C-Pop

ASSORTED MINI-REVIEWS: Norika Ueda Trio, tofubeats, Kary Ng, Majiko

By Paris365 on February 05, 2016

ASSORTED MINI-REVIEWS: Norika Ueda Trio, tofubeats, Kary Ng, Majiko

Today we have mini-reviews of four very diverse artists, Norika Ueda Trio (jazz), tofubeats (electronic/J-Pop), Kary Ng (C-Pop), Majiko (J-Pop)

Noriko Ueda Trio: Debut

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G.E.M. Tang: 北京北京 (Beijing)

By Paris365 on January 21, 2016

G.E.M. Tang: 北京北京 (Beijing)

It's only been a few months since her last album, but G.E.M. is back with her most powerful ballad to date. If it doesn't make you feel something, you don't have a pulse.

It was only last November that Hong Kong singer/songwriter -- and global superstar -- G.E.M. released her latest album, Heartbeat, but here she is again already with a powerful new digital single in the form of "北京北京" [Beijing]. It was actually released back on January 1st of this year, but I only discovered it on Spotify yesterday. I was planning to write a review of something else today, but "Beijing" is such a moving song that I just had to write about it first.

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LAURE SHANG: "BIG UP"

By Paris365 on September 18, 2015

LAURE SHANG: "BIG UP"

My favorite C-Pop artist has just released a new single. It's called "Big UP" and it certainly kicks up the tempo.

My favorite C-Pop artist has just released a new single. It's called "Big UP" and it certainly kicks up the tempo compared to her more recent work. It's bursting with energy, beats bouncing away, hitting the ground hard like basketballs. And it's in English, so if you normally wouldn't listen to something in Chinese you have nothing preventing you from listening to this one. (Because, obviously, you understand English if you're reading this review. Well, unless you're using Google translate on it!)

T-ARA: SO GOOD

By Paris365 on August 28, 2015

T-ARA: SO GOOD

So Good is the lovely T-ARA's 11th mini-album already. Clearly, they work non-stop, making music faster than bees make honey, though their music is just as sweet!

So Good is the lovely T-ARA's 11th mini-album already. Clearly, they work non-stop, making music faster than bees make honey, though their music is just as sweet!

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LAURE SHANG: "RED AMNESIA"

By Paris365 on April 23, 2015

LAURE SHANG: "RED AMNESIA"

Laure Shang has unveiled a brand new song!

Today I received some good news via Twitter -- Laure Shang has unveiled a brand new song! It's called "Red Amnesia" and it's from the movie of the same name, also known as Chuang ru zhe where it was made in China. The film will be released on April 30th in China and "Red Amnesia" appears on its soundtrack. I couldn't find an image of the soundtrack -- or a release date -- but I did find a photo on imdb that I was able to save, so that's what I've used as art for this post.

AN INTERVIEW WITH MEGA-HIT SONGWRITER ALBI ALBERTSSON

By Paris365 on March 23, 2015

AN INTERVIEW WITH MEGA-HIT SONGWRITER ALBI ALBERTSSON

K-Poppers and J-Poppers, you're in for a real treat... Today we bring you an exclusive interview with Albi Albertsson, one of Asian pop music's top songwriters!

Whether you're a fan of K-Pop, J-Pop or C-Pop, chances are you've heard songs written by Albi Albertsson. As you'll see below, he's written for plenty of A-listers, including massive artists like Girls' Generation, Shinee, Arashi, Show Luo and Koda Kumi. K-Pop doesn't get any bigger than Girls' Generation, does it? Likewise, Koda Kumi is one of Japan's biggest megastars. Clearly, Albi knows what he's doing and he does it very well. Recently, I discovered that he was on Facebook and sent him a friend request. I was very happy when he approved it.

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G.E.M. - CONCERT REVIEW AND LIVE ALBUM REVIEW

By Paris365 on March 02, 2015

G.E.M. - CONCERT REVIEW AND LIVE ALBUM REVIEW

I was lucky enough to catch G.E.M. live in concert on March 1st of this year. Here, I write about the show and the live album X.X.X. Live.

