Music Obsessions – March 2020

Welcome to March 2020! Its time to do a monthly roundup of music that’s been on my playlist! Its been quite a mixed bag and some of it is from various phases I’ve gone through and shows I’ve been watching and whatnot.

Just Let It Be – Dimash

A few years ago, I heard Dimash’s first performance on I am a Singer 2017 snippet and it was awesome! He sang this French song called S.O.S. Although there were pronunciation issues, his voice is amazing because of its range and control. I hadn’t realized that he had released music since then but then I found this song and its just awesome. Its nice to see him break out of his classic music and head into something that brings both this classical skills to something a little fast-paced and modern.

Amazing [Find Yourself Ending Theme] – 林世民 Shimin Lin

I just finished Find Yourself this past week and TV binge is coming up soon. A little backlog this year so it’ll happen soon. The ending theme for Find Yourself was unusually an English song, albeit a little language issues in the lyrics but the rhythm and the singing is pretty soothing. Because of that, then it played during the series, it actually matched a lot of the scenes well and this one kind of really grew on me over the process of watching the 40 episodes.

皮囊 Pi Nang – 蕭敬騰 Jam Hsiao

I can’t believe that I haven’t shared songs from Jam Hsiao sooner. This Taiwanese singer actually came to fame around the time that I had fallen out of Chinese music so he’s somewhat of a newer discovery. Jam Hsiao is part of The Singer 2020 this year and he has a killer voice with a wonderful grasp on the falsetto and higher pitches plus he likes fast, quirky and more hard rock style plus adding on his performances, it all works really well. This song is amazing. Honestly, it seems like a fun one to just sing to your heart’s content (even if its not going to be easy to sing).

《爸爸去哪儿》第五季主题曲MV
Dad Where Are We Going 5 Theme Song

I went back the past month to check out Season 5 of Dad Where Are We Going because of my recent wrapping up of Ashes of Love and my new obsession with the actor Alan Deng. In this reality show where celebrity dads take their young children on various trips to challenge and build their bond, Deng Lun takes on the trial dad where he takes care of a little girl who seems to have some social media fame. Its just incredibly cute and heartwarming to watch. This theme song is so cute that I can’t help to listen to it non-stop. Plus, almost all of these dads were celebrities that I grew up with: Jordan Chan (from Young and Dangerous series), Will Liu (Taiwanese singer where I went through a phase of loving his album), Wu Chun (from ex-Taiwanese boy band Fahrenheit).

等爱 -[“海棠经雨胭脂透”片尾曲MV] – 邓伦 & 阿兰

Well, I did say that I’ve been looking up Alan Deng’s stuff so while I haven’t went on to other TV series yet but I did find that he has a talent for singing and this song for last year’s series Blossom in Heart is a beautiful duet that he does. It has some more harmonizing moments with the female singer Ah Lan, who I also do like her music. I’m still debating whether to watch this series since it seems to hit a few things I don’t like about TV series from the snippets here so we’ll see. However, this song has been playing on repeat! Love it!

That’s it for this Music Obsessions!
Its been a pretty solid month for music discoveries!
I actually had to make some decisions to not overload!

What have you been listening to?

Music Obsessions – February 2020

Welcome to February 2020! Its time for the Music Obsessions to kick off this month! I usually take February as a love song expose of sorts but somehow this time, this time is a bit of a mix. The starting and ending song are more up-beat but nothing related to love however, the middle stuff is all about love stories as they are all theme from movies or TV shows. Let’s take a look!

Daydreamer 白日夢想家 – Vision Wei 魏晨

If there’s anything that I love from discovering the amazing Who’s The Murderer, its how it adds in so many great celebrity investigators and the best one that I’ve found is Vision Wei who is great in the variety show but at the same time, it gave me the motivation to look up his music and so far, this one is absolutely fave. Its upbeat and fun and the video isn’t is done really well. Its one that makes me all happy and a great way to kick off this Music Obsessions.

A Kind Of Sorrow 有一種悲傷 – A-Lin

I haven’t seen the actual movie, More Than Blue that this song is for. I am hoping to watch it at some point as it looks really good. A-Lin is a phenomenal singer with great vocals. Her voice is just exceptional and emotional. I love listening to her music and this one is no different.

