Long-awaited album pleases audiences, impresses critics

by Julia Chirls

Ahn’s career kicked off in 2008 when she released her most popular and well-loved single Dream, and, since then, her success has only grown.

On Feb. 25, 2014, Priscilla Ahn’s fifth and most recent studio album, This is Where We Are, arrived here, long-awaited as her American fan base watched people in Japan and Korea line up for her album beginning July 2013.  

When “Diana,” the first song on the track list, was released as a single ,listeners in the States did get a sneak peek of her album. This held her fans in deep suspense because the States had not experienced Ahn’s talent since 2011.  

There are three songs on the track list with few lyrics, if any at all, which is very unique. As a violist, I take great pleasure in instrumental music. Filling in the music with words is not always necessary, so “Diana” and “Loop” are among my favorites on this album.  

The album begins with “Diana,” in which Ahn returns to her roots, singing with the elegant and airy tone that is recognizable in all five of the studio albums she has released.

However, Ahn evidently disagrees.

Diana is so fun and so different from my usual sound,” she explained to Billboard.  

She recieved quite successful assistance from well-known keyboarder, composer, and producer Keefus Ciancia. The song lasts for four minutes and 32 seconds, yet it contains only 10 lines of lyrics.

This song is comprised of two alternating and contrasting rhythms. The first one is flowing and light while Ahn accompanies it with a complementary tone. The second is a length of music containing an upbeat and catchy rhythm.  The alternating pattern repeats four times, giving unity and consistency to the song.  

Considering the small number of words included, “Diana” tells a short story of a woman expressing the passion and adventures of her relationship. “Love me slow, don’t let go. Come on, let’s climb the highest mountain, make wishes in the water fountain. Oh woa, oh, here we go. Walking down the magic river, the water makes your body shiver. Make me weep. Love me deep. And I will throw you in the fire; show you all my mind’s desire.”

“Loop” is number six on the track list and contains lyrics that simply resemble an instrument as part of the background music, harmonizing with strings and synths. It is three minutes of a tune that places me in a spa, soothing and slow-paced without any sudden beats or clashes. Since the lyrics are essentially unidentifiable, listeners can create their own stories based on the emotions they feel or the thoughts that enter their minds as they hear Loop play. I would definitely consider listening to the song as a relaxing break from schoolwork! It is, for sure, a stress reliever.

How can we forget the songs that entirely feature Priscilla Ahn’s voice that brought her to fame in the first place?

Home is fourth on the track list, telling the story of a girl who is convincing a man to love her.  “If you want this heart of mine/take it slow, it’s hard to find/no one knows the things I feel/don’t look back/don’t look back./What am I supposed to say in these situations?/You know I need to stay/don’t look back/don’t look back.”  She asks, begs, and pleads. Once again, Ahn presents her extraordinary natural talent. The song begins slowly and gently, but soon the tempo increases. Although her voice is soft and tender, she manages to effectively portray the story’s insistent and determined character.

First-year Julia Chirls is a staff writer. Her email is jchirls@fandm.edu.

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