alan’s next single “Gunjou no Tani” (Ultramarine Valley) will be released on February 2nd; this will be her last single preceeding her upcoming as yet untitled album. The song was originally written for the victims of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake. And no, I did not get lazy with the images – this is the first alan single to not have two different covers for the limited and regular editions.
“Gunjou no Tani” is a midtempo ballad with a powerful rock-based backings and alan’s trademark vocals. And… honestly, what else can I say. alan’s vocals are like, say, Yuna Ito’s or Celine Dion’s; no matter what the song is like, the vocals are always pretty good. The song has a great instrumental composition but the vocal melody is rather bland at parts. alan’s voice is good, but the best parts about the song are parts where she gets to vocalize during the chorus instead of following the flat tune at the other portions. Don’t get me wrong – this is a pretty good song, just not as epic as some of her other ballads.
The PV for this video was shot in Sichuan and features gorgeous shots. alan doesn’t do much besides walk around gorgeous backdrops and sing passionately while looking gorgeous herself, but visually there’s a great mix of colors and movement.
On a sidenote, I wonder how avex is planning to mold alan for Japan. alan can’t survive in J-pop singing ballads forever while acting as this classical, ephereal beauty, and although “RED CLIFF” and “Natsukashi Mirai: Longing Future” could probably count as minor hits, her sales are generally fairly lackluster. Avex is trying to mold her to be modern (note the stylish sweater in this PV, as opposed to only flowy dresses and kimonos and whatnot) but her voice always has a classical air. It’d be a complete waste of a talent to have alan sing poppy songs. Maybe there’s plans for a full-on Chinese career… but with alan’s Japanese skills pretty decent now, it’d be a waste not to keep doing J-pop too…
Well, whatever happens, as long as alan keeps releasing her songs, I’ll keep listening. Keep an eye out for her album – it’ll be coming in the beginning of March.
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