天地無霜 (Ashes of Love Main Theme) – Andy Yang 楊紫 & Allen Deng 鄧倫

I’ve already expressed my obsession with Ashes of Love. This TV series really is amazing. I’m working on the TV binge but at the same time, the main theme is this wonderful duet from the main leads who are not actual singers but actually do a great job. Its captivating whenever this song appears in the series as well. At the same time, there is a solo version for just Allen Deng which is equally great. Allen Deng is my biggest discovery from the show and I’ve been finding traces of his musical talent and not just his acting talent. For fun, here is the solo version:

Don’t Cry 不哭 – Rocket Girls 101 Sunnee 火箭少女101 楊芸晴

I’m not a huge fan of Rocket Girls 101 in general. They have some okay songs but I can’t say that I’m completely behind their music but individually, some of the members are very good as they branch off to do their own things. My fave vocalist in the group does go to Sunnee who is unique in herself and as I look up more of her music after watching her participating in Masked Singer China, its definitely had some great finds. My fave goes out to this promotional song for the movie version of Cry Me A Sad River. I haven’t seen the movie but the TV series was one of my top series of 2019.

Blah Blah & WYTB – NEXT (Zhejiang New Year’s 2020 Gala Performance)

Ending it off on a high note, I wanted to open with NEXT as its more upbeat. I might have shared WYTB and maybe a snippet of Blah Blah before but Blah Blah is one of my favorite songs from this group. I think Yuehua Entertainment really found gold with putting this group together as a part of them definitely have the idol stars. Of course, it helps that they got a great gig with having a reality show for Mango TV called Master in the House that shared a bit of who each of them are and their aspirations, giving each of them a chance to learn from some great musicians and celebrities in the music industry. They are all very well-rounded and I can see great things in the future for them. They are only like 1.5 years since the creation of the group so still lots of time to get even better.

That’s it for this Music Obsessions!
What have you been listening to?

Music Obsessions: January 2020

I know its Monday and I just realized that this whole holidays and beginning of January is very much making lose track of a time a little. Music Obsessions was neglected this weekend as I simply forgot. However, we’re here now and I do have some good music to share so here we go!

Pretty White Lies – Jason Zhang 张杰

Jason Zhang is such a talented singer. I can’t say this one quite lands as well as Perfume (HERE) did. However,  I believe that I heard this one in Vivia La Romance Season 1 or 2. I can’t remember right now but its a pretty good one. Upbeat and decent singing and lyrics. The guy is very charismatic and I’m really looking forward to see what other songs he comes up with. He does have  a lot of good songs but there are a lot of good ones that are much more ballads. Both a quite good but it’ll be nice to see this style a lot more.

旁观者(Onlookers) – 朱正廷THEO

Theo Zhu is definitely getting a ton of attention in 2019. He had three MVs come out for his EP. He was part of a few variety shows and it shows just how much popularity he has. Nine Percent helped and then when that ended, the continuation fully into NEXT also did. I can’t find the clip for his performance in China’s version of Masked Singer but it truly did show off his singing talents. Its also quite nice to see him embrace the different sides of him. Here, he goes back to this cute boy image which seems to match the person that he is in variety or reality shows. Either way, this is a fun and cute one. We’ll see where NEXT and Theo goes in the 2020.

Pick Up The Phone – Justin 黄明昊

Justin has really grown on me over the last year. In 2018, when he first got out of Idol Producer, it felt like his solo stuff was lacking and not truly in what I like to listen to. Its obvious that he has improved a lot especially as we get to this one where his rap is better and his singing is better. There’s a better rhythm to the whole music. Its also quite fun for this one. He still plays on the whole bad boy thing a lot which is quite different from the comedic sort of personality he has when he does variety shows like Great Escape and Who’s the Murderer. Pick Up The Phone is the first solo that he’s done that I’m liking quite a bit.

别勉强 Don’t Force It – G.E.M. 邓紫棋 & Eric Chou 周兴哲

There’s no doubt that both GEM and Eric Chou are great singers. I’ve shared a lot of their music over the past year or two. Seeing these two collab together is probably one of the best things ever. As expected with Eric Chou, its a slow ballad sort of song but luckily GEM also thrives in the slower music. She seems to be going into the fast-paced bad-ass songs lately which I’m not a huge fan of, so its nice to see this two come out with something more along their line of excellence and deliver a very decent duet.

