[RECAP] I Am A Singer Season 4 Ep 7

As rumored, Cantopop goddess Joey Yung joins the lineup of singers — perhaps to both the glee and chagrin of good friend Hacken Lee. Personally, I am just so glad she joined because she definitely brings so much more liveliness to the “I Am A Singer” episodes.

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Besides, who else is this gorgeous in their rehearsal?


Jeff Chang opens the show with a mellow ballad-y rendition of Hua Chen-yu‘s mellow and ballad-y 《微光》 or I guess “Glimmer”, although it’d be impossible for me to give you “infinite glimmer”. It just means something along the lines of light and hope

(SIDE NOTE: This was the song he wanted to sing back in Episode 4 but couldn’t because he had lost his voice.)

The truth is, although Jeff Chang has a whole discography of really good songs, the songs he’s chosen to sing on “I Am A Singer” have fallen flat thus far. In this case, he did a decent job expressing the song’s emotion, but the way he sings it sounds as if the original was rather mellow. (While Hua Chen-yu is quite popular, 《微光》is not so I don’t know lol.)

Over the course of these weeks of “I Am A Singer”, Hwang Chi Yeol has evidently experienced a meteoric rise in fame — many have even compared his voice to that of Phil Chang, both of which are notorious for their emotional value. Therefore, when it was revealed that Hwang Chi Yeol was to sing Phil Chang’s《一个人的天荒地老》I was rather excited for this.

Unfortunately, various factors caused this to be rather disappointing. I though HCY’s “kimchi voice” would totally suit the song and bring out an amazing performance, but I forgot about emotion. He starts off with a subdued singing of the first few verses — totally understandable because the emotion thing is gradually built up — but then suddenly out of nowhere HCY bursts into this puddle of immense emotion. Generally, this is what irks me about most ballad performances, but I think a more probable reason for this is the Korean singer’s lack of understanding of the Mandarin lyrics.

Speaking of which — in the middle of his performance, he segues into the traditional Korean folk song “Ahrirang”. For the about 30 seconds or so HCY is singing “Arirang”, the performance is absolutely beautiful. It even transitions nicely back into 《一个人的天荒地老》until, of course, he continues with Phil Chang’s song. At this point, I’m thinking about how much better it sounded in Phil Chang’s original version (sorry . . .).

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On the other hand, Hwang Chi Yeol is seriously getting cuter and cuter by the episode.

Coco Lee belts an impressive performance of “What’s Up”, showcasing her versatility and powerful vocals. It’s definitely something you might feel compelled to sway along to, like an anthem of sorts.

Singing Leslie Cheung‘s 《风继续吹》 (“The Wind Continues to Blow”), Hacken Lee continues to sing emotional ballads and nostalgia of classic 90s Cantopop music. As I have constantly expressed, Hacken Lee is good but I often wish he would change things up. My mom really likes his performances, though, so it’s likely just a matter of preference.

For Shin‘s comeback performance, he sings A-Mei‘s “Rainbow”, which is maybe shrouded in a little bit of controversy because it’s also an LGBT anthem. Ignoring that, however, it was a rather flat performance that reminded me a bit of his cover of A-Mei’s “Hostage” in an earlier episode.

Elvis Wang 王晰 performs Tiger Huang‘s 《重来》, which was apparently composed by Tanya Chua. Taking away those names, however, this was a “flat KTV performance”. So, unfortunately, my predictions were correct: there’s only a limited number of songs that Elvis Wang can handle because of his unique vocal range.

Lala Hsu takes the stage and wows the audience with her rendition of Angela Chang‘s 《不痛》. You can listen to the original here.

All I can really say is: this was good. Really. It was . . . perfection.

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Hwang Chi Yeol’s expressions say it all.

For one, I already really liked the original. Lala, what are you doing to me?

Even the instrumentals and arrangement were on point, keeping the good things about the original’s and adding her own. Then Lala’s vocals come in — subdued at first, but then subtly captivating all of us. It’s rare to see a live performer captivate the audience with subtle bits of his/her voice, and I love it.

To be fair to Angela Chang’s original, however, here’s my consensus: what makes this cover successful was how Lala expressed something completely different: longing, nostalgia, and the pain of parting your loved one rather than bitterness at a lover.

I realize that this is inconsequential, but Lala was so good that I’m kind of mad that this had to wallow in second place only.

Hacken Lee’s best emceed lines in Mandarin: “Woman are unreliable.”

Why? Because Joey Yung, who he literally just collaborated with. “Even worse”, she sings his hit song 《月半小夜曲》 (if you ask what songs there are by Hacken Lee, this is definitely one of the first responses; even I have heard this song).

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In contrast to  the cute and bubbly Joey off-stage, Joey onstage is all serious business. While she was evidently nervous, for a first performance especially she did really well. I didn’t see her shaking.

THIS WEEK’S RANKING:

  1. Coco Lee 李玟
  2. Lala Hsu 徐佳莹
  3. Joey Yung 容祖儿
  4. Hwang Chi Yeol 황치열
  5. Hacken Lee 李克勤
  6. Jeff Chang 张信哲
  7. Elvis Wang 王晰

— moon148

P.S. I think the new thumbnails are a bit too much. I guess we can never be perfectly satisfied.

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