Friday, December 08, 2006
In celebration of my 500th blog entry, this post shalled be dedicated to my most favourite singer/composer/lyricist/musician of all time. Welcoming Mr Wu Bai 伍佰 and his band China Blue and their latest album 纯真年代. It has taken me more than three years to reach this big five-oh-oh. I know, in terms of quantity, I'm still not up there along with those people who blog a few posts a day, but to me, I'm very satisfied with all the entries in this place I call the home of my heart. Sharing this wonderful occasion with such a wonderful person is such an wonderful feeling one can have, although the pun is a bit lame, but nevermind... hehehe~
To be honest, with Wubai's official website down after his release of the latest album, I wasn't kept up to date with his activities. In fact, I didn't even know about the release of this album until after a series of coincidental events. It just happened about a couple of days after the album was released, I was searching Baidu for Andy Lau's 《冰雨》. The search resulted in another song of the same title by Wubai. It listed the song as a song from the album 《纯真年代》. I can say that I'm very familiar with Wubai's discography and can list out all his album titles, especially those with all-original compositions, but I never heard of 《纯真年代》. At first I thought it might be a Hokkien album which I might have missed out in my memory because he just had a concert recently and there was no mention about a new album being slated and/or released.
A couple of days later, a friend casually asked me if I heard the latest Wubai song. With that about mentioned incident at the back of my head, I asked if the song was 《纯真年代》, affirmitive. Oh well... That answered that lingering question in the back of my head.
Naturally, after realising that my dear dear idol had released a new album, I just had to get my hands on it, don't I? I went down to Marine Parade after one of my exams. I thought perhaps Marine Parade with a couple of CD shops and its proximity to home, and also I needed to collect my contact lenses from my shuai shuai optician. But but but, the CD was all sold out. Schade. One of the shop assistants was like "the distributor didn't bring in many copies", "so all sold out already". Although I felt quite disappointed, I was also quite happy that all his albums were sold out, because it only meant that PEOPLE BOUGHT HIS ALBUM! HE HAS HIS STABLE OF FANS~
Anyway, I had to go down to bigger CD stores like HMV to get it, I decided. After another exam paper, I went down to Citylink Mall's HMV to get it. hehehe~ And I finally lay my hands on it.
Although I also finally did manage to get through his official website and saw his album, I didn't listen to the songs because I wanted to listen to it on my own player. Although I got a preview of his album cover from the world wide web, when I picked up his album with my bare hands, the first thing that struck me was that HE'S DAMN SHUAI. His latest haircut really suits him very well, I noticed this from his concert last September. And I think black really suits him very well~
The only thing that bogs me, how come the words for the title written for the album cover is in simplified Chinese. On the other hand, the words written in the background is in traditional Chinese. hmm... A bit weird, but I don't care, as long as Wubai is there and he's so shuai can already~
After buying the album, I sat at Mos Burger in Raffles CIty for a quick lunch while looking through the song booklet. Other than that he switched labels after the album 《泪桥》 and that his distributing team changed since then, his hasn't changed much of his other producing teams and/or marketing teams. His art direction was still done by Akibo Visual Studio, they never fail to amaze me with their album covers for Wubai, always make him look so shuai~
And as usual, every single song was produced by his Moonlight Music, and every song was written and composed by the man himself, and arranged and performed by him and his band. In fact, they were also featured in the song booklet too, and also in a couple of MTVs. I just went to sing KTV the other day and dedicated all the new Wubai songs to sing and also to watch the music video~ SHUAI!!!
For those who don't know, China Blue comprises bassist Hsiao Chu, or Ken and he's sometimes known as, keyboardist Da Mao, or Big Cat, and drums Dino Zavolta. Hsiao Chu is the one with long hair, often wears shades and a cap. Da Mao is the youngest, should be 33 this year. He's the smallest size and often sports shades, he's the only one I think I've never seen him without shades, only sometimes the shades are lighter though mostly darker shades. Dino is the biggest one, I think he's Latino though I never knew where he's from. It's amazing because when in concerts in Singapore, he always greets the audience in English. He also once sang back up vocals for Faye Wong, in her 《王菲》 album, the one with 《流年》 in it, Wubai and China Blue produced 《两个人的圣经》 which had this opera vocals in the background, Dino was the one who did it. I can't tell what language he sang but it sounded like a language from the Iberian peninsular.