就算沒有如果 Even If Not (“Eternal Love” OST) – 香香 Xiang Xiang

The last week of December was spent binge watching Eternal Love. All 58 episodes of this 2017 series that I have managed to finish at the beginning very recently (like yesterday of this post’s release). I’ll talk more about Eternal Love in the TV binge post which I’m releasing very soon. The songs in this series are absolutely wonderful. I would have filled the entire Music Obsessions with it but reason took over so here’s one which I particularly thing is pretty good and is really the theme for one of the side romances with Bai Feng Jiu & Dong Hua Di Jun shown above in the thumbnail.

Oh..you know..why not? Here’s another one of the songs in the series that I’ve really liked also for the main pairing in the series.

I’m usually not into oriental China series as they usually get rather dramatic and it does BUT their music is really good as I like the sound of Chinese instruments. I’m having this crazy idea of putting together a post for just Eternal Love music…that might be a good idea as a pairing for the TV Binge posts. Let me think about that a little more 😉

Let’s end this before I can’t stop myself!
Here’s the January 2020 Music Obsessions!
What have you been listening to lately?

2020 Upcoming Plans!

2020 is already among us!

For new readers, welcome to Tranquil Dreams. I’m a blog that doesn’t quite follow the successful route of blogging (meaning to focus on one topic), instead I’m a fan of doing what I like and just using this as an outlet of doing the things I love. They primarily make up 4 categories: Movies, TV, Books and Food. There are weekly and monthly segments and a whole bunch of random spontaneous things going on. Now that the introduction is done for anyone new here!

Let’s check out plans for 2020! Note that a few little changes but not too many. I’ve indicated where the main changes are. 🙂

READING

2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge: 25 books

Last year, I set a bunch of books that I wanted to read and then didn’t get around to reading 90% of them, I’d say. Its probably because I forgot about it at one point being busy with everything else. This year, I already have about 5 books set for the first 3 months which is a great start as it all goes towards blog tours and such. I’m not going to say which one and will leave it as a surprise. The goal is to participate in blog tours and then work through a ton of TBR books on my bookshelves and Kindle. I won’t change the 25 books this year and if I exceed, then so be it. In general, its been a struggle to find reading time especially in the second half of the year.

MOVIES

Movies are staying relatively the same. I’m hoping that I will still be able to get the media accreditation for film festivals like in 2019 as that is always a lot of fun and brings in some really nice film discoveries. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it always brings in a nice refreshing change to the normal fare on Netflix.  Fingers crossed on that, right? 😉

As for movies, we will be keeping the double feature usually around 1-2 per week, depending on time. Full single reviews are for theatre viewings and festival screenings. The normal themed months still apply:

  • February: Valentine’s Romance
  • October: Halloween Horror
  • December: Holiday Films

This year, I’m thinking of doing some themed months randomly so that I can catch up on various genre of films. Its still in the air whether I’ll do it as A-Z or simply as random screenings.

As for any other things, I’ve neglected my Sunday Lists in general and will hopefully be aiming to get one a month. I’ll set a Sunday per month for that.

TV

TV has really turned into a Chinese drama series deal since middle of 2018 and that will continue this year. I’m hoping to get a few of the TV binges that I didn’t do last year done this year as I didn’t do any for my Top 5 shows last year and that seems sad as they were all very accessible on Youtube and/or Netflix.

Aside from that, Netflix series are the other focus and perhaps Shudder depending how long I keep the subscription. A short little no change section at all: TV binge for Chinese dramas will keep the normal format I have and may actually use a part of that format for any other series I watch as well.

OTHER RANDOMNESS

After getting through the top 3 categories of focus here, its time to take a look at the random other segments at weekly or monthly frequency.

