Let’s judge the album cover — beautifully and intricately designed geometric patterns in pictorials. See if you can notice an iPhone, a windmill, a Converse, a cat, a lock, and a high heel. Then turn your attention to the colorful QR Code.
At an impressive sixteen tracks long and not an overture, it’s about time we get going. Shall we?When I first saw the album name, 【硬戳】(yìng chuō), which technically means “to harshly poke or pierce”, I was very confused. After a bit of speculation, the first promotional single, “Intro” was released.
I then put two and two together — yìng chuō is literally a “hella Asian” play on “Intro”. *facepalms*
Another disappointment? Like, half the album is just pre-released singles — theme songs for various dramas, endorsements, and the like. But to be fair, Weibird/William Wei didn’t include all the singles he’s released since his previous album Journey Into The Night (which was quite nice) — “only” nine.
I can’t complain that much, though, because I never bothered to listen to most of those singles, anyway. So let’s begin our journey into It All Started With An Intro.
As promised, It All Started With An Intro actually starts with the track “Intro” (woah~), which actually isn’t just an instrumental overture. 👏
A light EDM track, Weibird Wei’s voice echoes:
This place is the dead end
This place is also the new beginning
Through the synthesizers, his voice retains power and is still emphasized as if the song is a ballad.
The melody itself is decently catchy — and props to Weibird for including a mental image of us harshly poking the sand like a bunch of idiots. But after all the build-up and anticipation of his earlier singing and the fantastical electronic effects, all we’re given is Weibird’s voice filtered under some robotic-sounding effect. Then he sings “Woo~” and the song is basically over with.
Even though the arrangement is solely electronic, the track itself is just so mellow. Although considering that I dislike loud music, I can’t bitch about it too much.
So, how did I personally feel? I could write it out, or just include a GIF (if a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a GIF worth?):
It’s a nice song, honestly — just really mellow for EDM. A good intro and start into what this is all supposed to be. (And, of course, there’s the MV.)
The two opposing phrases are echoed extensively throughout the track “Desire” — a mix of an Eastern ballad and EDM, perhaps? The arrangement, which is evidently more serious and melancholy than “Intro”, creates a strict vibe to the track.
Weibird sings parts of the song in an almost Chinese opera style, fitting with some almost zhongguofeng lyrics. His voice is a bit deep compared the traditional style, though. Then there’s a section where his lower, actual voice is lightly echoed by uncomfortably high-pitched falsettos. Layered with beat loops often present in the EDM genre, it’s quite strange.
It’s a really catchy melody — just rather strangely produced.
Simply titled【猜】, or “Guess”, though the official English song title is “Guessing Game”, the electro-R&B track’s lyrics are considerably verbose.
It’s fun, hearing usually structured R&B so quickly sung in the individual verses, but the lyrics get to the point where they’re annoying, as Weibird keeps expanding and elaborating on how he feels. At times, he even repeats what he just sang in Chinese in English, as if that will somehow emphasize everything.
I get it — falling in love is a complicated deal. The beat and backup vocals are quite catchy, though.
“Guessing Game” transitions quite nicely into the R&B track “Luvin’ U” — the theme song for both Cotton USA and a K-drama.
(When various foreign dramas air in Taiwan, basically any ballad can become the theme song of those dramas — JJ Lin’s “The Key” was the ending theme song to Nirvana In Fire literally because it was a ZGF track. Although considering that it’s JJ and Nirvana In Fire, I ain’t complaining.)
“Luvin’ U” is basically old-school Khalil Fong — simple lyrics (that make more sense than Khalil’s older lyrics 😂), lots of English, various electronic effects, mellow, and tons of echoes. And no wonder — the song was produced by Khalil’s earliest collaborators.
Weibird has a better voice.
I wanna play a game, a creepy, throaty voice echoes. “Play Game”, or 《玩游戏》is a simple, repetitive song about playing games. I guess it relates to the computer and Office 365? Oh, whatever.
“Think of You First” — the OST for a whopping four different dramas, is a pretty good, albeit generic, ballad.
Back to the new releases — “For Your Own Good” is an R&B ballad backed by the jazz piano and some drum and bass. It’s a song of blaming — it complains that the phrase “for your own good” is just an excuse and that he was tricked.
Interestingly enough, the track “One Shoe” — although 《一双鞋》actually translates to “a pair of shoes” — is a fun dance opera and gypsy. Why not, I guess?
There’s an ambivalent violin solo in the beginning — the piano and wind instruments join. Weibird then swiftly transitions between regular singing, providing accompaniment, opera singing, and even a dramatic reading of the lyrics. -_-
A music video would be fun.
Aside from being the OST of Taiwanese movie “Happy Dorm”, it’s also the OST for three Korean dramas, including “Reply 1988”.
“Goon”, or 《痴人》is a mellow, guitar-based track about how even goons can accomplish their dreams. The song picks up the pace, becoming a soulful and inspirational power ballad.
《在意》is a romantic, lighthearted ballad accompanied solely by the acoustic guitar.
Ah, “Girl” — the fun, lighthearted song with the cute-but-weird MV. Though Weibird goes around dating these different girls throughout the MV, it turns out that the lyrics are actually written from a fatherly perspective to his grown-up daughter.
I still don’t get the MV.
Oh, you poor single person.
Actually released back in 2014 for the theatre production 《红楼梦》(I’m assuming it’s a modern adaptation of the Chinese classic Dream of the Red Chamber), 《似曾》is a nostalgic, piano-backed ballad.
“Mirror of Sanctity” is a fun little rock-infused zhongguofeng track. The MV is hella cute, and video games OSTs are always interesting.
[weakly]: Yay, ballad OST.
Truth be told, I’m really not sure of how to categorize this album. At sixteen tracks long, It All Started With An Intro seems perhaps a bit bloated. With no particular theme or message, it’s best to treat this as sort of a compilation album.
Given the sheer amount of movie and drama OSTs, most of the album was just generic ballads. Even the non-theme songs were inconsistent — there was EDM, acoustic guitar, and frickin’ night opera of all things.
Overall, the songs sounded quite nice, were of high production value, etc. One of the main fallacies was that I got somewhat bored listening to such a long album. And, of course, I’m still wondering — why all those theme songs?
Recommended Tracks: Intro, Guessing Game, One Shoe, Goon, Girl
Overall Rating: 7.4/10