Music Obsessions – September 2020

Time for the next Music Obsessions! Its September and the beginning of Labor Day Weekend! Fun times, right? I’ve been bombarding everyone with movie reviews lately so all wordy posts in general so lets just get right to it and check out some fun music!

Warm Sunshine 暖阳光 – 吴季峰 Jifeng Wu

One of the songs from the Mr. Honesty is definitely one of my favorite since its all kinds of positive vibes. Its all happy and fun to listen to which is exactly what I’ve been wanting to listen to.

红眼睛 Red Eyes – Rarpid望江晴 & JD & 葛兆恩 Kodii
(“Listen Up/ Rap Star” Team Battle Performance)

There’s probably isn’t another performance part of Rap Star/ Listen Up variety show that I’ve listened to more on repeat. These three put together a stellar show packed with a love triangle story line and some great lyrics. If only they had a version which was just what they were saying when the mic is off to add to the actual performance, that would be so cool. All three are such good rap star contestants that I’ve love to see them get further. Of course, JD ended up winning 1st place in the show already so he’s going to places.

Mojito – Jay Chou

I’m 3 months late to this Jay Chou party but this song was a reminder that I need to get back to J-Style Trip. Its filmed in the streets of Havana, Cuba and has such a fun vibe to the story with lyrics that compare some romantic lyrics comparing a lover to Havana and all its highlights. This song is upbeat and awesome! Not to mention the music video also has a special appearance with Alan Kuo.

Rain 雨- 沈以誠 Eason Shen
(Song from TV Series “Go Ahead” OST)

I haven’t had a chance to fangirl over Go Ahead which is my latest drama binge as its playing right now updated with new episodes everyday. That series is just all kinds of feels. I’ve cried and laughed, sweet and bitter times and there’s still 10 episodes to go as I’m writing this up. This song is my favorite that happens to play in some of the really memorable moments fittingly. I especially love the piano ballad and the lyrics…well, that’s everything isn’t it? Its my current mega obsession both the song and the TV series.

宇宙的宇 阳光的阳 – JD
(Winning Performance of Rap Star 2020)

The finals of Rap Star was really awesome with a lot of amazing performances. I had a hard time deciding which one to use since the 2nd Trouble.Z and 3rd place KC also had some awesome songs. While I think this one won on the song being about JD changing his usual style and taking a more melodic route with a rap song and lyrics for his son about giving his name which meant that he would give him the universe and the sunlight, which is rather touching and warm. I mean, how to do beat a song like that? Not to mention that JD was no doubt going to win this season since he had a lot more stable and solid technical skills and production skills than the other contestants in general.

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

Music Obsessions – October 2019

Music Obsessions (16)

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?

Valentine’s Double Feature: Secret (2007) & The Space Between Us (2017)

Its been a while since I’ve continued on the Valentine’s Netflix Alphabet marathon! Its getting dangerously close to the end of the month and I still have a good few movies to get through. At this point, it might spill into the beginning of March. Either way, I said that I’d finish it so I will. Due to the missing X selection later on, I have chosen to do two S selections! This is the last change to the alphabet marathon. Surprisingly though, these two are both teen romances and have some unique-ish idea/concept.

Let’s check it out!

Secret (2007)

Director (and writer): Jay Chou

Cast: Jay Chou, Lun-Mei Kwai, Anthony Wong, Kai-Syuan Tzeng, Ming-Ming Su, Devon Song

Ye Xiang Lun, a talented piano player is a new student at the prestigious Tamkang School. On his first day, he meets Lu Xiao Yu, a pretty girl playing a mysterious piece of music. – IMDB

Jay Chou’s directorial debut sees him both as the writer of the original story and also acting in the film. From Initial D, its already not high expectations in the Jay Chou acting but Jay Chou is a creative individual and a very musical person so its no surprise to see that he has injected a musical element to this story. The pity of this film goes to Netflix categorizing its subgenre that ruins the twist of the story making it much easier to guess. The ending is somewhat of a headscratcher and feels a bit flawed from what the whole logic behind the situation was, the story itself had its charm. The first is the setting that its done, bordered by water, the school grounds and the more classical building. The second is its characters, including Jay Chou who wrote in a character that truly matches himself. Its probably the perk of being the writer of the original story.

secret 2007

On the off-chance that you aren’t watching this through Netflix, I’m going to keep this spoiler free as much as possible. While this movie seems a lot like your average teen movie with the female character having some ailment, there is a much more light-hearted sort of appeal to this mostly with its added twist. Using music as a medium is a really nice touch here. With the subgenre that it tackles, there are some little logic issues and flaws but it also has this fantasy element that adds a little something extra.

As I mentioned before, Jay Chou writes a character very suitable for himself therefore he does a decent job. Its really his romantic interest, Lun-Mei Kwai that takes a lot of credit here. Her personality reflects Xiao Yu’s character a whole lot whether its her little movements or when she’s happy or sad. The chemistry between them spark up some nice little moments that make us truly root for this pairing. However, in a movie full of young actors and actresses, there is no doubt that Anthony  Wong stands out the most playing the father of Jay Chou’s character. He has this vibrancy and his character while seemingly not very significant in the beginning, ramps up quite the significance by the end.

