I haven’t done more than look at all the baby pictures in the news today, because even though I won’t get the album for another two weeks or so, I’ve found the lyrics online and have started translating them. I have drafts for “Born to Love,” “Angel,” “Once Again in Love for the First Time” (for which I’m still trying to think of a shorter title), and “Perfume,” all of which will go up later today. I’ll add links to this post when they’re up.
Just looking at the lyrics (given the fact that I haven’t heard the music to go along with them yet), I have a couple thoughts/impressions:
1. It looks like it is all in Mandarin (no tell-tale signs of Taiwanese in the writing, anyway).
2. The writing is relatively simple for Ashin – going straight down the song list, the first song I had to crack open the reference books on was “Perfume,” and while I have one or two lingering questions, these are not the sorts of enigmatic word choices that send me scrambling for days looking for possible meanings. On one hand, this means I’ll get the translations up quickly, but on the other, I’ll have a little less fun working them out. 😉
3. Ashin has now, for the first time, committed what I consider to be one of the cardinal sins of Mandopop lyricists – the use of the English word “baby” randomly in the midst of the Chinese lyrics (in the lyrics for “寵上天“). Very few artists – Chinese, American, British – can pull off “baby.” Most ought not try. He also has at least one case of bad English – the use of the word “feel” where he should use “feeling” in “我又初戀了.” In “快樂很偉大,” the “woo be cool woo woo be cool” along with the note that the melody borrows from Beethoven’s Ninth, has me a bit worried as well.
4. Does the fact that the song is in Chinese mean that there’s no need to pay royalties to Disney over the use of “Mickey Mouse”?
5. Is there any existing major Mandopop artist that has never had a song with the word “Angel” in the title? (I’ve been singing the songs “Angel” by either David Tao or The Dada all afternoon…)
6. What on earth are guys from Taiwan doing singing about the life of Che Guevara and his communist ideals? What’s next, the Taiwanese rock version of the “The East is Red”?
I really can’t wait to hear the music for this album – the lyrics alone seem only to perplex me. The full-length “Born to Love” music video is up on YouTube now, so at least I’ve heard that song. In a few places, it reminded me of “Eternal Summer.”
If there are actual “official” English song titles in the album anywhere, can some kind soul who already has it drop me a line? As I think I’ve mentioned (I’m trying to drum up sympathy from readers in China, Taiwan and Singapore), I won’t see the actual album for a while yet….