feel than the previous songs. It’s more gentle and more laid back for sure. The acoustics are wonderful despite being so soft and innocent. While it might not be catchy it’s still almost magical and enjoyable. I wouldn’t classify it as A-Side material, but it’s pretty high quality.

Another new track appears next, this time it’s Liberty. Honestly it’s not all that mesmerizing yet it’s still a lovely song. The strings are the primary driving force along with the occasional guitar. This song seems to have an almost magical quality to it, it must be the bells and the piano. The bridge was surprisingly epic with the mellow guitar riffs. And towards the end it did get better. There’s some potential in this song, too bad it doesn’t use it.

One of my favorite new tracks on the album is Tsuki ga Watashi lit. I am the Moon. The beginning starts off like a ballad, very gentle and piano driven. Yet when the song begins to pick up and it takes up more of an oriental vibe. The music suddenly becomes filled with the sounds of the oriental stings, bells, and the classical strings. It has that great oriental flare and it’s really spectacular. alan’s vocals might not be all that strong but they’re absolutely magnificent. This is definitely one of the best new tracks on the album.

Making an appearance finally is RED CLIFF ~Shin Sen~. This song is the epitome of epic and regal. It’s an astonishing ballad that’s as epic as it is powerful. It’s a rather strong ballad filled with a heavenly arrangement of strings. It’s no wonder that this is her best selling single, it’s certainly her best ballad. It’s traditional yet it keeps getting better after you hear it. What was the real treat were the vocals. There was just so much power and strength, which really made it spectacular. It’s an epic ballad that’s worthy of alan.

Rounding up the old tracks on the album is Megumi no Ame. It’s a string driven ballad that while might not be as epic as the previous track it’s just as profound. It still has that epic feel during the chorus with the strings playing in harmony. The er-hu is the signature instrument as well as the piano, giving the song an Asian sound. This isn’t her best ballad, but it’s pretty high up there.

Ending the album is the brand new track Together. Not only is this song a first press bonus track but it’s also alan’s first composition. This song is another ballad, no surprise there. Yet this is by far very different. It’s faster paced and even with the strings it sounds different. The percussion is softer and the various bells and strings really mesh well together to create a unique sounding song. It’s no shock that alan’s vocals are impressive as usual, they’re pretty loud. I don’t think you could say that it’s very catchy, but at least it’s memorable.

Overall Review: Voice of EARTH was oriental ballad goodness! Honestly this album was a little messy in terms or arrangement, it’s not as cohesive as I would’ve liked. And maybe if there was an interlude to separate the ballads from the pop songs it would have been better but it’s still impressive. I loved the singles from this album even though there were so many. Most of the album tracks were outstanding and really sounded incredible. Sure it would’ve been better had there been some variety but overall they were great. I just wish that alan would experiment more and move on to genres other than ballads. Overall this is a fair debut, it’s not all that riveting, but it’s certainly lovely. And the cover is so beautiful, I mean the earth for eyes, genius.

Final Grade: 93B+

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Comments
One Response to “Voice of EARTH”
  1. amaiyume says:

    OMG, Voice of EARTH is INCREDIBLE!!!! The singles were awesome (Ashita e no Sanka, Natsukashii Mirai ~longing future,~ Sora Uta, Kaze no Tegami, Gunjou no Tani) and she stepped it up on the album tracks as well (BRAVE, Yume no Garden, Liberty, Tsuki ga Watashi and even the opening interlude blew me away)

    It’s been such a longgggg wait but it was totally worth it. I’m glad she’ll be back with another single next month 🙂

    alan Power!!!

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