Earlier in the year I posted about Isabelle Huang Ling, a rising artist in the Chinese music industry with a talent for mixing unusual musical genres. Well, she’s back with a new album, titled Special (特殊). It contains mostly new songs (with 2 exceptions, High Song and Itch). This second album is dominated by a pop sensibility, which is probably due to her label trying to reach out to Taiwanese and other mainstream fans. Nonetheless, it’s still a great album with the stamp of individuality, and I’m sharing it here in the hope that you’ll support her in the future.
1. 小城故事 (Tales of a Small Town)
2. 特別 (Special)
3. HIGH歌 (HIGH Song)
4. 愛壞 (Love Bad)
5. 原諒 (Forgive)
6. 騎士 (Knight)
7. 太后 (Dowager Queen)
8. 癢 (Itch)
9. 不怕痛 (Don’t Fear Pain)
10. 靈芝緣 (Spirit’s Fate) featuring Zhao Zhi-gang, a master of Chinese Yue opera
I usually stay away from romantic melodramas (if you define staying away as watching through my fingers and pressing fast forward with extreme prejudice…) but Huang Xiaoming is in the lead role, and I love to look at him almost as much as I do pandas, so here I am.
It’s almost certainly going to end in flames and suicide threats (the drama, not me). Lay your bets, people!
You can tell she’s barely restraining herself from kicking him in the shins.
I was going to put a sad picture here, but why be depressed all the time?
Isabelle Huang Ling (Chinese name: 黄龄) came highly recommended from various people on Baidu, who use the words ‘criminally underrated’ and ‘creative’ in a music industry that often prizes looks over actual performance skills. Her musical style is indeed very unique, and she possesses a plaintive yet rich voice somewhat reminiscent of older Chinese folk traditions. Her songs are a blend of pop, R&B, folk and ballads – quite versatile.
I admit, her songs take a while to get used to, due to Huang’s highly distinctive style, but I like them, so I thought I would share.
Her signature song, and the eponymous single on her first album Itchy/痒 (released in 2007):
Live guitar duet for 夜来香/Fragrance of Night:
Just a reminder: my providing the songs here are purely for sampling purposes, if you do like her music, please support the artist by purchasing the album at Yesasia. This goes double for artists that are not as famous, so please don’t ‘hit and run’!
I am not back! I am so far from being back I feel like a large family of hippos just used me as a sofa cushion during a football game. (PSA of the day: make sure to sleep more than 3 hours per day. Otherwise you fall asleep on people. Perfect stranger type people.)
But uh, to spread the joy, have some music.
The album art is kinda … iffy. But whatevs.
01. 너 아니면 안돼 – Yesung
02. 불러본다 – Krystal, Luna
03. 스마일 어게인 – Yi Yun-jong
04. 너 였다고 – 제이엠(JM)
05. 내 사랑을 구해줘! – Pink Toniq
09. 그때 그 자리에
12. 마이너 왈츠
13. 느리게 걷기
16. 내 사랑을 구해줘! (Rock Ver.) – Pink Toniq
01. Mulan’s Star/木兰星 – Jane Zhang
02. Mulan’s Love/木兰情 – Stephanie Sun
I think everyone knows the story by now, what with the Disney adaptation, which was rather good given their usual idiocy. But anyway! China’s favourite female hero gets a serious live action treatment, with Zhao Wei starring as the eponymous general.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Hua Mulan, live action 2009, starring Zhao Wei.
Presenting Mulan, the fiercest of them all.
Okay, just, I’m sure y’all know this already, but the first few episodes of a sageuk is nearly always filled with what I call the path where the hero/heroine has to walk through a valley of angst and dead relatives before establishing themselves in a lifelong mission of finding out why. So, the bloodshed is expected?
*passes you pre-emptive tissue*
The reason I ask is because I changed the layout lately (if you’re on RSS or syndication you probably haven’t noticed yet). The reason is simply for better recapping, as this style has the widest columns of the ones I’ve tried.
I can’t change the colours, unfortunately, but if you have trouble reading, or other things you’d like to bring up, now’s the time.
Dong-yi: Episode 2
Hey, now that Photobucket has stopped kicking itself in the head, figuratively speaking, we can has screencaps.
Watching this scene, I was thinking about how awesome Dong-yi would be as Iljimae. Think about it, she’s just as smart as he is, has a very strong sense of justice, and no one would ever, ever suspect it.