(As Hunan TV rolls out the tenth episode of this season, moon148 actually rolls out her 50th post.)
What an episode! Veteran singer 老狼 (which translates to “Old Wolf”) becomes the last singer to join this season’s lineup, officially starting the last elimination round. And the controversy! Depending on your musical taste and who you are, Episode 10 might as well either be the best of the season or, save a performance or two, utter BS; you might wholeheartedly agree with the results or angrily reject them.
Just, please, don’t be a trolling netizen.
After Hacken Lee had to perform first for three consecutive weeks, Joey Yung takes his place with Valen Hsu‘s 《突然想爱你》.You can listen to the original here.
Let me just say this: my parents really, really liked Valen Hsu; as a child, I don’t even know how many times I listened to this, and as I started exploring the world of C-entertainment, I don’t even know how many covers of 《突然想爱你》I’ve come across. Joey Yung sings it amazingly, really — I absolutely loved the nuances of her voice and the simplicity of the cover — but as so many people have covered this, audiences just wasn’t all impressed. This was still really good, though.
Lala Hsu‘s weekly covers on “I Am A Singer” are becoming immensely popular MP3 downloads on #allthechinesemusicplatforms and this week is no exception. You can listen to Yoga Lin‘s 《浪费》or “Unrequited” here (Here’s a selling point: the MV features Janine Chang).
While I am generally a big fan of Lala’s performances, I actually felt that her “Unrequited” wasn’t all that impressive, especially after really liking last week’s performance. 😣 For this week’s performance, she invited producer 郑楠 — also the original composer of “Unrequited” — in other words, aside from adjusting the key to be more suited to her vocal range, Lala made but little changes to the original.
Don’t get me wrong here — “Unrequited” is definitely an A+ song choice, especially in the context of this competition; it’s well-known enough among the audience, yet hasn’t been covered all that much. Like Yoga Lin, Lala Hsu has a very airy, unique voice, which she uses to her advantage. Lala definitely starts out strong, and I loved her transition into the second verse, but towards the end, especially the climax, I just wasn’t feeling it.
P.S. Anyone else want Yoga Lin to join “I Am A Singer”?
Hacken Lee actually does an amazing job this week with his heartfelt performance of Cantopop band C Allstar‘s 《天梯》, featuring, well, none other than C Allstar. You can listen to the original here.
When most Chinese think of Cantopop, they usually consider the golden 80s and 90s, disregarding and even criticizing 21st-century Cantopop for not living up to their predecessors’ standards. So as an artist of the Cantopop industry, Hacken Lee felt kind of saddened and maybe a bit ashamed of the fact. He then decided to introduce a more recent Cantopop song and a more recent Cantopop band — C Allstar– to the Mainland audiences.
For what seems like in forever, I actually really enjoyed the performance. 《天梯》was inspired by an old couple who lived in the mountains; when the wife got injured trying to go down the dangerous mountain path, the husband built an entire trail/staircase to the top pretty much by himself. Hacken really sounds much better singing in Cantonese as opposed to broken Mandarin, and he harmonized amazingly with C Allstar. 👏
Hwang Chi Yeol once more hypes up the crowd with Wang LeeHom‘s “Change Myself” or 《改变自己》 . . . , but of course begins the performance with BIGBANG‘s “Fantastic Baby”. Maybe he’s a VIP? You can listen to LeeHom’s original here.
The beginning, when HCY sang the first few lines of “Fantastic Baby”, came out a bit awkward; the original lines hit some very low notes merged with these elctro-pop sound effects, which in a live performance kind of just didn’t work. But anyway he belts out the line “改变自己” and the audience screams in excitement while jazzy instrumentals are incorporated. 《改变自己》, like LeeHom himself, is super super popular among the audience.
Personally, I actually don’t listen to LeeHom all that much, but according to fans Hwang Chi Yeol didn’t do the song justice, his falsettos paled in comparison to LeeHom’s, etc., etc. (However, if HCY ever covers my bias JJ Lin that’s pretty much what I would say.) For me, the cover was alright — even if it just reminded me of how old this song is — but not deserving of its first place ranking.
Oh yeah, and he segues into “Uptown Funk”, too.
If anything, HCY has amazing stage presence.
For his comeback performance, Kim Ji-mun sings 《中国姑娘》, a song he had written for his mother around 2010 but had never released. It sounds pretty good, ignoring the fact that it sounds like your stereotypical Chinese folk song; in this case, younger audiences probably won’t really enjoy his style of music.
On the other hand, this is the first time I’ve seen that fog effect on “I Am A Singer”. 😮
First fangirling notion of the week: Jeff Chang sings 《记得》/”Remember”, one of the first songs JJ Lin wrote when he joined the C-music industry. You can listen to A-mei‘s original here and JJ Lin’s version (from his cover album “She Says”) here.
Released in 2001, “Remember” is basically a classic right now, having been covered by pretty much everyone from Khalil Fong to Fish Leong and now even Jeff Chang. AND he even called this “林俊杰的歌” so I have more cause for fangirling. (Of course, if not for A-mei’s great status within the industry, JJ would not have gotten the recognition so we should all thank her.)
But I digress — aside from a really short section from the Broadway musical “Cats”, Jeff Chang pretty much sticks to the original. Not that I mind — I probably might have reacted negatively if he altered the song’s meaning. And hey — lyricist 易家扬 really liked it, so there’s that.
Because one JJ Lin song wasn’t enough for my fangirling pleasure, Coco Lee sings JJ’s 《不潮不用花钱》 or”High Fashion”, which by the way is basically my jam. You can listen to the (amazing!) original here.
Back in 2008, “High Fashion” was a pretty big deal, what with its genius lyrics that make zero sense (Sometimes I get sudden flashes of brilliance/ Newton also ate apples), and its insanely catchy beat and tune. Oh, and did I mention that JJ also composed, produced, and arranged the song himself? ❤
Even more brilliant is the ridiculous English rap — why I can’t even take sofas seriously anymore. How did Coco, born in America and well-versed in English, manage to rap with a straight face (and find a rapper who could rap with her with a straight face)?
However, Coco Lee performs “High Fashion” just for the lyrics. The lines of the chorus generally end in some form of koukou, whether it be 叩叩 (to knock) or 抠抠 (money); the point is, koukou just so happens to sound like “Coco”.
If that wasn’t enough, Coco also invited Korean producer Jae Chong to remix “High Fashion” with Coldplay‘s “Adventure of A Lifetime”. JJ Lin AND Coldplay? *squealing* Add some cute little
children street dancers, and you have this interesting performance.
Of course, having gotten so used to the original, it’s pretty much impossible to make me prefer another version (and why did they take out
Margeret Cho BY2’s rap?). Near the end, Coco seemed to be a bit out of breath, too. Still, I think it’s something interesting to appreciated, whether you may prefer JJ Lin, Coco, Coldplay, or are just a casual music listener.
Veteran singer 老狼 joins the stage after being inactive for around 20 years. The song he chooses, 朴树’s 《旅途》 or “Journey” is also about 20 years old. The lyrics are so poetic, though.
Despite 老狼’s immense popularity during my parents’ high school and college years, the newest generation seems to not appreciate his style of music so much. Interesting, considering that he’s actually younger than Jeff Chang.
THIS WEEK’S RANKING:
- Hwang Chi Yeol
- Hacken Lee
- Lala Hsu
- Jeff Chang
- Coco Lee
- 老狼 Lao Lang
- Joey Yung