Album Review (From Hello Asia)
Check out my album review of this album for Hello Asia here: http://www.helloasia.com.au/reviews/albums/jj-lin-from-m-e-to-myself-album-review-taiwan-2015/
1. 序曲：調音 Tuning Up
2. 不爲誰而作的歌 Twilight
3. 序曲：中場休息 Intermission
4. 關鍵詞（Horae Beauté 韓媞形象主題曲） The Key ("Horae Beauté" Theme Song)
5. 只要有你的地方（晚安版） By Your Side (Bedtime)
6. 彈唱 A Song for You Till the End of Time
7. 有夢不難 Adolescent
8. 序曲：Welcome to the Livehouse
9. Too Bad
10. 你，有沒有過（Livehouse版） Roll On (Livehouse)
11. 序曲：12年前 12 Years
12. 現在的我和她 No Longer Us
13. 序曲：海邊 初 The Beach Arrival
14. Lier and Accuser
15. 獨舞 The Lone Ranger
16. 序曲：海邊 終 The Beach Departure
17. 你，有沒有過（電影《破風》主題曲） Roll On (“To The Fore” Theme Song)
18. 只要有你的地方（電影《消失的愛人》主題曲） By Your Side (“The Secret” Theme Song)
Bonus CD：全面開戰（《部落衝突Clash of Clans》主題曲） Clan Wars ("Clash of Clans" Theme Song)
Mandopop ballad prince JJ Lin is back again this year with his experimental album "From M.E. to myself", and not only include 18 songs, but also a documentary including interview clips with JJ himself that allow him to share a more intimate side to his personality.
"One year ago I started an entirely new journey, and I decided to tear away from the packaging of popular music, and start anew in categorising myself and my music. I asked myself a question: in the production of music, what else is there I haven't tried?
So I began this project. I hope that through exploring the depths of my heart and unspeakable emotions, using the sound of instruments, melodies, using my own voice I can express these feelings. I hope these actions will allow me to see a side of myself I had never seen before, talking and interacting with those parts of me that had always been hidden beneath the surface"
These were the thoughts going through JJ's head that led to the conception of this album.
Going even further to describe this album as a milestone for the Chinese pop music industry, I am increasingly intrigued by this concept, given me always having wanted to see the true inner part of JJ Lin that I had never experienced.
Lin also used the 'Dummy Head' recording technique for this album in order to create an intimate atmosphere between himself and listeners, similar to that of a live house full of audience members.
Although a consistently popular artist, I've always yearned to see what was underneath the surface with JJ. As talented a singer-songwriter he may be, writing good ballads does not a standout point make. I've always found that his music although nice lacked flavour and uniqueness, something that truly stood out to me as JJ's inner voice.
However it he is able to push through and deliver on this album, not only will it be his best one yet; it will also be a turning point in his career, and growth in character for the boyish singer.
Taken from: http://asianpopweekly.weebly.com/news-nuggets/jj-lin-releases-experimental-new-album-from-me-to-myself-on-25th-december
01. 塗鴉世界 / Graffiti
02. 一直微笑 / I won't count my tears / 林依晨愛情話題電影[234說愛你]片尾曲
03. 怎麼還不愛(雀躍狂愛版) Duet with余楓 / Why not love / 三立偶像劇[料理高校生] 片尾曲
04. 說愛 / so what
05. Whole Lot of Yellow
06. 不忘 / Never forget / 三立偶像劇[料理高校生]插曲
07. I Fell in Love feat. Robin Lundback
08. 某某 / MOMO / MOMO熊主題曲
09. 想念是最長的線 / Miss U
10. Set Me on Fire
11. 怎麼還不愛(曖昧節奏版) Duet with余楓/ Why not love
*Track listings + translation from Yesasia
Album Review (short)
When Sony announced the official debut of Rosie Yang as the best newcomer of the year, they really weren’t kidding. Tall, slim and beautiful, it’s kind of unfair that the 21 year old also has the voice of an angel. The daughter of singerYe Ying, Rosie had no prior vocal training until her vocal prowess was unearthed and she decided to follow her passion for singing, bringing her back to Taiwan from the States. Her debut album “Unbroken” is based around her love for music, introducing her unique voice to listeners and telling her story of passion and persistence.
