alan – RED CLIFF ~Shin Sen~

October 22, 2008 at 5:40 PM | Posted in alan | 20 Comments

1. RED CLIFF ~Shin Sen~ (RED CLIFF ~心・戦~)
2. Xin Zhan ~RED CLIFF~ (心・戦 ~RED CLIFF~)
3. Ashita e no Sanka ~Orchestra Version~
4. RED CLIFF ~Shin Sen~ (Instrumental)
5. Ashita e no Sanka ~Orchestra Version~

This is alan’s 7th single and it was released on October 15, 2008. The single reached #23 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 15,223 copies. The 2nd track was used as the theme song for the Chinese movie Red Cliff and the title track was the theme song for the movie’s Japanese release.

Holy shit. RED CLIFF ~Shin Sen~ is epic epic epic. Being the 4th release in alan’s 5 elemental singles campaign, this song represents fire and the burning desire within one’s heart. I loved how cinematic and theatrical the music was because it features a fantastic orchestral arrangement. There is a great accumulation of tension right when the song starts with alan’s adlibbing and it just builds and builds until the powerful chorus arrives. The sweeping strings really give the song its dramatic feel without being over the top. However, the most phenomenal part of the song is without a doubt the climactic bridge sequence that includes powerful mountain vocals. I was honestly blown away by that part because it is AMAZING. alan is certainly becoming a force to be reckoned with and this song proves it.

The 2nd track is the original Chinese version, Xin Zhan ~RED CLIFF~. This was actually my first time hearing alan sing in her native language and there’s a big difference in terms of how “natural” she sounds. I’m not surprised though and the Chinese version is definitely on the same level as the Japanese version, except for one thing. The bridge does not feature the mountain vocals previously heard in the Japanese version. I was mildly disappointed by the exclusion but the song is still insanely epic nonetheless.

Also on the single is a grandiose and sensational orchestra version of her debut Japanese single Ashita e no Sanka. I really liked how things got mixed up for this version because it does not follow the same structure of the original. It open and ends differently, plus the verses are rearranged as well. The instrumental sections are great and sound really grand with the added strings and brass, giving the song this extra “royal” or “imperial” vibe.

Overall Rating

5 stars



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  1. I still think it should be Kokoro Ikusa.

    but I totally agree with you on everything. alan continues to amaze me everytime! I can’t wait for her 3 future release!

    great review, bb.

  2. Extravagant review as always Lex. I loved this single too. 5 stars!

  3. This is probably the only song I like and eventually will love from alan’s 5 element-single campaign…Aside from her first single, this song blew me away….so much unlike her previous songs: Sora Uta reminds me of Sting’s Shape of my Heart too much..Kaze no Tegami is quite typical(no offense!!)…but Ashita no e Sanka and Red Cliff~Shin Sen~ are definitely two of her best singles…

  4. great review on alan’s new single , Lex & for me I actually heard the original chinese take 1st before the ‘remake’ but still both versions are equally great . The Orchestra Version of alan’s debut single’s to die for <3

  5. 1. Ashita e no Sanka
    2. Red Cliff ~Shin.Sen~
    3. Natsukashii Mirai ~longing future~
    4. Hitotsu
    5. Sora Uta
    6. Kaze no Tegami
    I’ve loved alan’s ballad from the first time I heard them and I must say i wasn’t disappointed at all with her poppier sounding singles, with her amazing vocals to top everything up! Great review Lex! Thanks to your review I got to know and heard this girl in action and I’m glad I did!

  6. yayyyy!!!!!!!!!
    RED CLIFF ~SHin Sen~ is soooo amazing and Ashita e no Sanka ~Orchestral Version~ is AWESOME!!!! fantastic!! :)

  7. This single is indeed epic and a masterpiece of hers.

  8. GAH.
    I need to get back to alan later on.
    I’m missing out on the epicness.

    But I’m still on my techno, and I’m planning to get melody. too.

  9. RED CLIFF ~Shin Sen~ is simply put- mind blowing. The song is very impressive and features a very strong and beautiful vocal performance from alan, who has quite quickly become the artist to keep an eye on this year. Yeah! Go alan girl! =D

  10. i wonder why the chinese version doesn’t have the bridge part (“mountain vocals” as you called it)…maybe, just maybe it has to do with the whole china and tibet thing? because the mountain vocals are very tibet-sounding and china doesn’t like that? i guess it’s possible since the chinese version was released before the japanese version.
    anyways, i agree with your review 100% and thank you for taking the time!!

  11. Uh, I’m Chinese and I don’t have a problem with mountain vocals, because they’re about as Chinese as they are Tibetan .. =\

  12. lol so am I, but maybe it’s the government that doesn’t like it xD but to be more specific, “han” people don’t sing like’s more tibetan style.. i guess. you know what i mean? :P

  13. well, actually, i think that the chinese version is shorter cuz it was used as the ending theme of this chinese film and so, it couldn’t exceed a certain length. and in the japanese version, they could go on as long as they liked.


    this review is spot on and i’m so glad alan’s finally nearing her well-deserved fame :D *hee*

  14. to be honest, i really didn’t like alan that much until this single. lol. i liked her first single and the rest, i was like okay. but this one was amazing. i found it really nice to hear here sing in her native language.

    ^_^ i always love hearing artist sing in their native language, i always think it’s different. lol but usually in a good way. lol.

  15. I <3<3<3<3 this single!!! I prefer the japanese version to the chinese one. Without the wailing, the song seems to lack in climax.

    There are minorities in China who sing mountain songs, like the Hakka minority. But I don’t think so they do it anymore, because I’ve never heard my mom talking about it :/ :(

    Maybe because we live in Malaysia. :(

  16. @ta_bi
    I think the reason the Chinese version does not have the tradition Tibetan singing during the bridge is simply because the Chinese government doesn’t want to put anything which would promote Tibet when it is the theme song for the most expensive Asian movie ever as well as a movie itself about China.

  17. I’m not an alan fan because the only songs i like are butterflies and natsukashii mirai.
    Firstly, alan’s voice is really shrill. her pronounciation of japanese words is really bad. Like her grasp of japanese grammer. It is not supposed to be Shin Sen, it sounds like the word fresh! it should be kokoro ikusa like everyone is saying. She just put shin sen because it sounds like the chinese xin zhan. It should be a crime to read onyoumi when you’re supposed to read kunyoumi. my sensei always stresses on that. If she doesn’t know japanese than don’t sing in japanese lah, shame on the language. nowadays any chinese/korean singer is singing in japanese to break into the market. i don’t mind people like crystal kay (Who’s half jap anyway) or BoA (Who lives in japan for a long time) singing, but i hate newbies who have no grasp of the language trying to sing in japanese. Avex is just capitalising on her looks and red cliff fame to launch her.
    Shin sen is not that great. the music is cool and all, but i feel anybody can sing it. Her vocals are nothing special.
    She’s young and all, but i don’t respect someone who not only can’t sing well but also don’t play her own instruments. Ai Kawashima does that.

  18. OIC…tell me how you really feel.

  19. Who’s everybody?

  20. @sl stfu nobody is interested in ur opinion.

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