Friday, January 12, 2007

Pop!



Happy (belated) New Year everyone! Time is passing too fast *_^ Yay - 2007 is the year of the pig - my grandmother's zodiac year. There's a belief in China that when the year is your zodiac animal year, a big change (usually good) will happen in your life. When I was 12 (Chinese age) I came to the US - pretty big change haha. I hope my grandmother will continue to be healthy and happy in China ^_^


So, 2007 starts with me listening to a bunch of S.H.E (Taiwanese 3-girl pop group) ^_^ I have been a fan of S.H.E ever since their first album (which is still one of my favorite). S.H.E does sing formulaic pop music - but their songs stand out amongst the hundreds of other repetitive Chinese pop artists. Their songs are fun to sing at KTV, their upbeat songs makes me happy & want to dance, and their overall goofy & funny personality (ok mostly Ella and Hebe muhaha) is just awesome. Maybe I'm a very biased fan, but it has been great seeing how much the three girls have grown throughout these few years - their sing have definitely improved quite a bit along the way.


S.H.E just released a live album (recorded during their recent concert in HK), and I love it. Not only do they sing a bunch of their popular songs, the live album also feature each girl's own performance - Hebe's drum solo & Ella singing David Tao's "爱很简单" (Love is very easy) on the piano is very cool. Each girl also chose a song they liked and sang solo during the concert - those songs were probably my favorite in the live album. So, here they are :)


http://she.him.com.tw/


Sample Song: Selina - 还是会寂寞 (Cheer Chen's "Lonely without you")

I was definitely surprised to hear Selina cover Cheer's song. Selina's usually a pop person ^_^ Her little speech at the beginning of the song is cute - "This song, 'Lonely without you,' is for everyone that's lonely. I hope you guys/girls won't be lonely anymore." Someone actually emailed me & asked for this song's English lyrics, so I translated them at my Cheer blog.

Sample Song: Hebe - She's the One (Robbie Williams)
Hebe is my favorite vocalist in S.H.E because her voice & singing ability in my opinion is the best in the group. Not to mention her favorite music genre is alt. rock ^_^ This is a beautiful cover of Robbie William's "She's the One." Definitely a song to put on repeat.

Ella - 阴天 (Karen Mok's "Cloudy Day")

"Cloudy Day" is one of Ella's all-time favorite songs. She sang it everywhere (even at the contest that got her into S.H.E). Of course, I don't blame her - this song is one of Karen Mok's classics, and Ella's low, confident voice is just perfect for the song. Go Ella!

Just recently, Hong Kong's Khalil Fong released his second album. Soulboy is back with another perfect R&B composition "This Love" while adding new elements such as jazz, rock, swing, electronic, etc. in this awesome album ^_^ Why can't China/HK/TW have more mainstream artists like him?! I also enjoy every song from this album (as with his first album)...so I had a hard time picking out the sample song... boo Khalil boo :P By the way, Khalil's blog is actually written in English, so check it out (lol @ S.A.M. dark picture)

http://www.khalil-fong.com.hk/


Sample Song: 唉! (Oh!)

2006 was a great year for 2005 Super Girl (China) singing contest winners - many of them released their solo albums. Of course, if you've read my previous post about Jane Zhang (she landed 3rd place but imo the best singer), I did not like the 1st place winner Li Yu Chun at all. Anyway, my favorite super girl releases are: Jane's debut album "The One", the 2nd place winner Bibi Zhou's solo album "Who moved my piano chord", and the recently released 6th place winner Huang Ya Li's "Zai Zai".


I didn't pay much attention to Bibi while watching the 2005 Super Girl singing contest when I went back to China that summer. Even though Bibi chose songs that I liked - David's and Leehom's classics, I still believed that ability wise Jane was the best ^_^ However, her debut album surprised me - of course, she stuck to her favorite genre: R&B in some songs, but many songs on the album have different flavors: pop, ballads, rock, dance... and most of them are really catchy & nice ^_^ This summer I also went to see her debut film with Hu Ge & Cecilia Cheung "The 601st Phone Call." It was an...interesting movie - for a 1st time actress Bibi was OK ^_^ I still prefer her singing :o)

Almost every song on this album has a different flavor, the sample song is a dance/pop-ish goody. Me like.

Sample Song: Bibi Zhou - 无人岛 (Island without people)

2006 was an awesome, awesome year for Jane. She was invited to sing at countless concerts, plays, shows, she released a couple singles before releasing her debut album "The One," and she even sang the high-octave, difficult theme song for the popular TV/wuxia drama "Return of the Condor Heroes 2006," not to mention the difficult-to-sing ending song for the big-budget Chinese film "The Banquet." Surprisingly, I was a bit disappointed with her debut album, as most of the songs in there are generic, easy-to-sing pop ballads that are chosen (probably by her record company) to satisfy the majority of the audience. I was disappointed because I believe Jane could do much better than that. Nevertheless - I enjoy listening to her work, and she still have time to grow as an artist. Go Jane!

Sample Song: Jane Zhang - Take it like a Man

Ya Li's debut album is pure pop/rock/punk, cute & fun. I'm glad she chose to sing more rock-oriented songs instead of the usual boring Chinese pop/ballads. Although some of her songs on this album are only mediocre, I love her single "蝴蝶泉边." It's not rock, but a song that mix traditional Chinese elements with pop. Very catchy & a nice song to put on repeat play. I also thought it was cute how Ya Li sometimes sang like she's singing to a baby (kinda baby voice-ish) in some of her songs. She even has a song that's titled & about one of my favorite subject: "无聊"! (boredom/pointlessness haha) Good luck on your career Ya Li! Make more fun music!

Sample Song: 蝴蝶泉边 (By the butterfly spring)

Argh, there are still good pop artists to mention, but it's late... I must go to sleep as I still have work tomorrow *_^ Good night!

3 comments:

duriandave said...

Hi Philly! Good to see a new post from you. I still check your blog, but not as often cuz I know you're busy with school (how's it going, btw?). I can't say I really cared for this latest batch of songs, but I absolutely loved what was playing on your station in the sidebar! It reminded me that I still need to pick up the new Tizzy Bac album (that song really rocks!). I'll add it to my growing wish list, along with the new Ivana Wong and at17 releases and Zhang Xuan's album. Lately, I've been listening to a lot of Mandarin oldies, like Teresa Teng, Yao Su-rong, and Judy Ongg. Do you ever listen to them? Anyway, best wishes for the New Year!

ocfreakbecky said...

hey just passing by and your blog is cool.. love SHE.. like your choice of music too :D

漪漪 said...

Hey Dave -
Sorry for the late reply *_^ School this year went well - even though I had some crappy classes, the overall experience was awesome. ^_^ Zhang Xuan will actually release her 2nd album soon - probably in June (can't wait!) And I don't really listen to oldies...must be that my parents never listened to much music when I was little except classical & Jacky Cheung. Happy New Year belated to you too :o) and Happy summer!

@becky - thanks ^_^