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?

Music Obsessions – October 2019

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A month sure flies by as we get to October! There’s been a decent amount of music that I’ve liked and discovered and its going to be a longer list than usual. Its all some fun songs and a nice mix of different genres so hopefully you’ll find something that you like as well!

See You In My Dream 偷偷看你 – Jeric 陳傑瑞

I’m a crazy person with ridiculously bad attention span so Love is Deep only has 4 episodes and I never got around to finishing it (got to add that back to my to-do list). That aside, they did have a midway change in their theme song in the second half to this very adorable song that caught my ears at the first line of lyrics and the fun tune. The lyrics translated: There’s Tow kinds of love, you’re either a cat or a dog, you’re born the sticky-type or proud and need little attention.” So freakin’ adorable, right? Turns out after I saw this video that the singer Jeric actually had a small role here that appeared in a few episodes.

If Only – AMei 張惠妹 & Qiyuan Zheng & Pan Dong

I’ve taken a little break from Super Vocal 2 to let it pile up a few more episodes and I’m not a huge fan of the Mango TV app as it also casts really poorly on Chromecast so this song is from a few episodes ago. This song was originally a collaboration between AMei Zhang and Andrea Bocelli. They changed into a trio and then added in some dialogue and whatnot. People say that Qiyuan Zheng has bad English and breaks the song but I love his voice and it just melts me regardless of whatever accent. If Only is my go-to song this past month whenever I’m under huge stress or not feeling too positive. Love it so much!

Love You 3000 愛你 3000 – Will Pan 潘瑋柏 (feat. 黃旭Boom & 肖恩恩Sean T)

Will Pan has vanished a few years from the scene (at least it feels that way) and its pretty nice to see him coming back. He was always known for his super fun upbeat songs. This time, he collaborates with Boom and Sean T (people that I’ve never heard of) and the style here is pretty nice. Its very smooth and fun.

Won’t Cry 說好不哭 – Jay Chou 周杰倫 & Mayday Ashin 五月天阿信

Trending #1 on Youtube INTERNATIONALLY, if you were on Youtube for the week of this song’s release, you might have seen it on the front page of your feed. I couldn’t be happier to see Jay Chou and Mayday’s Ashin’s collab have better success than that. They are two of my favorite singers and this song is really awesome. The music video is done really well also. I say it all the time. Everyone has their dominating domain, in Jay Chou’s case, music, singer and music production is where he is at his best!

前程似錦 – 陳立農 Leo Chen &李現 Xian Li

I never knew that movies did songs to celebrate the end of the filming but this might be the first time and its for this upcoming movie with Xian Li and Leo Chen (when this post releases, he will be now called ex-Nine Percent member as their contract for the group ended in early October…sadly). Either way, the song is happy and fun and has some nice snippets of their filming process that is great adveristing because now I can’t wait for the film’s release, so maybe eventually get to see it here. Two of Xian Li’s works (Love O2O: The Movie & Tientsin Mystic) has been on Netflix so I’m crossing my fingers that Netflix will pick this one up also.

No Accidents 沒有意外 – KUN 蔡徐坤

Its probably no coincidence that a few of the Nine Percent members have been showing up more frequently with new projects of late. No Accident has been out for a while but Kun promoted it recently on Happy Camp as a new song on his album. I don’t follow Kun a lot as his singles before didn’t quite work for me but this one though, definitely does. He could work a little on the falsetto more but overall, this is a nice song. He did the lyrics for this one and its written pretty well actually, which shouldn’t be a surprise since during Idol Producer, he did show some production skills also.

Soldier at War – Ben Wiggins (from Anna and the Apocalypse)

I’m going to be lying if a lot of music from Anna and the Apocalypse isn’t topping my play list right now. In the heart of what I could find on YouTube and the Halloween month going on right now, here’s one with zombies performed by Ben Wiggins called Soldier At War and happens to be one of the songs that I like quite a lot.

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

Music Obsessions – September 2019

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Another month as passed by. Its been a very odd month since it feels like I haven’t quite found a ton of new music but then there’s been some interesting finds at the same time. Its been quite random or related to whatever I’ve been watching and such.

好好說 – Sammi Cheng 鄭秀文

If we were to talk about a singer that I’ve adored for a long time, it has to go to Sammi Cheng who inspired a lot of my own love for pop music in terms of female singers especially for Cantonese pop music. This song is for her upcoming movie which I hope to get a chance to see as I like a few people in the cast as well but I absolutely love this song. The lyrics and her singing and everything: still love her even after so very long (we’re talking almost two decades).

谁都别吝啬 – R1SE

I was a bit skeptical of R1SE or lets say, Produce Camp but this group has really made its mark as its been associated with a lot of different songs for TV shows and having their own music and such. Its definitely nice to be on the Tencent platform or to have come out of a show on the Tencent platform. Adding into their own singing abilities, its a group that works. As much as I like this song, I do hope that they all get to find their place as a few of the boys in this group are quite good at the overall music production from lyrics to music. Hopefully, they’ll get a chance to flex those skills. For now, their music is always a constant fun and energetic company.

Bad Guy – Billie Eilish

Its taken a few listens but I’ve been into this song lately. The video is a bit weird in my opinion but hey, the song is quite fun. I’m not sure whether its going to be a permanent thing in my playlist but this past month, its been quite entertaining to have on and keeping the energy level high.

The Coming One 3 Highlights
White – Rohar Ye & Tian Yi

漂浮群岛 – 张颜齐 & 洪一诺

The Coming One 3 is done but I can’t get over the collabs show they did. That episode was my favorite and these two performances above are my absolutely faves.  I’m doing it as a unit because they are simply highlights from the show. Both of them didn’t end up winning in the end but these two girls are my faves of the competition. Rohar Ye is my absolute fave right from her first song so I’m hoping she continues tackling the rest of the colors and make them into songs while still making other songs true to her style because I’m totally down for it. She’s different and its very indie and I’m not sure the audience she’s aiming for will easily accept it but I sure hope she still finds a way. On that note, White is a great song. She’s done Blue and Black at this point during the competition.

我還是沒改變 I’ll Never Change – 大壯 DZ

DZ has come out with three singles at this point, I think. And all of them are really good. They remind me a lot of the really nice days of music when songs were filled with well-written lyrics as well as nice ballads/tunes. Its one of the reason why I like DZ and his work so much. Three for three is not easy and I hope that he keeps making music and keeps such a high quality.

忘情森巴舞 -草蜢 Grasshopper

I really wanted to add in this one for this round-up even if this time feels a tad heavy. Hong Kong has been on my mind a lot lately and being a long-time fan of Grasshopper since I was young, I wanted to share something from the 80s that always makes me happy to listen to. Its very dated but hey, its been playing on repeat these days on my playlist. Grasshopper members may all be in their 50s but they really remind us of staying young at heart as they still give great performances full of energy and pull of their dances and stuff well still.

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