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
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
What’s up with all the mini-albums lately? Anyway, here’s the first part of the OST for Personal Taste, which starts airing this week, actually.
01. 말도 안돼 – Younha
02. 빗물이 내려서 – Kim Tae Woo
New album from S.H.E.
02. 如果你是女孩 (If You Are a Girl)
03. 我愛雨夜花 (I Love Flowers on a Rainy Night)
04. 兩個人的荒島 (Deserted Island for Two), Duet with Judy Zhou
05. 少了一個人 (Missing One Person)
06. 收留我 (Take Me In)
07. 超可能 (Very Likely)
08. 愛上你 (Falling For You), theme song for Down With Love
09. 你不會 (You Won’t)
10. 愛就對了 (Love is Right)
Given that there are only 3 songs, I’m guessing this is part 1 of many.
1. 그대 인형 – 써니 [소녀시대] (Sunny/SNSD)
2. Love Is – 포맨 (4men)
3. 못났죠 – 조성욱
I’ve been experiencing rage blackouts every time I’ve seen the Roman Polanski debate (why is this even a goddamn debate??) online, from the time he was arrested up to the outpouring of celebrity support until a few days ago when they announced that he might get off on the possibility of judicial misconduct.
People, this is a man, who, more than 30 years ago, used his position as a famous director to drug and force a 13 year old girl into having penetrative sex with him.
That means rape. What’s more, he admitted it at the trial. And yet some really famous Hollywood names have stood by him, as if to say that rape isn’t an issue because he also happens to have made Chinatown and a couple of other great movies.
Look, I’m not invalidating his achievements. But he committed a CRIME and was sentenced for it. His way of facing justice was to run away for more than 30 years, enjoying luxury and fame, and basically having all the amenities of upper class life at his fingertips. He had a wife and children, and possibly the only indignity he ever suffered was not being able to pick up his Oscars in person.
I’m sorry, what part of that was actually any sort of punishment for being a rapist?
If he’d already served his sentence and people were going after him in some witchhunt, I would understand everyone speaking up for him. BUT HE RAN AWAY.
And now they want him to face up to what he’s done, and like a coward, he’s staying at his chalet, waiting for a team of lawyers to rip into a woman who is so traumatized by the experience and the media’s derision that she’d much rather just forget everything and move on.
Yeah, good luck with that, Roman Polanski. You have money and fame on your side, but I hope you burn in hell.
I’ve maintained radio silence on the subject here because every time I try to write I end up with a bunch of capslock keymashing, not exactly conducive to uh, discourse. But really, I couldn’t stay silent anymore.
(And don’t get me started on Terry Richardson.)
Down With Love is possibly the only Taiwanese idol drama I made my way through without retching, and uh, in honour of that, have the opening and closing themes!
Opening Theme: 只想赖着你 (Zhi Xiang Lai Zhe Ni/Only Want to Lean on You), Jerry Yan
Closing Theme: 只为爱上你 (Zhi Wei Ai Shang Ni/Only to Love You), S.H.E.
BBC generally does an outstanding job on its soundtracks for its mini-dramas (especially the Austen ones) and this one was no different. The drama itself is beautiful and charming, and I’d recommend a watch.
You can listen to a sampling of the tracks here.