Anyway, I personally feel that this album shows Wubai's growth in music making and music writing. Wubai has been into writing his own songs, composing his own music, having his band arrange the piece and them to perform it, and he produced the songs by himself. It's the kind of do-everything-himself kind of album. I have to give him credit for it, because he's the one who makes the final decisions and he can call his album his. Not everyone can do it. In fact, just check out those trash bubblegum pop singers and what they are selling, all marketed stuff. Even those so called music geniuses or 才子s, how many of them actually do their whole albums themselves? Not even Jay Chou lor.
The general direction of this album is one that mixes happy and sad together, there's a sort of progress in the songs, the first couple are all happy motivationals ones, while the later few are the more emotional songs. I don't know if the more emotional songs are what Wubai really likes because he has been quite disapproving of his more popular emotional songs, but well, I like them. His more happier songs are also not bad though, and he shows maturity in his lyrics, which is a really good thing. Music style is also quite varied, his last album was a bit too Techno-rock, noisy kind of stuff, the previous album was more transitional, and every song sounded like a title song. This album he brought back the simpler kind of music that is more heart tugging. A bit upset is that since 《流星》 in 《梦的河流》 he hasn't had any songs with voice overs. I liked those.
Now for the detailed introduction of the songs in this album...
This is a fast beat song with heavy drums and quite loud. Some parts of the lyrics might sound a bit 无厘头, but thinking about it closer, it feels like life is just like that. For an opening song, it brings up the energy level, but I don't know why, but I felt a tinge of disappointment. I think this can be classified as one of the new generation Wubai songs which I although don't find it bad, but I can't really appreciate it.
ha ha ha
This is a light hearted sounding song, but using it as his title song, I think there's some meaning that Wubai wants to convey. Like 《白鸽》 which he listed as one of his favourite songs, it's one which has a motivational meaning behind it, but this song is much more lighter than 《白鸽》 so I think it also means a different thing, like a change in musical direction or style. Or maybe it's just a gimmick to evoke nostalgia.
Maybe after writing hundreds of songs for oneself and other people, there is a need to breakthrough. In terms of music and style, I can say that 《纯真年代》 in terms of music and composition, is really one breakthrough piece for Wubai. And best of it, it's a well-liked one. My friend asked me for the song because she liked it. hehehe~
This is one of the typically Wubai kind of song. After listening to the first two songs, I was a bit afraid that this album would deviate too far from the typical Wubai, but luckily, there was this song to remind me of my familiarity. I like this kind of songs, sad and emotive. And it showcases the strength of his band~
you are my cherry
cherry lover you have a chrry heart
you are my cherry cherry lover
This is also one of the lighter songs which has a catchy tune and it stucked in my head after a couple of times listening to it. When I first saw the song booklet I was a bit surprised, I think it's like the first time Wubai incorporated English into his lyrics, at least as far as my punitive memory serves me. I usually do not like songs which has English lines because usually the English there only for gimmick purposes and sometimes the English just sucks. Think that stupid May Day song 《恋爱ing》, it's just totally disgusting. But well, this one isn't that bad, I guess. At least there's not fundamental errors.
This can be categorised as one of the same kind of songs like his 《海浪》 from the album 《泪桥》. I think it's sort of some kind of style which he stretches the notes of each word but the background music is very fast paced and noisy. I don't really like it although the chorus doesn't sound that bad, but I guess it's a kind of personal preference.
Another one of those typically Wubai songs, and I love it~ I don't know if it's the lyrics or the melody, or is it the combination of the lyrics and the melody. It's so sad and emotive that I can just feel for the song, the lyrics are also so well written that I can picture the scene out there. I sang that song in the KTV the other day, it's so nice to sing also~
My sister though was a bit skeptical. She didn't like Wubai refering people as 人儿, but I'm okay with it, it sounds okay mah~ hehehe... But I really like the part which says 这个时候开始下起冰冷冷的雨/落在身上却感不到一丝丝凉意, it's so sad... I don't know why but this songs reminds me a bit of 《泪桥》. Maybe it's the feeling, also a bit of the melody, but the music arrangement for 《泪桥》 has more keyboards in it.
