Crafted mandopop with a folk twist.
The video is a selection of live performances from Tan Weiwei, a singer from China. I'll talk about a few songs below.
The first track "Give you a little colour" / 《给你一点颜色》 endearingly blends rock with street theatre music in a way guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Ms. Tan's ability to belt out the rock lyrics is amazing.
This is my favourite version of the song. Apparently, there was a plagiarism controversy with the lyrics - they are too similar to a poem. However, I don't like updated versions of the song as much. Maybe it's because my limited Mandarin can follow along most of these words.
I love the playful blending of musical styles in an extremely crowd-pleasing form. The key thing for folk and pop music is that it must be easily enjoyed. I think "Give you a little colour" fits the bill while still exciting those looking for something extra.
If you want to hear some Mandopop, then you can listen to the rest of the selection, but I'd like to point out a few select songs."Ulaanbaatar Nights" /《乌兰巴托的夜》features backing by the Mongolian folk group Hanggai. The lyrics start the evocative scene with "You went so many years ago. You are still with me." The song begins gently and gradually the memories swirl into a stormy intensity. This is carefully crafted as her pop voice slips into traditional vocal sounds as her feelings take over. The song ends with her questioning everything about the world before crescendo-ing into a Tibetan wail and then coming full circle with an emotionally cracking voice accompanied by the wind and chimes. This song seems to attract the onion ninjas and they attack in full force during her full tibetan wailing.
Hanggai's role in this song is also perfect; backing vocals, throat singing, instruments and a quiet solo just before the bridge. I'll do a post on Hanggai later.
Bouns fact: As a youngster, Ms. Tan was not doing so well in her music studies until she was discovered and trained in Tibetan singing. You can hear how she moves effortless between pop, rock and traditional music in this selection.
《开门见山》"Make a point" (literally. open door see mountain) showcases Ms. Tan's rock voice. It sounds like she might have a sore throat but still manages to belt out the song especially during the build up at the end. This is during a song contest and you see the other contestants react as she hits her big note. I'll just link to this video because I don't super love this song but it does demonstrate her capabilities.
An honourable mention goes to her very conceptual rendition of "Blue Lotus" /《蓝莲花》 made perfect with modern rock, space-age synths, some traditional voicing and chant-like lyrics in the middle. This is a confident performance that hides a lot of talent. It sounds like a cyber age song of worship. While I like Ms. Tan's version, my favourite cover of Blue Lotus will have to wait for another post.
After "Blue Lotus", let the last track play. The production in this last song is perfect with traditional instruments accompanying an aggressive and choppy metal bassline. You'll be well rewarded with oodles of musical detail if you turn the volume up just a bit.
You can easily listen to this Top.10 from start to finish. But I don't recommend this compilation as a soundtrack to your work because some of the songs just demand your attention to hear them in their full layered beauty.
Let me know what you think in the comments. Also, I'd love to hear your recommendations for music I should listen to. Thanks and see you next time.