01. #MWHYB: the beginning
03. IKYK ( I Know You Know) ft (孟佳 Meng Jia)
04. BASS GUN
05. 屬於你和我之間的事 Faded Pictures
06. 蹦蹦 BOOM ft (Khalil Fong 方大同)
07. 玻璃屋 Glass House
08. 下一首情歌 One Last Smile
09. 愛是你 愛是我 All of My Life
10. Westside feat. brandUn DeShay (English)
11. #MWHYB (English)
Review by: CP
Interview material taken from: Jamie Deer (Yahoo Streetvoice)
It has been three years since Vanness Wu’s last album, and this time around he is back with his eighth CPop album, #MWHYB. It is nice to see Vanness back on the scene as the only member of F4 still actively making music after all these years. He has certainly reinvented himself time and again, and he continues to do so in #MWHYB.
The unique hashtag title translates to “Music Won’t Hurt Your Body”, which in many ways personifies and depicts the overall theme of this album. In that, if I had to summarize #MWHYB in one sentence, it would be an album filled with music that simply makes you feel good. It contains tracks evoking different feelings for its listeners, including sentimental, upbeat dance and futuristic sounding feels. Aspects of the album also encourages the listener to be open in exploring and appreciating different genres of music such as Funk and Soul.
In a Chinese interview with Jamie Deer for Yahoo Street Voice, Vanness said “a lot of this album was organically produced, without much restraint or hard structure”. He says “his new way of doing things is to be comfortable and appear natural in whatever he is doing.” In a lot of ways, I think the audience really gets to witness this idea in #MWHYB.
02. I Don't Know
04. Home Remix feat. 40
Diana Wang has undergone a huge transformation as an artist since she first stepped onto the scene back in 2013. When I first set my eyes upon the Netherlands-born beauty, she was almost unrecognisable under a huge mop of hair and an offering of songs too varied for listeners to truly make sense of who Wang was as an artist. After leaving Warner music and a bit of time off, Diana, now signed with Cros Music is going back to her love for R&B music, starting with her new EP ‘Diana Wang’. The EP includes four tracks which give audiences just a little teaser of what is to come, namely her chart-topping single ‘HOME’, its remix version, as well as two other songs, ‘I Don’t Know’ and ‘Heartbeat’.
Although not much by way of a fully fledged concept (which is very understandable as it is just an EP at this stage), the EP offers a tasting platter of delectable gems which show off Wang’s clear, sweet vocals. However this time around, the focus is not on versatility, but on establishing Diana’s chops for the R&B genre in particular. ‘HOME’, the first single was a surefire crowd-pleaser, with lyrics that wax nostalgic against the backdrop of a simple piano and electronic beats arrangement. The bite to this song lies in its catchy melody, written by top-notch producer Skot Suyama, but also in Wang’s soaring meslismatic trills which are peppered throughout the song. Although some may find it a little too much, I believe such variations to conventional melodies are what keep people listening over and over again, so it in fact works in Diana’s favour. ‘HOME’ is certainly not an easy song to sing, but Diana pulled it off with aplomb, her voice thick with yearning as she sings of the conflict between chasing her dreams and coming home. (For a more in-depth analysis of the single, see my single review for Hello Asia)
Review by: CP
Editor's note: Very excited to be working with Asian Pop Weekly's new contributor CP who has recently joined the APW team! This is his debut on the site, and also his first review ever! Welcome CP, and here's to many more album reviews!
2016 was a year of major change for Khalil Fong. After leaving his old record label, he embarked on his own cultural entrepreneurial journey by launching his own independent label - Fu Music.
This makes Journey to the West (JTW 西遊記 ) a very special double album! Not only does it celebrate his 11th year in the music industry, it is also the inaugural album for his newfound independent record label. Many of us may be disappointed to hear this but it might be the last full album of music we get to hear from Khalil for a while. As mentioned on his Facebook page :
“For the time being this will be the last full album of original works. I am in the process of evolving and re-shaping. There is an abundance of creative diverse ideas in the pipeline from both myself, my team and affiliates and I look forward to seeing these realized to their full potential.”
It is uncertain what he means exactly by “evolving and reshaping” but we can probably expect to see him come out with other forms of creative work in the near future. Regardless, of what the future holds, Khalil fans should definitely listen to this album and cherish it for the time-being!