JJ Lin is out with his new album! I wasn’t really as psyched for this album because I wasn’t that into the quirkiness of his previous album, Sixology, so I had some doubts in this one. But it’s pretty amazing. He seems to have reconnected with his emo side with the title track. I lol-ed when I saw the cover because it looks awkward, his position and the fact that he’s showing off some leg. Had to tilt my head 90 degrees to reaffirm that it was really JJ lol.
Have a listen? Then it’s on to my review. 😀
Track 1 – X
I like the overall feel to this track, really good choice for the first song. The autotuned JJ voice was a bit of a damper for me though, because I’m not that great of a fan of autotune. There’s a little rap in English included here too, which was nice. But I felt it fit better with the English version of this song, Still Moving Under Gunfire (Track 12).
Track 2 – The Nth Hundred Days
This song has a permanent spot on my loop-the-loop playlist now. I really love the piano and instrumental at the beginning. Maybe he’ll collaborate with a philharmonic orchestra like Leehom did, he can definitely perform this song then. I was really moved by this song, from the first time I heard it. Then when I read the promo jacket for the album and found out that this song was written when he lost his voice. During that period, a day felt like a hundred days, which inspired to write this song. Awww. A singer losing his/her voice is like a surgeon losing control of his/her hands (ah you can tell I’m going a bit Grey’s Anatomy here), it must have been hard on him.
Track 3 – Go! (aka Jia You)
Kind of a bad translation here, because ‘jia you’ is a really difficult word to translate into English lol. Jia You is the type of JJ song that I like, with a very relaxed, laidback feel but yet he gets to show off his amazing vocals. MC Hot Dog get to show off some of his rapping skills here too, he’s featured in this song too and his rapping does go well with the song. MC Hot Dog raps in his own unique way, with a bit of a drawl. Kind of lazy but cool. 😉
Track 4 – Twilight
A short interlude is what it is. 😀
Track 5 – Obsession
Oh I hear some sax in this~~ woohoo. It’s another kind of ballady but relaxing JJ song. The range in this song is crazy though, I don’t think I can reach all those high notes lol. Another one for the loop-the-loop playlist =) and it makes me want to drop everything to just listen to it. Add a glass of wine to the picture and it’d be perfect.
Track 6 – Back to Back
Yay love the piano at the beginning again. I’m pretty much a sucker for ballads if they have nice piano melodies at the start, pardon me. This is again, another ballad for my loop-the-loop playlist. JJ is making an Mv for this track I think, good thinking. ^__^ This song is a little sadder though, compared to Track 2 which had sort of peaks and troughs in the mood, but Back to Back is just emo. Great song for the karaoke, great song if you are emo.
Track 7 – Copycat
Hey dey ah, everything I do, everything I say, and everything I dance ah, you copy me ah? Don’t like this you know! You think very funny ah, become like my shadow ah~
LOL finally a funky song! That was me transcribing JJ’s banter at the start lol, he was doing the Indian accent thing with the Singlish/Manglish tone, like he did in Gibberish from No.89757 (his third album). I like it when he does fun stuff like this, especially in the middle of the album where the mood starts to get a bit emo-ish. There’s more banter in the song, but shan’t give the rest away. And he gives a mock thank-you speech for his computer, who makes him sound perfect, lol. I like how he pokes fun at himself. XD
Track 8 – One by One
We’re back to relaxing ballads. This one has a softer melody so JJ’s vocals really shine here. I haven’t listened to this as many times as Back to Back or The Nth Hundred Days, but I think I’ll only love this more with each listen.
Track 9 – Love Chronicles
A slightly more upbeat song with some electric guitar thrown in woohoo! The feel of this song is kind of like No.89757, which is my second favourite JJ album, and it’s not bad.
Track 10 – The One
The translation for this track (from wikipedia) seems kind of weird, because it doesn’t reflect the mandarin title really, like Track 9. I think I hear some flute in this one, and I like it more than Track 9. It’s a bit more gentle, and the song is about how someone makes your world go round, which is very sweet.
Track 11 – Naruwan
JJ incorporated the use of the Taiwanese Aboriginal instruments in this one, which gives it a peaceful and serene feel to the song. His voice doesn’t overpower the naturally beautiful sounds of the traditional instruments as well. It’s a really nice song to listen to if you’re stressed out (like I am!).
Track 12 – Still Moving Under Gunfire
The English version of X. I expected him to do something different with the arrangements, like how Perfection and Down had the same melody but rearranged to two completely different songs conveying different things. I like it when he sings in English, because he does seem completely comfortable with English. The rap part of the song fits better with the rest of the lyrics, I feel.
Track 13 – Show Your Love
This is a duet with Liao Jun, which sounds a bit familiar but I can’t recall where I’ve heard this before. Liao Jun is from SiChuan, China, and I think she’s been in a commercial with JJ, perhaps that led to this collaboration. Her voice is sweet, and it’s a sweet duet song like JJ’s previous duets with Jin Sha and Charlene Choi. Nothing much out of the ordinary, I still prefer his first ever duet with Jin Sha, which was really cute.
Overall opinion: A rather ballady album in general but that’s what I love about JJ. He’s kind of staying away from the zhong-guo feng in this album, with the lack of chinese instruments in the songs, but I’m fine with it. (Leehom didn’t include a lot of Chinese elements in Heart.Beat either, I must say, so it’s a trend?) I still think Anson Hu rocks the zhong-guo feng best, but that’s best left for another time.
100 Days is kind of JJ going back to his roots, his beautiful vocals definitely suit these ballads well, who can not melt while listening to Back to Back or The Nth Hundred Days? The ballad overload will probably be looping around my playlist for quite a while. I feel contented. =D
And that’s almost 1200 words, without even trying. If only writing a thesis is that easy.