The Space Between Us (2017)

the space between us

Director: Peter Chelsom

Cast: Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, Gary Oldman, Carla Gugino, BD Wong, Janet Montgomery

The first human born on Mars travels to Earth for the first time, experiencing the wonders of the planet through fresh eyes. He embarks on an adventure with a street smart girl to discover how he came to be. – IMDB

I’m not exactly understanding all the hate that this movie seems to get via the different site that I’ve looked at. To be honest, this movie is right up my alley. For one, it has an incredible cast, at least I’m a big fan of everyone here. Then it has this whole sci-fi premise of space and Earth. The idea behind the story is pretty nice as well. There are some glaring similarities to a lot of other movies, the one that I thought of first was Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart (Review), an animated film that I love a whole lot. To see competent young actor and actress like Asa Butterfield and Britt Robertson take over this pairing just warmed my heart because they are both constantly on my radar.

With that said, the music here is fantastic. The story here is a bit thin on the character development side of things and focuses on some cheesy teen romance thing, which worked for me because somehow these two have a good bit of chemistry and some really nice scenes. Plus, the whole fish of water thing always makes me feel incredibly entertained especially how they wrote up Asa Butterfield’s character even if he falls into those tropes of having some weakness to him but the fact that its because he’s born on another planet really makes it unique in its own way.

On top of that, you get Gary Oldman and Carla Gugino in this film who truly add quite a bit to the film in their roles. Its quite the adventure to see the whole chase from one thing to the next. There is romance but also a great deal of adventure that is where the bonding of the characters happen. Britt Robertson does play a very similar role to a few roles she’s done where she is a teen that doesn’t fit into the life that she is from. The key question here that is asked is “What is your favorite thing about Earth?” I think its a valid movie that uses this story to ask a deeper question about appreciating the things that we have around us that we take for granted. There are many layers to the story. Sure, it has its faults and there’s a ton of cheese and its fairly predictable but there’s also a lot of fun and adventurous moments here that work. Plus, it doesn’t take the normal teen romance type of bittersweet ending so I’m all for that.

That’s it for this double S feature for Valentine’s romance!
Both movies that have flaws but that I found a lot of enjoyment from!
Have you seen Secret or The Space Between Us?

Music Obsessions – April 2018

Music Obsessions

March is now behind us and Spring has arrived! I’m not sure that I’ve listened to a lot of new music lately but I am catching up on some nice stuff. Its been a while that my list has been listened on repeat so frequently with just those few songs. Plus, I’m going back to some music that I loved a ton from months ago and added some music that I had taken out back in. March has been great in some ways but a whole lot of soul searching. Maybe its the getting older that makes me think and reflect on life in general. Either way, when I hit those moments, I like to block out a lot of everything and find back my balance through music. This segment is supposed to be nice and fun so I’ll skip the drama and share some music I’ve loved this month.

Let Me Go – Hailee Steinfeld, Alesso ft. Florida Georgia Line, WATT

So why suddenly Hailee Steinfeld? Because I recently rewatched Pitch Perfect 2 and it kind of was nice background music as I caught up with a ton of blog housekeeping and putting together new graphics for the upcoming podcast. At the same time, she’s been on the radio whenever we’re in the car. Lots of reasons but I’m a fan of Alesso so this one peaked my interest and its really grown on me.

我們不一樣 We Are Not The Same – 大壯 Da Zhuang 

A rather sporadic discovery is this song which showed up in my recommended on the home page of Youtube. This song doesn’t only have a singer which has a really nice rough voice which adds to the strength of the song but the song lyrics itself is very well-written and is meaningful especially when the video emphasizes on its content by showcasing different in a certain city in China and the different professions. I love meaningful music that isn’t about love and heartbreak since its really not that frequent that we encounter it nowadays, or I’m just not searching in the right places.

Try – Jay Chou & Patrick Brasca

I haven’t seen Kung Fu Panda 3 yet and I have no idea whether this song was part of just the Asia/Taiwan/China release but its such a fun and cheerful song. Its been a while that I’ve visited Jay Chou music and he has such a high standard for the quality of music that he delivers that its really so great to get back into his newer music. Although I still have some immense love for his debut album or first few ones. He makes this music with like stories in its lyrics but of course, he really writes the music (which I always love the style) and has a great lyricist which I think writes a lot of his songs (at least most of the ones I love). Either way, this one, he teams up with a very young artist who is Taiwanese-Canadian called Patrick Brasca who fits into this songs fun elements.

告白氣球 Love Confession – Jay Chou

I probably should have reversed the song before and this one because its through this video that I found out about Patrick Brasca. The video here is adorable and not to mention, Jay Chou’s latest music that I absolutely love. In this entire Music Obsessions this time around, I’ve been listening the most especially since it makes me want to learn how to sing it. Jay Chou music is hard because of his ability to sing complex lyrics really rapidly. Mandarin is my second language Chinese dialect so sometimes its hard to get it all out however, I loved the challenge and maybe I’ll share a snippet of the singing one day ;).

Before He Cheats – Carrie Underwood

Finally song is Before He Cheats and it has to do very much with the first choice in this list because of Pitch Perfect 2 where the Barden Bellas go for the riff-off and Anna Kendrick follows with this song. Every time I watch Pitch Perfect 2 and it hits that part, I always end up bringing back this song since its really fun in general to listen to and sing.

Thats it for this month’s Music Obsessions!
What music have you been listening to?