This song reminds me of 《夏夜晚风》, very simple in music, but yet very touching. In fact, this reminded me so much of 《夏夜晚风》 that I recommended it to a friend who likes 《夏夜晚风》 and she really did like this song too. It's just the keyboards and a bit of the guitar. I really like Da Mao's keyboards. Ever since 《泪桥》, I fell in love with Da Mao, and after seeing him perform 《夏夜晚风》 in the concert I further sustained my conviction.
But personally, I don't really like songs that are too slow, not say don't like, but I prefer other kinds of songs ba...
I'd consider this as a typical Wubai song, but there's a little twist to the ever-familiar kind of melody. I love this song. This can be considered my most favourite song in the album, although I also love other songs too, but this lyrics also tugs my heart. One thing interesting, in the line 是他安排的人, the traditional Chinese words write the 他 as the God the 他, not this normal 他. Okay, maybe not God as God, but as some superior being, or some force of come kind.
This music video was also very nice. There's this girl fraternising with Wubai. I was so damn jealous lor... If only I can be that girl there fraternising with him, I'd give anything sia. I sang this song twice in the KTV the other day.
This is the kind of motivational song, but I don't know why it doesn't really touch me much. Maybe because it reminds me of Emil Chau's 《朋友》, don't know why I thought of that, but there's this sense of nostalgia in the song that the singers wants to evoke but although I'm old, I'm still not old enough to appreciate nostalgia, I guess.
A bit light hearted, a bit 无厘头, but I don't really like this kind of love songs. It's not sad, not really that happy, doesn't really evoke much feelings from me. Maybe I'm the kind who prefer tragic or some more emotive kind of song. Or maybe I'm just jealous. lol~ When listening to this song, an image of his wife just popped up in my mind. ahh... Those wives, can't stand them, but well, have to accept them, but I can still be jealous what. Sometimes really can't stand myself for thinking like that, but what to do, can't think of anything else in a situation like this mah.
When I first heard this I thought it reminded me of Cherry Lover, just that with a bit of Techno infused in it. Then I watched the music video. I changed my mind totally. This is not Techno, this is called Retro. lol~ Must go watch the music video, it's so retro that it's sort of cute. In the music video, Wubai and China Blue attempted to dance, imagine the kind of crappy agogo dance. hahaha~ The design of the title in the MTV was also the kind of Retro kind of font. Then there was the image of the flower, very Retro like. The use of colours too~ hahaha~
After watching the music video, my whole idea of the song changed a lot. I didn't really think much of it previously, but now hearing it, it's quite cute~ hehehe... A kind of whole new image change for Wubai for this song.
The style of the music for this song is a bit like 《彩虹》, simple, with the guitar and the keyboards, but very much sadder. The drums and bass comes in later just as the song goes into the chorus, and it just sounds so sad, the whole combination and the slow pace of the melody. This is the kind of song which is so sad, that it can lower one's spirit as long as one thinks of the song. *sigh*
This is a nice parting song, and it continues with a bit of Retro feel to it. The lyrics reminds me of Faye Wong's 《无常》 because of the use of the scenery and also the mood of the person when describing the scenery. But the melody and the music for both songs are vastly different.
On the whole, this album doesn't disappoint. I know I can't ask for an album filled with all his emotive sad songs, because that's not him and I don't think I can tahan the emotional strain if I've like so many of those kind of songs in one album. Another thing I like is that there is so many songs in the album~ hehehe... Wubai's albums usually have more than 10 songs, usually about 12, maybe also due to him not producing an album that often compared to those young upstarts so having more songs is nice. And the most important good thing, unlike 《泪桥》, this is not a copy control CD, so I can rip it and upload it into my handphone in mp3 format~ yay~ It's so sad of 《泪桥》 that I don't have any mp3s of any song in that album, and I cannot listen to the song outside my house.
Please people, buy the album and support Wu Bai and China Blue okie~
That's Hsiao Chu, Dino, and Da Mao blurred in the background~