Hi there everyone!
I want to talk with you about my friend Alan Z’s debut EP ‘First Time’s the Charm.’ I got my album in the mail on one of the worst work days I’ve ever had, but after listening through the album a few times, I felt all my tension and leftover stress melting away. Alan’s voice has such a soothing quality to it that I couldn’t help but relax and get lost in the songs.
So……let’s talk songs. First on the album is ‘No Handouts.’ This is a song that fires back at anyone who thinks Alan will just be another kpop artist and that will be the only way he’ll be successful. It’s a big “Up yours!’ to anyone who tries to fit him into the box of their preconceived notions.
Next is ‘Touch and Go.’ Ya’ll already know my thoughts about this one but I’ll happily talk about it again as it’s my favorite song on the album. “Touch and Go’ is an anthem to the reality of one-night stands and really brings home that just because the relationship only lasted one night does not make it any less real than a longer relationship.
Third on the EP is ‘Color Me Bad.’ One of the more sexy songs on the album, this one speaks of seeing a beautiful woman and immediately desiring to “sex her up.” But underneath the desire, there’s a sweet undertone to me because he was so enamoured with her that he knew, even though it might not work out, he just had to be with her.
Fourth is another one of my favorites, ‘Distance.’ This song was how I found Alan and what brought me to this point. ‘Distance’ shows a couple growing farther and farther apart as their relationship slowly splinters. I think this one is maybe one of the most important songs on the album because it shows that no matter how deep your connection might seem, sometimes things just don’t work out. He shows how toxic a relationship like this can be.
Next we have ‘Windows Tinted’ and oh boy…..this one is pure sex in song form. Now, normally there wouldn’t be anything even remotely romantic about car sex, but this song shows the impatience and chemistry between two people who are so lost in each other that they’ll skip “the hotel, motel, Holiday Inn” and just do it in the car.
The sixth song is ‘All of You.’ While perhaps not a ballad in the traditional sense, it still speaks to me on a deeper level because he’s saying to turn off the phone, disconnect from everyone else, and let him take care of you. What girl doesn’t want to have the undivided attention and care of her partner? Combine that with accentuating beats in the background and we’ve got a very smooth song.
Last on the album is ‘Discriminated.’ Alan fires back at all his haters and the people who just want to see him as another one in the crowd. This song proves that if you have enough determination and an inner fire, you can turn adversity around to be a success. He won’t let these people and their ignorance stand in his way and I think that’s a lesson we could all do with listening to.
All in all, I think the album is very successful. It’s down-and-dirty,it’s gritty….but beyond all that, it’s real. ‘First Time’s the Charm’ tells the story of the every day struggle with being hated for something you can’t control and turning that experience into a dream for the future. It’s about overcoming challenges and walking your own path to happiness no matter what others say.
The rap is smooth, as I’ve come to adore in Alan’s music, and he transitions flawlessly between it and crooning lyrics. It’s powerful, soothing, and overall, one of my favorite albums!