Each of the songs is carefully crafted and executed to perfection with not a beat out of place, mostly drawing from western-style EDM and pop genres. Rosie’s lyrics were another high point for me. Most were translated from English into Chinese and while taking on the lyrical quality of Chinese poetry, they also borrowed heavily from the Western use of metaphors and imagery, making for a simple yet sleek combination. The thing about this album which quickly became a standout point for me was how it was basically an unadulterated taste of Western music that had been injected into the industry with little more than a some good translation work and a couple of Taiwanese composers (eg. Eve Ai) thrown into the mix. I mean, there are many who have attempted to create an obvious fusion of East-West music, but such a one-way transaction has never been tried before. Although most shy away from this challenge due to fear of public backlash, it is in fact a good experiment to show how the general standard of Taiwanese pop matches up in comparison to western-style music that is in direct competition with the Taiwanese market. Thus, Rosie’s album’s value lies not only in its meaningful words and her stories, but goes deeper to shine a light on the flaws of the industry, especially its quality control, and focus on artistic aspects rather than technical aspects of the music. I won’t go too much into it, but if you look at the album as an entire package, I guarantee you’ll be able to tell the difference.
And there’s just something special about Rosie’s voice that keeps you coming back for more. Clear, light and sweet at some points yet strong and warm at others, it is a musical reflection of her gentle personality, belying a tough interior. Sweet yet uncloying, I could listen to it for hours on end and not tire. Listen to “Set me on fire” to hear her clear and smooth vocals, “Whole lot of yellow” for her awesome vocal range and “怎麼還不愛Why not love” for her versatile vocal range. Even collaborating with the likes of Voice of China contestant Yu Feng and member of Swedish boyband JTR Robin Lundback on her album, their starpower is no match for her delectable and versatile vocals.
All in all, a gem of an album I’d absolutely recommend to any listener. Rosie’s put her heart and soul into telling her story with her brand of gentle, spunky and optimistic music and as long as you’re willing to listen, I’m positive you’ll be rewarded with a unique listening experience you won’t easily forget.
Recommended songs: Set me on fire, Whole lot of yellow, 怎麼還不愛Why not love，塗鴉世界Crayon world，不忘 Never forget, 一直微笑Unbroken
1. 單飛 Going solo
2. How Can I Tell You
3. 分分鐘需要你 Need you every second and minute
4. 外面 Outside
5. 船碇 Boat Anchor
6. 愛人呢 Where is my lover
7. Wish You Were Here
8. 沒有以後 There is no next time
9. Last Smile
10. Letter Read
11. Always In Love feat. 阿拉鳥(徐佳瑩Lala Hsu、季欣霈Apay)
12. Bird n' Tree
On the 25th of December, Amber Kuo released an album which she describes as very reflective of her personality. The unassuming indie darling and talented actress will also be releasing a mini movie that comes with the 12-track album.
The mini movie will star herself and actor Zhang Xiao Shun, an artsy piece that details an amnesiac's relationship with an admirer. Hence the title, 'Begin Again'!
After Jacky Cheung's, Kuo is the second Chinese artist to have their album mastered at the famous Abbey Road studios in London.
The album itself was recorded under the watchful eye of Geoff Pesche, who had previously worked with the likes of Kylie Minogue, Blur and Lily Allen, with Kuo herself being the producer in charge of the entire album.
The album consists of 12 tracks, 4 original songs and 8 cover songs, one of which is a duet between herself, Lala Hsu and Apay.
Her first single, "Bird n Tree" is a light and thoughtful piece that is simple, yet allows Kuo's voice to shine.
其實你已經知道Dawen’s latest album “Happy or Not” would be cliché if it was by anyone other than himself. One of the happiest artists I’ve ever seen, Dawen brings a unique sunny enthusiasm to his music that is easily lapped up by listeners-myself included. However this time around his album has a catch to it, featuring songs that are either ‘happy’ or ‘not’. In other words, while still pushing out the happy numbers that we know and love, many of the other songs encompass a complex mix of emotions that fall under the ‘not’ category. Not being happy doesn’t mean you’re sad, and Dawen makes the distinction here with a selection of songs that are melancholy, reflective, disgruntled and optimistic amongst other emotions. Usually artists choose either a genre-based concept or idea-based concept for their album, but I found it impressive that Dawen managed to do both, by also featuring an adventurous combination of Ukelele music and classical music with a little R n B/hip-hop thrown in for good measure. While his first album was all about showing his personable side, “Happy or not快樂不快樂”, Dawen’s second release takes us deeper and shows that beneath his happy exterior lies a spirit that is unafraid to experiment, to be different, to share what he’s passionate about. And if that’s not something you’d want to listen to, I don’t know what is.