[SINGLE REVIEW] JJ Lin’s “Infinity and Beyond”

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After an accoustic, three-dimensional full-length album, what to release next? An EDM single. 


Also known as “Lamando 2.0”.

With JJ Lin’s upcoming documentary “If Miracles Had A Sound” set for online release on July 7, he also released its accompanying theme song “Infinity and Beyond” . . . which also like became the theme song for Chunghwa Telecom’s 4G phone plan (bruh, we all use 5G nowadays).

But keeping the song’s original intention in mind — as the theme song of the musical documentary — “Infinity and Beyond” is a catchy and upbeat EDM track that encourages all to follow their dreams and push past those supposed “limits”.

Considering that JJ Lin’s EDM tracks are really far and few between nowadays — our most recent impression was of all things a frickin’ car commercial for Volkswagen Shanghai — this is pretty exciting. Already by first listen I was suffering from that whole earworm effect that accompanies a catchy melody. But, despite being a JM, I’m a stingy person who likes to pick out flaws. (I really liked this track. I really, really did.)

The Song Title

(And, both directly and indirectly, the lyrics.)

My Chinese is not all that great and/or I don’t live in a Chinese-speaking country, but the song title《超越无限》(“Going Beyond Infinity” ^_^) sounds kind of, well, iffy. Or, speaking more directly, a bit 土, sort of like the incredibly catchy yet WTF《相信无限》back from 2004. In parallel, the English title “Infinity and Beyond” really does sound like something for a car commercial.

The lyrics, too, are, although passable, somewhat generic and not really catchy to the ear. Apparently the lyrics to pop music — EDM especially — don’t really matter, so it’s not that big of an issue . . . ? Most of it generally makes sense, but the words don’t exactly flow that well. (Then again, I know the lyrics to Jolin Tsai‘s “Dancing Diva” by heart but still can’t fully explain its meaning.)

Still, even the chorus seems a bit off:

When you still haven’t believed and haven’t blinked

 

I yet again surpass infinity

Hi, Yvonne Lin.

But, oh well. We know that it’s generally about perseverance and pursuing your dreams. It’s EDM.

The Music

JJ is an amazingly talented composer and producer, and Kenn C (Cao Cao, Mosaic, Black Keys) as always provided a great arrangement. And, of course JJ’s vocals were on point.

The electronic arrangement starts with a bit of a grunge sound — somewhat like the motor of a car ( seriously 😂) or, as some say, from some video game. The familiar, slightly auto-tuned melody (Woo~) from the #JJ超越无限 challenge (from the 2016 Hito Music Awards) ensues, leading to the start of the first verse. As JJ’s lower register continues to develop, it’s nice to hear him sing in the lower ranges.

The melody is basically two words: catchy and upbeat, and the arrangement gives way to JJ’s vocals. Though personally a bit noisy for my tastes, it’s a great, upbeat track. It’s just that those electronic effects still sound like they derive from a car commercial.

One thing that slightly nagged me a bit was the connection between the individual verses and the chorus — though both ear worm-y, in the same key, and incredibly upbeat, I felt that the chorus could have belonged to a different song altogether. The link itself was incredible, but still didn’t prevent the chorus from sounding a bit off.


Still, despite the awkward lyrics and car commercial nuances, “Infinity and Beyond” is a great song to jam to. And, really, despite my criticisms, it’s still pretty good.

Overall Rating: 8.3/10


UPDATE: MV released 08/11/16

It’s a really cool cinematic feature — almost a bit like Star Wars. I especially like how it really focuses on the theme of breaking past one’s limits (despite the badly penned lyrics . . . sigh) rather than follows the convention of a dance MV for the EDM track.

JJ Lin’s single “Infinity and Beyond”, the theme song for his musical documentary “If Miracles Had A Sound” is available for streaming and download on KKBOX and iTunes. The official music and lyric videos are on JJ Lin’s YouTube channel. Given JJ’s plans of becoming a professional racecar driver, heaven knows when his 13th studio album will release.

— moon148

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