Kenji Wu's finally back with his third album <On the way to the stars>! The album was released on the 10th of April, and is touted as his comeback album after a three-year hiatus. This album's going to be a little different from Kenji's previous works as expressed by the singer-songwriter himself. Kenji stated that he's wanted to try the genre of brit-rock ever since his first album, but did not have the tools to do so then. He also expressed that he is happy that he is finally able to use this genre in his latest album, which likewise has a 'cool'(literally) theme of space and time.
Here's a little excerpt from the press release:
Translation: Since he was young, Kenji loved bands such as Coldplay and Travis, and always hoped to move towards the genre of brit-rock which he felt was full of potential with an air of cloudy depression, but yet also with the power to move people and give them strength through its music. Earlier on he had already wanted to try out this genre of music, but always felt that his skills were not enough. After finishing his previous album and after feeling that he and his production team had broken some barriers, Kenji finally began to try out brit-rock arrangements. In order to achieve the images of his music he had in his head, in terms of arrangements and production he took almost two years to do so, meticulously organising every sound and element, even in terms of the arrangement collaborations, the sound engineer was deeply moved by his music.
Well, there you have it! I hope that Kenji's experimentation with brit-rock, a genre I really enjoy turn out wonderfully, and can't wait to hear more myself! But for now, here are the first two singles he's released...
kenji wu's first single: You are my jupiter
Kenji Wu's second single: no pain no love
Kenji Wu's 2015 album <On the way to the stars> will be released on the 10th of April, and can be pre-ordered as of the 18th of March from Books.tw.
I definitely appreciate the lyrics for this Gem song; I feel like not that many artists have ever touched on this topic of long-distance love in a way that Gem has, and it does present an interesting concept despite the worn-out nature of the theme of love in general. In terms of the melody fo this song, Gem's hit it right on the mark with its likeability, but once again its nothing new from Gem's previous ballads. Arrangement-wise though , I'd probably have some choice words for Gem's producer and arranger Lupo Groinig, who was recently featured in an article where he asserted his aim to make Gem the first big asian artist in the US. Groinig might say that he's mixing a fusion of Eastern and Western elements together to create Gem's music as something that's enjoyed by everyone, but to me all that he's borrowed is the US pop music scene's lack of creativity and a tendency for repetition. The hook in the piano arrangement sounds very similar to the one he created for Gem's cover of Beyond's <喜欢你>(Like you), and the instruments used are the same in every one of Gem's song's I've heard arranged by Groinig-piano fuelled arrangement with a little violin thrown in for good measure. Overall, not the most creative song I've heard, but 2 million views to date is no joke. I'm putting it all down to the addictive melody written by Gem.