Sweetheart Olivia is finally back with her new album <等等 Wait A Little>! Although the theme for this album is also focused on love as was her previous album but I sense a very different atmosphere with this one. The thing that I love about Olivia is that although she usually focuses on the theme of love, she does it in such a way that she pinpoints the exact atmosphere, emotion or feeling within love that she wants to thread throughout the entire album and does it so well! In the case of this album, I think her focus is on a period after the initial romance, which is interesting because its kind of like a sequel to her last album titled <Romance>! Where the enthusiasm and excitement has died down a little but the love is always there! Olivia teaches us to wait and it's as if in this album she's saying: 'Why not wait a little? Watching the clouds go by, taking things a little slower, letting the world pass us by.' I believe that this album will not lose out to the last one, and here's to a successful album release Olivia!
Olivia once again starts off with a lighthearted track , <同化 Assimilate> with lyrics by the legendary Yao Ruo Long and music by Producer WILL PENG 仔仔, where the lightness of her voice, paired with the summery feel of the simple acoustic guitar with the scrapings on a drum mimicking the sounds of waves; the feeling of summer. The piano part jazzes things up and keeps it fresh, whimsical while the xylophone accents the cuteness factor of the song. Olivia's breathy but sweet backing vocals remind me of spring or autumn, and in your head you can just see the theme of the four seasons passing by with the song. After all, isn't that what waiting is all about? Compromising, rain or shine, so that you can stay closer together with your loved ones! The sweetness in the song is just enough to make me smile, without being sickly, probably due to the grungy guitar sound.
<等等 Wait A Little>, the second track obviously is the song that most encompasses the album. it is breathtakingly beautiful; a reflection on life. Olivia steps back and reflects, reviews and thinks. The lyrics for this piece are abstract but create the most beautiful imagery possible. Close your eyes and listen and you'll understand what I mean! The arrangement is very classic, piano, drums and a little guitar, strings even but that is what this is; a classic song that will never grow old, and I believe that you will find something new in it with every listen. But Olivia's voice is most definitely the star of the show here, taking over, and weaving through your soul with every breath, lifting you up, up, up towards the clouds. The backing vocals do well in this song, pulsing and receding, creating a cacophony of harmonies that are fit for heaven.
<不化装舞会 Dancing With No Makeup> was one of the songs that I was especially looking forward to hearing, because of its very interesting and mysterious, feminine name. And let me tell you, it has lived up to all the standards that I set for it, which does not happen very often, I assure you. I was amazed and really pleased to hear that Olivia had collaborated on the melody with CHEN XIN TING 陳信延 on the lyrics this time around. The song is seductive, mysterious, exciting and most of all, not without a huge dose of rebelliousness. The impulsivity of this song is its selling point, especially shown in the lyrics which are about being yourself, hence the name. Being able to dance without makeup on, being yourself is something that not many of us can do. But Olivia tells us that we look just fine without any on. Just be yourself, and everything will follow. The arrangement, and the melody play hard on the seductive quality of the song, and I applaud Zai Zai's creativity on the arrangement and production of this one, as he's hit the nail squarely on the head, choosing to go with a very Spanish feel for the song, connotating playful sexiness and rebelliousness. This song is something very different for Olivia, who usually goes for more jazzy/easy listening music, but it is a welcome change and has shown me another side of her and a whole new dimension for her voice and vocal range.
Genre-wise, Olivia's <对了, 我错了 That's Right, I'm Wrong> is another one similar to this, a very powerful song showing off Olivia's vocals, interestingly with a dub-step kind of influence to really give it that extra rhythmic push which makes all the difference. It's a song about self-doubt, and trying to find yourself. I also hear that it is one of fellow labelmate and friend Anthony Neely's favourite songs on her album! At this point in the album, I find that Olivia is making a really strong point thus far through her music by choosing many different situations in <我在想 I'm Thinking>, <不化装舞会 Dancing With No Makeup>and <对了, 我错了 That's Right, I'm Wrong> to show that being yourself is the most important. A bad lover, hiding your face behind a mask for the world, self-inflicted pain and self doubt; all these are situations that no doubt many of you have experienced first hand. Olivia explains to us that all you need, to overcome these things is to be yourself. And to do that, you need to learnnhow to step back, and wait. as she says, "陪我灵魂等一等我 Accompany my soul to wait a little for me"; we must do the same.
And now we come to my favourite song on the album, <我在想 I'm Thinking> with more input by Olivia, who wrote the tongue twisting lyrics that show off her amazing breath control and vocal skills in general. The melody is really unique and I just can't get enough of it. The thing I like about these lyrics is that there is no sitting on the fence; in the lyrics Olivia sings 'the problem is you' and sometimes that really is the case. No bittersweet parting on both ends, staying friends or blah blah blah. Life is unfair and she shows that sometimes, someone has to be the bad guy. Once again this song is about being yourself, and doing what is best for you. The song itself has a really refreshing atmosphere and is a little playful in the verses with a light and clean feeling created by the catchy and genius riffs on the acoustic. During the chorus, it lends Olivia's words a little more strength with the addition of the electric guitar; its darker fuzziness of the chords makes a perfect combination with the melody in the chorus where Olivia shows her prowess in vocal control with the abrupt change in the height of the melody. With the last few rounds of the chorus, Olivia really brings it home with the electric guitar, addition of the tambourine and a really cool kind of vocal round going on. It's a little bit country, a little rock, just the way I like it.
Now we come to the more relationship-centred part of the album with a few slow ballads , <幸福记号 Memories Of Happiness> and <爱够了 Loved Enough>. <幸福记号 Memories Of Happiness> is a ballad that has a really great sense of build up to it and beautiful lyrics that also connotate to this theme of growth. A really classy, elegant song that to me really reflects a part of how I see Olivia. With a simple snare pattern and chords on a piano, it starts off slow and adds on the acoustic guitar for a greater atmosphere of reflection and finally the strings, and off they go. This is one of the most beautiful songs on the album that has an indescribable air about it but it is the perfect song for Olivia and I could not picture anyone singing it better than she does. That pure, clean tone of her voice combined with her dulcet lower vocals with Zai Zai's backing vocals reminds me of legendary singers WANG LEE HOM 王力宏 and DAVID TAO 陶喆's use of similar backing vocals.
<爱够了 Loved Enough> is a piece that does not share the previously mentioned sense of elegance to it, but what it does have is sincerity, and a whole lot of it. Props also for the addition of Chinese traditional elements. Olivia's pure and sweet voice works really well with the extremely bittersweet lyrics of this song. Olivia sings this song really with the exact feeling that the lyrics are trying to express; as if she is really speaking to a lover, with a feeling of defeat as if both understood that it was time to say goodbye. The taste of bittersweet parting is almost tangible in this song, which is simple and heartfelt. Her voice is soothing and acts like a salve to heal the wounds of those who've been jilted in love, but at the same will remind of the past and the presence of the pain.
On the surface, this may seem like a bring sweet album, but like the strawberry pink colour of the album, strawberries are both sweet and sour; with a stronger and more resilient flavour than you might expect. I am so proud of Olivia on this album, she took it so much deeper on the concept than I could ever imagine, and I recommend each and every one of the songs on this album to listeners everywhere. She performs a FLAWLESS transition into a complete Chinese album and she is a brilliant artist and performer.