Aaaah, where do I go when I disappear for a week at a time? Well, this time: Wuxi. Not for the whole week, but it was long enough to screw up my schedule and interfere with my end-of-the-semester madness in progress around here. What’s more, I’m taking off again on Thursday for Hong Kong for work, though I’m hoping to get in some CD shopping (if anyone has suggestions for where, I’m looking for albums by Groovedog and My Little Airport; I’m not sure how mainstream these things are in Hong Kong) on my free day during my quick weekend jaunt to the south.
Anyway, what’s up in the Mandopop world? Well, for one thing, it has come to an end. Okay, not literally, but practically – this week was Leehom’s first week on the charts, but Show Luo’s new album beat him to end at number one. Mayday came in at number two, and Leehom was a slightly distant third. What is going on in this world? I don’t care what bizarre dodgy rock tracks Leehom has released, this album is bound to be better than anything by Show Luo. Look, Show might be “Taiwan’s Dance King,” but that does not mean he can sing… and, and, but… it’s a Leehom album! Honestly, I think two things are going on here: one, some fans were left feeling rather dubious after that whole “What’s Wrong with Rock” incident, and two, the many delays may have meant that perhaps people were caught a bit off-guard by its release. But still….
There’s some sort of big Hong Kong awards coming up (something about Ten Big Golden Melodies or some such), and six groups have been nominated: S.H.E, Twins (ooh, back from the dead… we should call them the “Zombie Twins”), Yu Quan, the Flowers, Mayday and sodagreen. I’m not sure how this works; if it is a voting thing, then Mayday and sodagreen are automatically out.
So, New Year’s: I didn’t hear Mayday perform, obviously, but it sounds like maybe it was not the band’s best night ever. Or maybe not Ashin’s best night ever, more accurately. This is the band’s second consecutive year being criticized for being off-key, but last year the crowd blamed the talentless model singing a duet with him for the problem. This year, there was no one else to blame, though. Moreover, there were sound issues beyond Ashin’s voice; while singing “Suddenly Missing You,” the sound got very loud, and the audience was suddenly wishing for earplugs. Fans defended the band by pointing out the recent spate of performances, suggesting that the band is tired out. Ludicrously, there were also accusations of lip-syncing, but I gotta poke an obvious hole in this one: if you were going to lip-sync, wouldn’t you use a track where you’re singing on-key?
Anyway, Happy New Year! (Or as people are already punning around here, “Happy Niu Year!”)
p.s. I finally finished my attempt at a review of Poetry; it’s posted here. It contains no new insights and few original opinions, but I did try to cover my lack of musical knowledge with flowery language.