Well, besides the fact that he really is channeling Hannah Montana, that is. The new song is okay at the beginning, I guess, but it gets really generic in a Disney kinda way at the chorus. The pipa is a nice touch – I just wish the rest of the song wasn’t wrapped around it.
That’s not to say that rock music and traditional Chinese instruments can’t be mixed together – in fact, it has been done so well by Secondhand Rose that it was going to take something extraordinary for Leehom to surpass it. （Think of this, or this perhaps.) I suspect in general, however, it is never a good sign when you get to the chorus and start singing, “What’s wrong with me?” and the audience is thinking, “what’s wrong, indeed.” Of course, it should go without saying that many are bound to like this, even if I don’t, and that I’m still planning to buy the album. Who knows, in a few months this might be on my running playlist. You can never tell with me. But the all-important first impression here ain’t that great.
So what of this album? Well, as is typical, it was pushed back about a half a million times from the original release date. (Okay, I exaggerate. But it does seem like everything you hear about it puts it just a little bit later.) He released this song to whet appetites and as the marker of the ten day countdown before the big “Music Man” concert in Taipei. The record company has also spent ridiculous amounts of money to rent the large billboard outside the arena to countdown the days and hours until the concert; ever hour they broadcast this new MV to mark its passing. Erm. There’s a picture of it here.
Anyway, as it turns out, Leehom claims that the song was not actually inspired by Hannah Montana, but by the unique satirical style of a Chinese artist. Oh wait, it’s satirical? Hmm, that puts a different spin on things. He also writes in the lyrics that he’s “never written any meaningful lyrics.” I wouldn’t say never, but it is certainly hit or miss. A chorus that goes, “What’s wrong with me, wro-o-ong with me, I still believe in love, how strange of me, what’s wrong with me, wro-o-ong with me, I still believe in people, I must have a problem” (only words in italics are in Chinese; the rest is English) is neither particularly satirical or filled with deep meaning, and borders on trite. But, well, the man tries, I guess.
Typically, there are now rumors that Leehom is dating the girl in the short, sexy qipao in the video, television host Janet. There is talk of a bicycle riding outing that Leehom supposedly did not confirm or deny. *yawn* Seriously, I wonder how many of these stories this guy has a year… Probably just count how many videos he films a year and double it. Janet plays the pipa in the video, but Leehom also has one of his own:
What is going on with those pants? Is there some sort of deep traditional Chinese cultural meaning there? Because even if there is, I’m not sure they work, and they do *not* go with the Music Man leathers. We’ll have to wait to see on the pants, but he’s planning on showing off his fancy pipa and his new muscles (visible in that photo, mmm) in the concert. Just how many gimmicks does he need in one concert? (Okay, the correct answer is “none,” so the better question is probably “how my gimmicks does he think he need, or does the record company think he needs.”) If it is not completely obvious, I really want to sit this boy down and give him a good talking to about all the cutesy ploys to seem unique or innovative, because I feel like this promotional cycle is already starting to get out of control. What a contrast to the lead-up to the Change Me album last year, helicopters notwithstanding.