  • [change] Wine Recap will wrap up with its final one with December 2019 and it will be over. I’m no wine connoisseur and the whole 2 year experiment of doing it has really helped me appreciate wine better but its becoming more of a chore to write it up. I’ll share some of it on Instagram instead so feel free to follow me over HERE.
  • My Adventures: I’ve already changed it to a monthly segment in the middle of 2019 and it will remain that way. I’m finally happy with the structure so we’re keeping this as the fun and more personal post.
  • What’s Up 2020: will remain a weekly segment set on every Wednesday to recap the previous week.
  • [change] Baking Through Disney: has been a neglected segment over here that I’ve tucked away but never forgot about. As I aim to get back into baking, its the project that will hopefully be revived on a monthly basis. One baking day a month seems fairly reasonable.
  • [change] Goodfood recaps: have been no more since the middle of 2019. It was due to a few bad experiences that Goodfood has finally fixed on their end. I didn’t talk about it at the time and won’t go deeper into it. As I’m not paid to do this and I have to pay for the experience, its becoming a convenience choice for our life so its become less frequent as well. I’ll share some of the meals on Instagram whenever we do order.
  • Battle of Ingredients: has changed its structure since its beginning. We’ve been talking about how to get things back on track to fit its name but we are also enjoying taking the time to highlight some recipe trials as well as using local Quebec products in our cooking. This one is really supposed to be monthly but we have random hiatus due to our busy schedules.
  • Ultimate Decades Blogathon is coming back in 2020. We are currently in production phase of getting things together. If you are interested, remember to check back here. We should be announcing it soon.
  • Music Obsessions: almost got cut but this segment was saved by a recent comment. I enjoy the segment but its the one that does the least well out of everything here BUT at least its a fairly fun and easy post to put together. So its staying without any change, on a monthly basis on the first weekend of the month.

I know we cover a ton of stuff here including Restaurant recaps and other event coverage including shopping hauls and such. It shouldn’t change much on that front. I’m hoping to get some more DIY going on and other things, if possible. However, time is scarce so I’ll do what I can.

I think that generally covers everything for 2020 plans!
Its not a ton of changes but I will work on being more organized this year!
Happy 2020 and all the best to all of you lovely people!

Music Obsessions – Christmas Special 2019

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Welcome to this year’s Christmas Special for Music Obsessions! We will be getting right down to business as we take a look at some Christmas song covers that I’ve found were pretty decent over the past month or so.

I’m going to not go and talk too much about any of these choices and just let you all listen to it and enjoy! Today’s a day to celebrate and probably not a lot of you are sitting by the computer or looking at the phone anyways. I just wanted to share some Christmas music and take it easy!

Silent Night – Boyce Avenue

Dueling Pianos Jingle Bells – Jon McLaughlin

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Voiceplay

Oh  Holy Night – Claire & Dave Crosby

You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch – Pentatonix

That’s it for this Music Obsession Christmas Special!
Merry Christmas everyone!!

Music Obsessions – December 2019

Its time for the final normal music obsessions for 2019! Its crazy, right? This one will not be Christmas-focused but it will have one with a special nearer to the holidays for some light-hearted and fun content. With that said, November was pretty crazy but I did find some fun music that I found almost all spontaneously during TV shows or TV drama.

Let’s check it out!

You Calling My Name – GOT7

I don’t listen to a lot of Kpop in general but I’m a big fan of Jackson Wang and he’s part of GOT7 which is why I ended up finding this one on Youtube when it first released. Its a really catchy tune and the video is pretty fun. The song is pretty good plus GOT7 has a good style to their voices and such. I’m definitely going to be looking up more of their songs.

大好事 (Great Thing)- 張洢豪 YiHao Zhang

I finished watching Wait, My Youth TV drama in November and it was so much fun! The soundtrack also was really good and it came down to deciding which of the three songs that I had in my playlist from the series that I wanted to share in this one and I came down to this one which is an original song and one that is more happy and positive, because who doesn’t like fun songs, right?

He Doesn’t Understand 他不懂 – Jason Zhang 張傑

I know that Jason Zhang for a while and I only really listened to his English single, Perfume earlier this year. Recently, I heard another one of his songs in Mandarin translated to be He Doesn’t Understand. I has really good lyrics and he has a pretty nice voice. Its one that has been on repeat on my playlist recently.

 錯過 (Missed) – 梁詠琪 Gigi Leung

Going back to a rather older song as I dive back into some Gigi Leung music. Gigi Leung is a singer that I’ve liked since I first started to like singing and music and all in high school so her music has followed me for a while. I’ve actually never heard of this one but still so great. Her voice works very well in this kind of slower music, not to mention, I actually like the lyrics also for this one.

