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Old 02-07-2009, 08:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A-Mei - Maybe Tomorrow (2004)

N.B: I don't know how many people will actually look at this, but I'm bored so I thought I give actually reviewing an album a whirl.... Here are the results


A-Mei (張惠妹) - Maybe Tomorrow (也許明天)
2004



01. 愛是唯一 (Ai Shi Wei Yi)
02. 火 (Huo)
03. 發生什麼事 (Fa Sheng She Ma Shi)
04. 你好不好 (Ni Hao Bu Hao)
05. 關鍵時刻 (Guan Jian Shi Ke)
06. 也許明天 (Ye Xu Ming Tian)
07. 只愛高跟鞋 (Zhi Ai Gao Gen Xie)
08. 那魯灣情歌 (Na Lu Wan Qing Ge)
09. 過不去 (Guo Bu Qu)
10. 誰與爭鋒 (Shei Yu Zheng Feng)

Bonus Track
11. 神采飛揚 (Shen Cai Fei Yang)
12. 魅力十足 (Mei Li Shi Ju)

A-Mei Chang (張惠妹), By the time this album came out she was already known as a 'diva' of Mandarin pop music scene and the "Pride of Taiwan" and it really is not hard to see why. The woman's voice is amazing and she really shows it off in this album. She's commonly been known as a 'Pop' singer, but I think that term has just been used because of how popular she is, because this album is far from being a generic pop album.

We start with the track 'Ai Shi Wei Yi', a strange mix of folk, rock and country, with some well-placed synths thrown in there for added effect. A strong track to start an album with, powerful and you can really hear the gravelly, rough tone that she can bring to her voice when she wants to. The song starts off slow, but then it really gets into it and you're left into breathless and eagerly anticipating the next track.
'Huo', a strange choice as the follow-up to a previously powerful rock track, almost hip-hop fused with electronic, possibly could be counted as trip-hop if I'm not mistaken, either way a very optimistic song but a bit of a low-point on an otherwise amazing record.
Now we get to one of my favourites 'Fa Sheng She Ma Shi' and you start the track almost thinking you stepped into the 1970's, a definate classic rock feel, absolutely jaw-dropped, very optimistic. There's a whole range of techniques, instruments and irrestibly catchy moments during the entire song. Definately one to get the crowd going, her voice is perfect for a song like this, powerful, rough, unique, everything you want really.
'Ni Hao Bu Hao', after all of that excitement with 'Fa Sheng She Me Shi' we come to our first ballad of the record. A very soft piano-lead beginning, her voice still retaining that rough edge to it. As we get more into the song she appears to gain an entire orchestra behind her and it becomes somewhat of a soft-rock ballad. An emotional song and very nice to listen if you just want to relax.
Next we're given another primarily rock-track 'Guan Jian Shi Ke', not one of my favourites and here we're presented with a male voices in the background. It's the type of song perfect for a concert, but on an album it kind of loses that edge.
Then straight onto 'Ye Xu Ming Tian', I'm not quite sure what to make of this one. At first it sounds almost like a ballad, complete with orchestra and backing choir, but then it becomes much more rock-based, gaining so much more power and the likability factor increases dramatically. It's a give and take type of track, easily skippable but not bad to listen to.
Now we come to one of the most enjoyable tracks on the album 'Zhi Ai Gao Gen Xie'. This song is so much fun. Almost 50's-based in sound, the sort of song you find yourself sticking on and just want to dance and clap to. It's so catchy and I continually find myself humming along to it. An un-forgettable track and the little guitar-solo in the middle is just, again, so much fun.
Now for my all-time favourite song from A-mei, 'Na Lu Wan Qing Ce', words cannot begin to describe how jaw-droppingly, smeggingly amazing this track is. Based off what sound like an ancient chinese chant, she makes it explosive. The guitars mixed with the traditional Chinese instruments, add with the choir in the background who sound like they're training for a fight and topped with her, as usual, extremely powerful, gravelly vocals and it will just blow you away. If you only want to hear one song from this album... make it this one and you won't be disappointed.
After all of that she treats us to a piano-lead ballad in the for of 'Guo Bu Qu', a sweet little song, great for relaxing and being at peace, a bit forgettable, but there's no denying the emotion that comes with this song, her voice is soft and tranquil and it just makes for some easy-listening.
After that little break from the powerful songs she then gives us another one with 'Shei Yu Zheng Feng', an interesting song, almost pop-rock in nature, but much more unique. Again she mixes traditional instruments with more modern ways and it comes together in an almost perfect way. She's very good at making song that are generally positive and optimistic. It's the sort of song you find yourself tapping along to. In the middle there's a weird choir bit which is almost funny in a way, definately something that makes for a more interesting listening experience.

Now for the bonus tracks. 'Shen Cai Fei Yang', it would seem out of place if not for 'Huo', but it is much better than 'Huo', the backing tracking sounds simple at first until you listen carefully to the amount of backing tracks there are in it. It's just a fun song, quite quiet in comparison to the rest of the album.
And finally 'Mei Li Shi Ju', an epic 10 minute-long track which sounds like it should be two tracks. It might well be, I don't speak Chinese but it's listed as track 12. Anyway, it starts off with a fun, fast-paced pop-rock based track, a song to show off her vocals and just to be generally fun. Then we merge into a very very slow, soft track. I wouldn't say it's actually the best song to end an album with. Just an acoustic guitar and her voice, whih is still very lovely I have to say. It sounds like it could be live but I can't be sure.

An odd way to end an album, but still very very good.
This album is almost perfect. There are no tracks that I would class as being un-listenable, maybe some skippable but nothing bad. As a whole this album is akin to thrill-ride, with a couple of breaks in between. Fast-paced, loud and undeniably catchy and brilliantly executed. Her voice is versatile and such a pleasure on the ears.

I give it 9/10



(That was longer than I thought it was going to be.... ah well... I wonder if any one will read it... hmmmm)
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Really well-written review. I'd be lying if I said I'd heard of her before - the only Japanese music I actually have is that of Ryuichi Sakamoto (and not very much of it at that). Judging by your review this album's probably something I should be checking out sometime.

Good job.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Major kudos for you to promote music that is rarely talked about on MB and for your first review it was pretty good.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you.... to the both of you that is

I think I'll make it my mini-mission to inform people about the lesser know artists on this forum

I have another review on the way.... my new Koda Kumi album came in the post today.... so expect a review on that soon
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaseNumber:825 View Post
I think I'll make it my mini-mission to inform people about the lesser know artists on this forum
It'd be cool to hear some more music from the East, but I confess I don't have much patience for this kind of stuff.

Have you listened to much of the Japanese avant-garde community? A great number of them (most notably Boredoms) are rather innovative and unique.
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucifer_sam View Post
It'd be cool to hear some more music from the East, but I confess I don't have much patience for this kind of stuff.

Have you listened to much of the Japanese avant-garde community? A great number of them (most notably Boredoms) are rather innovative and unique.
I've heard quite a bit of them.... I'm not that sure about it.... none of it is bad per-se.......... but it's not really what I like to listen to in my free time
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Aw, shucks.

Good review anyways. It's great to see people with different taste in this forum.
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