alan- My Life

2009年 11月 20日

I actually really like the album cover… but I do miss the pretty cursive writing that they used to spell her name. At least it’s still on her OHP =] I loooove her hair though ;_;

Alright… this album was a major WTF for me. I love alan to pieces, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like this isn’t her at all. You’ll see what I mean.

The album opens with a short intro track, ~Reflection~ Overture has a very ethereal feel to it. Unlike Tenyo (which opened up her previous album), there are no mountain vocals. In fact… all we get really is a bunch of synth. I do, however, like the feel of this opening.

See here for the review of Swear.

I did not like One when I first heard it, to tell you the truth. We have a little bit of piano, but One is primarily an R&B track. The song has grown on me a little though. It’s a little on the slower side with some progressive guitar chords during the chorus. It has a pretty melody… nothing special.

Now we have Mitsumete Itai. I actually love this track. It’s alan and piano. Nothing more. While this album might not be distinctly “alan,” at least it doesn’t lack ballads. If you liked ballads like Shiawase no Kane, you’ll like this track. It’s elegant and reminds me of snow falling. One of the highlights of the album.

Alright… now we have Namida (Smooth Jam Mix). We remember Namida from her sublime single, Megumi no Ame. Namida was beautiful, soft, and had a subtle Asian vibe. The smooth jam mix takes all of it away. All of a sudden we’ve got this heavy beat and it feels almost as if alan’s trying to be Utada Hikaru. Sorry… but the original was much better. I don’t “hate” it… but I really would have preferred if this weren’t included.

Okay… here’s where things get a little funky… literally. With a title like Lost Child I was expecting some sort of swift, melancholy ballad. Instead, it’s more like JYONGRI’s Lost Girl. I don’t know what alan’s trying to do here. Is she trying to be Utada? Milyah Kato? This is very much an R&B track with some weird strings (and as  a violinist… I know those aren’t real strings <_<).

Next we have Butterflies. Don’t worry… we don’t have another Swear on our hands. We open up with a harp… which I like. The harp gives it a little more of an authentic feel (esp. with the Eurasian instruments during the chorus). However, it sounds like this song is trying to imitate Koda Kumi. On an upside, the song reminds me a bit of a major-key Sora Uta.

Now we have an interlude track, Essence of Me. Let me tell you right now… this is NOT essence of alan. This is the essence of a shitty song (sorry for the language… but it’s true). The song reminds me of some sort of older Utada song. It is something between urban-dance-R&B. It does get better toward the end though… where we hear a bit of her mountain wails (albeit half-hearted mountain wails). Dislike.

Call My Name is a very WTF track for me. Since when is Perfume on this album? Oh wait… this is just alan under heavy synth, vocal distortion, and prominent dance beats. Not joking… this could literally be a Perfume song. I LOVE Perfume… but not alan pretending to be perfume. I like alan’s voice, I like the instrumental, I do not like them together. alan used to devote a lot of her songs to nature and songs of a “higher purpose” shall we say. This song just screams “oh hi… i’z a dance track. Look at me!”

Now we have Shiroi Tsubasa or “White Wings.” Given the poetic title, we can expect something slower here. We’ve got a ballad, and I actually kind of like it (haha see how reserved I am?) OMG surprise! Another R&B-ish track. Come on… this is getting quite anticlimactic. This one is done better than the other tracks on the album, as it employs strings beautifully and alan’s vocals are straight-on.

Nobody Knows But Me is a melancholy piano track. This song is easily my favorite song off of the album (aside from Kuon no Kawa). This is a stunning track… alan tackles some high vocals here. No mountain wails… but I don’t think they would have fit in here anyway. What can I say, I love simplicity.

BALLAD ~Namonaki Koi no Uta~ is our second A-side of the album. People have different opinions about this song, but I personally like it. We’ve got a ballad (duh) and mountain wailing. Well… I like it, haha.

YES!!! Kuon no Kawa is alan’s most traditional song on the album, and also it’s oldest A-side. I love this track… it shows so much prowess and beauty… one of alan’s best songs ever.

Last song (finally… wtf 14 tracks?!) My Life is a ballad, and was originally scheduled as an A-side. If you haven’t seen the PV yet I highly suggest it, it’s beautifully done. Now… this is the alan I know. This song reminds me of her ballads on the Hitotsu single. At least the album ends on a positive note.

Overall: Damn this is a long album… and unfortunately most of the songs just weren’t up to par. Sadly, despite some good songs, this album was distinctly “un-alan.”

Best Songs: Kuon no Kawa, Nobody Knows But Me, My Life, Mitsumete Itai

Rating: 6.5/10

Originally I was going to give this album a 5.5/10… but after my rage of this being so not alan… I grew on some of the songs.

Track list:

  1. reflection ~overture~
  2. Swear
  3. One
  4. Mitsumete Itai
    I Want to Look at You
  5. Namida (Smooth Jam Mix)
  6. Lost Child
  7. Butterflies
  8. Essence of me
  9. Call my name
  10. Shiroi Tsubasa
    White Wings
  11. Nobody knows but me
  12. BALLAD ~Namonaki Koi no Uta~
  13. Kuon no Kawa
  14. my life

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