What’s wrong with Leehom?

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:

Oh, the fringe.

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.

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19 Responses to What’s wrong with Leehom?

  1. Betty says:

    Haha I couldn’t help but laugh the first time I heard the song. I pictured little kids jumping up and down having a riot of their own.

    Looks like he’s sporting magical flying pants?

  2. hobielover says:

    Had Janet been wearing a darker qipao, I would have thought that LeeHom decided to sew it onto a pair of pants afterwards, but the qipao was white. I don’t get the pants, though the belt kind of reminds me of whatever weird belt thing Jay wore to his “Incomparable” concert. I do like the idea of the “magic flying pants,” though. 😛

    Erm, I thought LeeHom wrote the lyrics to “落叶归根,” and that seemed pretty meaningful. Is he having some kind of weird modesty contest with Mr. I-Live-with-Mommy-and-I’ll-Announce-It-in-an-Interview-with-CNN?

    (Yes, Jay Chou got interviewed by CNN and said he’d stay living with his mom even if he gets married so he can take care of her. Unfortunately, political news, not really something I care to watch, in the US is at a high, so an interview with a Taiwanese pop star who raps about not using drugs wasn’t newsworthy enough to make it on American television, just International American television, so I resorted to YouTube to watch Jay get dubbed over in English and the interviewer as well as Jay’s English voice continuously say his name in Cantonese.)

  3. Yuka says:

    I think the song is terrible. The lyrics are ridiculous, and what’s worse, they keep getting stuck in my head, after only hearing the song once!! I guess he was successful in grabbing my attention, but good lord, please deeply evaluate your stratagems and methodology to see if they actually make sense.

    I want to be there when you sit him down to give him a good talking over so that I can add in that this whole Chinese influence thing is done and over with and he should seriously seriously move on. It’s like 改變自己 doesn’t even exist.

    And I’m so confused, if the concert is happening BEFORE the album drops, what’s he going to sing? New songs that no one has heard?? What if people don’t like them…

  4. Mimi says:

    I’m actually glad that they are people who share the same views as me! I think the song is COMPLETELY ridiculous!! And yeah, it got stuck in my head after hearing it the first time too! My first thought was, what is he thinking, this sounds like some Simple Plan crap.

    And he seriously should get over the pop+chinese music or even the so called chinese-rock. But I’m still gonna buy his new album anyway. My poor baby..what’s wrong with him~

  5. Merry says:

    I saw my first ever Hannah Montana episode on the long plane ride across the Pacific (hey, it’s a long flight, and I had already finished all my books… I need to bring some Tolstoy next time), which is probably why that comparison is stuck in my head. But yeah, this sound is not really his thing.

    Though the song is, of course, stuck in my head. Maybe there are subliminal messages in it, and it is his first step on a path toward world domination?

  6. Steve says:

    Ah! This is like Ringu! *I* won’t be enticed into listening to that song!

    Anyway, I hope he doesn’t keep wearing those pants for an entire year, like someone else we know.

  7. hobielover says:

    “World domination”? LOL!

    Wow, I can’t believe you watched an episode of “Hannah Montana”! I must admit that “See You Again” was rather catchy when it first came out. I even had it on my MP3 player for a bit, but then I got tired of it, and I didn’t have a lot of space, so it got deleted to make room for more Chinese music. Of course, I’d never watch her show! NEVER!!!!! If I go on a flight and have nothing to do, I’ll just bring a copy of “Secret” or some “Star Wars” movies, as well as a portable DVD player.

    Steve, if LeeHom wears those pants as long as Ashin has, I’m personally going to one of his concerts so I can try to evade security and rip off that weird flap thing. If the cloth doesn’t give, though, it won’t work. I figure they’d probably have metal detectors, and I don’t think a pair of scissors would get through.

  8. laurie says:

    I was just looking for news of any concert dates in the US, and I just have to say that I’m glad I’m not the only one disappointed. I love his music and his character, but this “Music Man” stuff doesn’t appeal to me at all. It could’ve been a cute idea, but it’s like he’s trying to make himself seem younger, cooler, and a lot of things he has to realize he can’t be.
    When I heard his new song, I felt like crying. The lyrics are horrible, his voice doesn’t fit the song at all, and the whole thing just isn’t very..musical. I may be one of the few who likes his Chinese-style songs (“Hua Tian Cuo” is my favorite Leehom song), but Chinese and “rock” are just too much, and too bad. I watched an interview where he said that he was over his “chinked-out” style and wanted to move on to what he’s always been interested in, rock, and it made me really depressed. While I want him to do what he wants to, and be happy, I can’t say much about his new musical direction. I’ll still support him, but unless he has better songs on his new album, I may not be doing it enthusiastically.

  9. Desiree says:

    you guy are suck! he is very talented!!

  10. Merry says:

    Yes, he is very talented – no one here, I think, would dispute that. But the fact that he is very talented does not mean that we all have to love every single song he puts out. I, for one, like some more than others. I do not like this one.

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