WYTB – NEXT

The most recent song released on this list goes to WYTB by NEXT which was just released a week or so ago. After Nine Percent disbanded, NEXT carries a good portion of the members there. Oddly, Adam Fan isn’t part of this song, making me wonder whether he is still part of the group, although nothing says otherwise. Still, this one really does deliver as a few of these members are singers from Idol Producer that I really did like a lot. NEXT is always full of upbeat music every time I listen to them so always looking forward to their stuff even if they literally just got together this year. So lots of space to grow and release new content in the future.

That’s it for this Music Obsessions!
A mix of upbeat and energetic music and slow ballad type songs this time around!
This wraps up the year for Music Obsessions, at least the normal segment.

Look out for a Christmas themed one the week before the holidays!

Music Obsession: November 2019

 

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Its hard to imagine that I survived the crazy that was October and in a blur, we have arrived in November. Surprisingly, I find some really fun music to get through all of the crazy which is great because music is what keeps me alive in my downtime. I’m just going to jump right in. Some of this was found through some of the little events I went to during the past month, others are just randomly in Youtube when I had time to peruse my subscribed channels.

Let’s check it out!

Flip – Theo 朱正廷

Its no surprise that out of the nine members of Nine Percent, well, the ex-Nine Percent now, my favorite member ever since the Idol Producer show is Theo. He is a fantastic dancer and even when I watched him in the different variety and reality shows, he just has a great personality, so I’m happy to see him finally coming out with his own EP.

Senkyaku Banrai 千客万来 – Daoko & Miyavi (‘Diner’ Main Theme)

I watched Diner during Festival du Nouveau Cinema. You can find the review HERE. Its one of my top 5 films of the festival which pretty much tops the movies and a part of its style has to go to its great soundtrack. While I couldn’t find a ton of the music, I did find its main theme and its very awesome music video. The video is full of energy and a fantastic bridge part that just elevates the entire song even more. Its great!

Bomba – UNINE

As Nine Percent disbands to their separate path, 2019’s group to come out is UNINE from Season 2 of Idol Producer. While I didn’t finish the show and now its locked for iQiyi subscribers only (which I’ll get back to eventually), UNINE is a group that I’m seeing their members show up in different reality and variety shows lately so I looked a little more into their music. I can’t say that I think the members are as talented as Nine Percent but UNINE does have a nice balance of talent and Bomba is a pretty fun song while I was looking up their songs. Plus, they are just a few months old as a group so they still have time to put out more stuff.

Call of Heroes 危城 – Shin 信

We are going back a few years now to 2017 as I rediscover this song which I’ve never actually added onto my Favorite playlist on Youtube. Shin is a really great singer and as I watch him and his daughter in the Chinese variety show When I Grow Up currently, its actually made me want to revisit his music as he is incredibly talented. One of my favorite songs from him, other than the song that put him on the map, is this one.  A lot of high energy music this time but I’ve always been a fan of songs with the traditional Chinese music sort of flair mixed into it.

帥到分手 –周湯豪 Nick Chou

So..I fell out of the Taiwanese music scene for a while and as I start diving back in to catch up TV series and movies and such, I’m also obviously getting back to music and the most random find which just appeared on my Youtube suggestions was this song. Don’t know this singer, never heard of this song but it looked fun so I checked it out and its been just playing on repeat. I do have to say that some angles of him looks like Jackson Wang and his style reminds a lot of Alan Kuo. Apparently, I’ve missed some good stuff. I’m not sure if its the lyrics or the tune or the energy but its really good and once I catch up with some other stuff, I’ll be going back to hunt down more of Nick Chou’s songs.

都是你害的 All You Did – 畢書盡 Bii

In the whole Taiwanese drama catch-up phase and after a really fun conversation with my good friend visiting from out of town, I ended up FINALLY starting up Bromance which made me want to rediscover Bii who plays a supporting role in the drama. Bii actually is a pretty decent actor but he is a phenomenal singer. He writes his own songs and you can see the growth he has had from the first time that I listened to his music to now, which I have a pick of his for next month probably.

That’s it for this Music Obsessions!
What have been listening to lately?