by now, everyone would know qu wanting, the harbin girl who made waves all over mainland china, in recent months.
she has yet conquer taiwan, HK, MY and SG, but it is just a matter of time.
it is time we talk a bit about her debut, which was released under universal music.
her debut which is actually a combination of new and old songs. she has formerly released an english album under netwerk, her canadian music label. due to the different production timeframe, the whole production does not sound cohesive as it should be but it is sufficient to stamp wanting's authority in song composition.
right from the first song "life is like a song", wanting opens with a big and chirpy melody that immediately brightens up your day, sing-along and dancing all at once. it is a celebration of life and love, that's the power of her music.
"drenched", the movie soundtrack from romance-comedy "love in the butt", is superbly romantic and lush, and filled with plenty drama. remember britpop band keane's "somewhere only we know", the song that's always picked for romantic comedies and always being played at the end of the movie when the two lovers re-unite? "drenched" is smart and manipulative, it is as if wanting knows that she is writing this song for a box-office romantic-comedy movie. this song alone is enough to propel wanting to super league. cleverly written, cheekily manipulative and so very good.
"anxiety", hideaway" are all smart compositions that are big and lush, making connection with listeners instantly with its catchy choruses and easy accessibility. indeed, wanting's biggest strength is her connection with the listeners; her tunes are instantly likeable, instantly sing-along.,
the second half are all mandarin songs, with a couple of the english songs replaced with chinese lyrics. admittedly, her mandarin singing is not as great and as natural as her english. even the chinese version of "drenched" is not half as good as the english version.
if we have to nit-pick, it is the arrangement which is way too "poppish" and a bit lacking of texture. it would be great if they reduce some digital stuff and use acoustic instruments. we are sure by doing so, it would add depth to wanting's superb compositions. as it is, the arrangement is just like another pop album, way too loud and artificial.
however, as a debut, this album is more than enough to showcase wanting's immense talents. it is especially apparent that curernt chinese pop does not have anyone who is near to this standard.