GEM: X.X.X. LIVE (3/1/15 CONCERT REVIEW + X.X.X. LIVE ALBUM COVERAGE)
 

G.E.M. - XPOSED

By Paris365 on February 24, 2015

G.E.M. - XPOSED

G.E.M. is one of China's biggest pop stars of all-time. In fact, she's hugely popular all around the world, even in New Zealand. If you're not familiar with her, please read this review and consider checking her out. This album would get five stars out of five if I actually gave out stars.

As you may or may not be aware, G.E.M.'s Xposed album was released in 2012. So, you may be wondering why I'm reviewing it now. The answer is simple: I am seeing her in concert at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut this Sunday and I've been listening to this superb album, which is still her most recent studio release, several times a day, to the point that I can't pry myself away from it. And it still sounds as modern today as it did when it was released, so it's still the perfect candidate if you're looking for a new Asian music album to sink your teeth into.

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AMBER AN: WITH YOU

By Paris365 on November 25, 2014

AMBER AN: WITH YOU

Her new album opens with "哈囉" (translation: "Hello"), a song so soft and delicate, it's like the audio equivalent of a butterfly. A butterfly emerging from a cocoon, saying "hello" to the world. So beautiful and awe-inspiring.

My favorite foreign language to listen to music in might surprise you because it's not an Asian language but French. I'm actually obsessed with France and have been ever since I first went to Paris back in 1999. But, getting to my point, if you asked me what my second favorite foreign language to listen to music in was I would probably say Mandarin (Chinese). I just love the way it sounds; it always sounds so poetic in songs. And actress/singer Amber An's With You is a shining example of why I love Mandarin. Every word that she sings just sounds so lovely.

ANGELA HUI: R U OK? (AND DEBUT ALBUM)

By Paris365 on October 14, 2014

ANGELA HUI: R U OK? (AND DEBUT ALBUM)

If you like Chinese pop, you must get to know Angela Hui, one of Canto-pop's brightest new stars.

Angela Hui wowed critics and audiences alike when she performed at Emperor Entertainment Group's singing contest in 2010. Not only was her voice original, she also proved to be a highly skilled piano player. The label immediately recruited her and she spent three years in training before she finally released her much anticipated debut album on October 11, 2013. And the album performed very well, the single "Ring Ring" doing especially well on radio. Indeed, the world of Canto-pop (Cantonese pop, obviously) had a new star.

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ELVA HSIAO: SHUT UP & KISS ME [3 PRE-ORDER TRACKS]

By Paris365 on July 31, 2014

ELVA HSIAO: SHUT UP & KISS ME [3 PRE-ORDER TRACKS]

Elva delivers two mighty potent, slamming electro/dance pop numbers that prove Mandopop can kick as much ass as K-Pop and J-Pop. And, of course, there's a precious ballad, too.

Taiwan's Elva Hsiao returns with her first music since she signed with Sony in 2013, three pre-order tracks from her new album, Shut Up & Kiss Me, which is due out on August 22nd. And if these tracks are any indication, it's going to be her best album to date.

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KARY NG: ACROSS

By Paris365 on June 04, 2014

KARY NG: ACROSS

Kary Ng goes for a more sophisticated sound on her new album which pairs a couple of electro-pop gems along with some truly gorgeous ballads.

Kary Ng began her professional recording career at the age of 15 when she joined the nine member girl group Cookies, which were signed to a major, Gold Label of EMI Hong Kong. Although she was only in Cookies for two years, they put out an impressive five releases during that time, including a popular best of compilation. In 2004 Kary joined a rock band called Ping Pung and released the album Love & Hate.

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JULIE LIU: BLACK MAGIC

By Paris365 on April 04, 2014

JULIE LIU: BLACK MAGIC

Julie Liu returns with a fresh, modern sound to her incredible songs...

The only previous release by Julie Liu that I'm aware of is her 2011 album Taiwan. It's an album I quite like, full of gorgeous songs -- including many ballads -- that are just perfect for chilling out. But Julie's new EP is rather different, taking on more of a modern sound.

KIMBERLEY CHEN: KIMBONOMICS

By Paris365 on January 09, 2014

KIMBERLEY CHEN: KIMBONOMICS

Kimberley Chen's sophomore album has arrived and it's quite good.

