Why like sodagreen?

[I liked the writing in this commentary, so I translated it in its entirety. I don’t have the new album yet – still waiting – so I totally and completely invented the English versions of the song titles without any reference to the actual lyrics.]

Why like sodagreen? Because you and I are the same, not too high nor too low a level of education, not too much nor too little musical experience, not too great nor too bad a life, not too old nor too young in age, wanting a little excitement but nothing too intense, wanting something a bit alluring but not too enthralling, wanting something a little bit daring but not too addicting; in sodagreen you can find a little bitterness, a little low-cost ruckus, a little breath of youthful defiance, a little rebelliousness to go with your clean collar and heterogeneous thinking.

Summer: Fever is a London-produced, Brit-rock concept album, as well as the sequel to the last album, Daylight of Spring. Qingfeng is at his creative peak, writing more great songs than ever; listening to “You Made My Summer (你夏了夏天),” “He Made My Summer (他夏了夏天),” that splendidly bright singing, expresses a kind of freedom that comes with youth.

Summer: Fever is a work that stresses the whole, not a single track. “Cicada Thoughts (蝉想)” and “Encircled (包围)” have a penetrating rock attitude, whereas the raucous nature of “Yu Garden (御花园)” and “Peter and the Wolf (彼得与狼)” reveal a passion that cannot be restrained; love song “Sleepless (无眠)” is ever so slow, ever so intoxicating, the two inserted English poems revealing a scholarly rock and roll attitude.

If you were a little bit older, you’d like the Superband (纵贯线); if a little bit younger, you’d be infatuated with Mayday. Compared to foreign music fans, we’re forever lacking a Beatles, so sodagreen is a mirage we use to make up for music’s shortcomings. If we take sodagreen, Mayday and the Superband together, that’s the place that the Beatles have in the hearts of European and American music fans; because we’ve never had it, our sense of deficiency is stronger and more confused, endlessly wanting to fill in the blank space.

[Side note: Am I actually too old to like Mayday? As I have noted probably a few too many times before, I’m younger than Masa… but not by much. Hmm. Interesting that sodagreen – the youngest of the three groups – gets the in-between berth, and Mayday the teeny-boppers. It makes sense to me in terms of their music; I just find it interesting that it’s taken as a truism that Mayday doesn’t appeal to people over thirty who didn’t essentially grow up with the band.

I also love and adore the Beatles, acknowledge the profound influence they had on music history, but still think it is possible to overstate the importance of having a “Chinese Beatles” that can somehow be all things to all people. Not even the Beatles were that – it is ridiculously easy to find people who think everything about them was and remains overrated. Having Mayday, sodagreen and the Superband, however, ain’t half bad. Strangely, all three perform in Nanjing or Shanghai sometime in the next month. Perhaps the Jiangsu-Shanghai corridor is actually some sort of Mandopop nirvana?]

Update: thanks to inkblueraindrops for the edit!

This entry was posted in Chang Chen-yue (A-yue), Mayday, Sodagreen. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Why like sodagreen?

  1. hobielover says:

    I’m too young for SuperBand, then?

    I agree about the Beatles not being all things to all people. Whoopi Goldberg knew her BF was too young for her when he realized that Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings. The Chinese just don’t understand that the Beatles aren’t big with the younger generation.

  2. migratorybird says:

    This just strikes me as somewhat disconcerting as well. I know there are lots of teeny fans who like Mayday but when I think about them esp in ‘Poetry of the Day After’, I can’t help but think they appeal to people my age (am also slightly younger than Masa). Do young people really get ‘生存以上 生活以下’ or ‘我心中尚未崩壞的地方’?

  3. I believe the author of the commentary incorrectly wrote the title of one the songs, since the song’s official name is “He Made My Summer” (他夏了夏天). I recently found the MV on Youtube, and it included another invented English title–“Summer, Summer.”

    Nevertheless, the way the writer discribed the song is pretty accurate 😀

  4. hobielover says:

    @migratorybird: Yes, or at least 20-year-olds. I can’t speak for the teenagers, nor can I really speak for the Chinese youth, but those were a couple of my favorite songs from “Poetry of the Day After.”

    And, Merry, did you know about the new Totem album? I just realized that YesAsia is stocking them now. :)

  5. LT says:

    The Taiwan concert looked really awesome. T.T But I only saw a short sohu clip.

    But I did read something hilarious. Apparently the keyboard person for Mayday had his car broken into and the only things they took were 8 Mayday tickets he had bought for his friends. Nothing else was even touched. >D


    ^ HOW funny is that picture? Stone’s the only one that looks normal here. Haha. It’s taken in the US.

  6. Merry says:

    Oooh, I knew the Totem album was coming, but the last time I checked there wasn’t anything yet. Must buy!! [Edit: no wonder I couldn’t find them – they’re under “Tu Teng,” not “Totem” or even “Tuteng.” Tricky!]

    That pic is hilarious, LT. Is hanging around a bunch of 老外 really so uncomfortable? Side note: isn’t Monster a bit old to be wearing a teddy bear t-shirt?

  7. LT says:

    Haha. Instead of his age I think it’s more his personality that’s less suited to a teddy bear shirt.
    I suppose Ashin needs to promote new SR merchandise so someone else needs to wear our DNA bear. And really…I’m just glad its not Masa 😀

  8. dessemerald says:

    LT, Masa did wear that bear T-shirt yesteday at the Taipei concert… XD
    (unless my memory’s really failing me…)

    Oh, they announced after the end credits that the Kaoshiung concert is now set for 12/05/2009 at the new stadium where the World Games was held (apparently), which would allow “55555 people” to attend~

  9. Steve says:

    The great thing about Stone is that he always looks normal.

    I think that commentator had a halfway decent idea about the three bands and the Beatles but took it too far. The writing sounds great in translation, though. :)

    This latest Sodagreen doesn’t impress me that much. “He Made My Summer” is great. The first track has its moments. Some other halfway decent ones. But there aren’t enough songs that make me think, “Only Sodagreen could have done this song.”

  10. double *e* says:

    @Steve so which sodagreen song that make u think “Only Sodagreen could have done this song.” ?

  11. Steve says:

    Definitely Track One.

  12. RD says:

    Hi Merry, I guessed “御花园“ should be translated into Royal Garden instead of “Yu Garden”, or you have some specific reason to translate it in that way?

  13. Merry says:

    Hi RD, Well, on the album (now that I have it) Qingfeng seems to be writing “King’s Garden,” so we might have to defer to him!

    As to why my on-the-fly translation went for “Yu Garden” – there’s a garden called that in Shanghai (not the more famous Yu Garden – that’s a different “yu” – but there’s one of these too). Sometimes on maps the word “garden” is the only part translated. But these translations were never meant to be anything but temporarily placeholders while waiting for the real titles.

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