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?

TV Binge: Who’s The Murderer 明星大侦探4 (Season 4, 2018)

Who’s The Murderer (Season 4, 2018)
明星大侦探4

Cast: He Jiong, Benny Sa, Angel Wang, Bai Jing Ting, Emma Wu, Liu Haoran, Zhang Ruo Yun, Wei Da Xun, Justin, Seven Tan

No. of Episodes: 13

**With that said, instead of the poster, I added in the full playlist of the series. Its backwards to scroll to the second last video to see episode 1 and turn on the CC for English subtitles.**

Let’s start off right away that I have never seen Who’s The Murderer Season 1 to 3. Its only been since last year in July that I started getting into the TV series/dramas & variety shows from China. With that said, after watching The Chamber of Secrets Escape (Review), Who’s a Murderer was even more up my alley. The best part is that it had these twists and turns in their stories and the investigations was cool. Plus, the set and stories they always did added intrigue but also a lot of logic and problem solving and analytical sort of thinking. It relied especially in the final episode on (what I believe) an unscripted way to twist and turn throughout the situation for the murderer to not be discovered with whatever tactics they can use. Who’s the Murderer is a lot like an elaborate version of this party game called Wink Murder or Killer (whatever you call it, I’m not too sure…) but instead of a circle, it adds in these Clue elements and sometimes, escape room elements.

One great element of this is its setting. They build these fantastic sets as a backdrop for each of their things. Sure, its mostly just rooms mildly divided in some cases to show the different characters and their rooms. The structure of the game is also quite good. The first part is establishing and discovering the “body”, then introduction of the characters and their timeline, the first collective search, the first collective analysis, the detective’s solo (secret) vote on who’s the murderer, the second round of collective search, 1 on 1 with detective, final collective analysis and final vote for everyone and then the reveal whether they successfully voted the murderer to go to “jail”. Its usually the search and the analysis that makes for a lot of fun moments. The other part of this which is great especially being a variety show (and something China does particularly well) is the focus on society and how each of these stories focus on some element of society and people whether its relationships, idols, love, families in regards to revenge, trust, loyalty, etc and how a lot of these cases sprouted from an extreme negative thought or self-preservation or whatnot and they reflect on these cases at the end.

who's the murderer

As for the cast here, there are a few regulars and then every episode has some guests that only pop in to participate. He Jiong is a super popular and talented host for Happy Camp and an array of variety shows in China, prominently on Hunan TV so since that is mostly where I watch variety shows, I’ve grown to really appreciate him and in this, he is really talented especially when he is the “killer” he can almost always avoid being caught. The other is Benny Sa who I’ve never seen in anything before but he is also quite comedic and very analytical but sometimes has this silliness to his theories and guesses. The younger semi-regulars is one of the reason that I started this and that is Bai JingTing who I first saw in a TV drama (which I haven’t written up yet) and through this I’ve known a few other semi-regulars that I honestly really like a lot too.

who's the murderer 4

There is a lot of after editing on these shows and probably a lot is cut out of the whole episode but there is a great post-editing effect for it to make it very mysterious and suspicious. A lot of the mysteries have a lot of twists and the character have their own depth. It also brings up a lot of questions on right and wrong and morals and ethics. For a variety game show style, it definitely has more depth than most. Plus a lot of times, it also gives the audience watching an outlet to analyze the case with what they have found and always reveal at the end whether they found the evidence that solidifies who the “murderer” is. The first two episodes and the final episodes are the most awesome ones. Its nice to see how they incorporate some spinoff on popular movie backdrops as well as different genres such as time travel elements and whatnot. Its a very colorful show to say the least and while there are a few little stumbles and some episodes are slightly more predictable (which is a rare occasion), its one that, I would assume, has gone through  a lot of polish and it shows because its highly entertaining and really fun to get involved to make your own guesses while watching it. I like that element of it the most as it becomes very immersive.