Melbourne, Australia-born Kimberley Chen was just 17 when her self-titled, half Mandarin, half English debut album was released in Asia during May of 2012. You may recall that I gave it a positive review (http://otaku.collectiondx.com/musicreview/kimberley-chen-kimberley-chen) and it was number 8 on my Top 20 Asian Albums of 2012 list. The videos for the singles from that album generated over 20 million Youtube views and the album sold quite well.

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SHOW LUO: LION ROAR

By Paris365 on November 14, 2013

SHOW LUO: LION ROAR

Show Luo is one of China's most talented -- and popular -- male pop stars. His latest album, Lion Roar, is a fierce beast.

The Chinese pop scene tends to emphasize ballads. I've come across more albums than I can count that are almost entirely -- or actually are entirely -- ballads And, hey, I love a good ballad. I'm a junkie for ballads. But sometimes, well, it can be difficult to swallow an entire album of them all at once. Especially when they're in languages you don't understand. Thankfully, Show Lou's new album -- his 10th release in Mandarin -- is *not* an album populated by ballads.

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SNH48: HEAVY ROTATION

By Paris365 on July 16, 2013

SNH48: HEAVY ROTATION

SNH48 -- short for Shanghai 48 -- are AKB48's Chinese sister group. They have finally unleashed their debut single and it's fantastic.

SNH48 is the new Chinese sister group of the massive Japanese girl idol group AKB48. SNH48 is based out of Shanghai, China and will be performing at their own SNH48 Theatre, which is currently under construction according to Wikipedia. AKB48 members Sae Miyazawa and Mariya Suzuki have transferred from the Japanese group to SNH48, presumably to be the group's leaders and to ensure that AKB48 fans will embrace the group. (One assumes that they must know Chinese.)

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COCO LEE: ILLUMINATE

By Paris365 on July 01, 2013

COCO LEE: ILLUMINATE

CoCo Lee's new album is a smash from start to finish, quite possibly her best album yet, which is saying a lot because she's been releasing fantastic albums for over 15 years now.

On February 29, 2000, Chinese singer CoCo Lee released her English-language debut, Just No Other Way. worldwide. And, well, it didn't exactly perform well. Personally, I blame the songwriters, managers, etc, who decided what songs she should do on the album. But, hey, maybe she hand-picked those songs and sealed her own fate. I really don't know. What I do know is that the songs were so painfully generic.

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FIONA SIT: FIONA MUSIC BOOK

By Paris365 on March 22, 2013

FIONA SIT: FIONA MUSIC BOOK

Fiona has recently released a book of drawings, photos, etc. It comes with a CD featuring two new, beautiful ballads, hence our review.

Fiona Music Book is an 80-page book that features illustrations drawn by Fiona herself in addition to photos she took. It comes with a CD single featuring two new songs. The first is "冷笑话" (translation: "Cold Joke"), a very subtle but highly emotional ballad written by Wyman Wong. It's hard to say if she's singing a happy ballad or a sad one without knowing Cantonese, but, if I had to guess, I would say that this one is a sad song. The music is as melancholic as it is beautiful and consists of piano, gentle strings, wind instruments and soft electro-beats.

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SUPER GIRLS: 超女时代

By Paris365 on December 06, 2012

SUPER GIRLS: 超女时代

While they're both immensely talented, Super Girls should not be confused with the Japanese group with the same name (which spells their name with a star in between the words Super Girl. These Supergirls are Chinese.

If you still have any doubts about how refreshing and modern Cantonese/Chinese pop can be, then this is the album you simply MUST hear. Although I suppose it should be considering a mini-album, since it consists of six songs, three remixes and a Mandarin version of one of the songs. But that's beside the point, which is that this is one of the most exquisitely-produced, cutting edge releases I've heard in years.

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LAURE SHANG: ODE TO THE DOOM

By Paris365 on September 18, 2012

LAURE SHANG: ODE TO THE DOOM

Laure Shang was born Shang Wenjie on December 22, 1982 in Shanghai. In 2006 she won the Chinese singing contest Super Girls (Chinese: 超级女声) or Super Voice Girl. In 2011 she won Best Female Singer in China's Music Radio Top Annual Ceremony. In addition to learning English, Laure majored in French at Fudan University and was the second season winner of a French song contest.

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