Asian Airplane music

Hello, I’m in an airplane. Or well, I’m pretending to be in one.
It’s a short flight, but just lengthy enough to check some stuff from the on-board music collection. It’s an Asian flight, so let’s go and check out some recommended commercial music from Asia for informational ‘cultural’ exchange…
It’s something to do, hopefully occupying enough not to fall into a great depression that seemed to have infected the other flight passengers

^ depressed flight passengers

^ depressed flight passengers

so let’s get on cracking… What’s first… Make it so? William So!

1artist: William So
title: 28
keywords: Mandopop, music, pop, ballad
label: Capital Artists Music Limited

William So’ or as they call him in at some places ‘The Hong Kong Ballad King’ has indeed all the aspects of being a true power pop ballad singer. While listening to his album named ‘28’ my ears are easily filled up with his Exaggerate way of singing. Sometimes a vision of a block of cheese pops in my head upon listening, but in general I have to admit that this is not bad music, but at times just hits that feeling that makes me want to drop my pants and run around through the airplane in a shade of mental illness. I guess it has nothing to do with William So’ other than that I personally don’t really seem to be into it. It’s also might not help that I can’t understand the lyrics he sings in Mandarin or the three songs in Cantonese, but on the airplane music player they have been so kind to give some English translations of the track titles of the songs that I’m hearing. Things like ‘breakup’, ‘their own happiness’ ,‘no comment & feel happy then cuddle’ will probably give a bit of a clue what William So is singing about. I think it’s perfectly fine, and it isn’t hard to imagine a stadium filled with William So fans holding up lighters while they hear William So being their beloved ballad king, forcing tear drops out of their eye balls because they somehow get touched by the words that he sings.

I personally wouldn’t be found alive at such an event, but I do see the potential and do hear that there are probably lots of people who do want to be found at such an event; throwing possible worn undies to William So on stage in a polite way of appreciation for his beloved oeuvre. Of course his voice (that hits all the right notes; mind you!) gets accompanied by grand sounding music with instruments like a piano, guitar and other classy things. It wasn’t my thing, but do have to admit that the finger snapping in a song translated as ‘Idol’ was definitely the highlight of my time listening to William So.

1artist: Liang Bo
title: Liang Bo
keywords: Chinese, pop, rock
label: Sony Music

Okay, after having William So out of the way, there is suddenly something to hear that I recommend as it sounds actually fun! I’m listening now to an album done by Liang Bo, who is a Chinese pop rock singer-songwriter and also happens to be the winner of ‘the voice of China’, and admittedly the judges of this voice contest did a great job making him a winner as Liang Bo sounds great!
He sings with a cool, passionate raw throat on music that next to ‘good vibes’ I would like to describe as ‘rock with a twist of cowbell punk’! At times he reminds me of a Chinese version of Manu Chao, which considering Manu Chao being fun; is not only just a irrelevant name drop, but also a bit of a complimentary feather! His song ‘Gone’ is an instant ice-breaker; warm, passionate, energetic and actually quite inviting to join the energy. Also his calmer songs are sounding sincere and pleasant. Even though I can’t understand one word Chinese I really feel his vibe and style as one that can be enjoyed even without knowing what Liang Bo sings about. He comes across as a true poetic artist and with ease he erased the cheese of William So almost out of my short term memory. It’s kicking ass like Bruce Lee, his delivery is very cool, sounds (as far that I can tell) meaningful, perhaps respectful… I don’t know… Liang Bo is one artist to check out!
I couldn’t find a link to his debut album, but here is a video of him rocking live including the yells of wet fans:

1artist: Joanna Wang
title: midnight cinema
keywords: classical

Oh my god! Oh my god! This ‘midnight cinema’ album by Joana Wang is like listening to Disney music from the old days. You know the times of ‘Snow white’, ‘moonriver’ and ‘Cinderella’; the Disney soundtracks made out of orchestra music with strings, harps and an angelic soothing voice.
… It’s totally classic! As if this music is done years ago under the approving ears of Mister Walt himself! I must say it definitely got something special, a great way to dive into the sound of a youth sentiment & it sounds like the real thing! In the song ‘Alice in Wonderland’ you will be easily drawn into the forgotten times by a tambourine and the ‘once upon a time, over the rainbow’ voice.
I must say that I’m very charmed by the voice of this Taiwanese-American singer songwriter, but it’s also the music that does a great job at bringing the nostalgic magic of the old school times.

Even if Joanna sings in Chinese you can hear the joy she has in her voice,; I think it’s a billion times more pleasant to the ears than the sad sounding ‘the world is gone to hell, give me another bottle of expensive champagne’ Lana Del Ray singer songwriter. Thumbs up for the romantic cheese:

1Artist: Momo Wu
Title: Jiu Xian Zai Wu Suo Bu Zai
keywords: pop, mandarin, rock, rap

Momo Wu is another ‘Voice of China’ candidate attending the contest in 2012, making it to the final to end up second place. She is known for her sense of humor and own style; which had caused controversy but also had earned her a fan base.
She might have not won this competition but she gained a lot of success, winning ‘Singer of the Year’ and ‘Different Glamour Award of 2012, and at the Women’s media awards she also won 2012’s Female Model Award. I guess 2012 was her year, but her 2013 video for the single ‘Live For Now Momo’ broke the record for most watched video with over 200 million views..

In 2014 she released an album and I guess that’s the one featured on my airplane flight’s board computer… and you know what? This is actually quite cool!
but wait.. Let’s integrate this visual pop video before rumbling on:

It’s pop, featuring indeed a good voice, intertwined with a wild attitude and expressive music. A funky guitar, rolling and smashing drums! It’s as if I’m hearing a Chinese rock version of Nina Hagen who had left the opera bits behind and just went completely solid like a rock! There is also laid-back soulful stuff too on this album, complete with trumpets and swing, but it’s the voice that knows how to give even the cheesiest backing track something wild and sexy & talent toughness which totally rocks my socks! I guess she earned her success as Momo Wu rocks in a pop way! She is coming across as a natural talent and I felt my time being well spend listening to her while my flight is flying high through the sky.

1artist: Lillian Wong
title: Hear I Am
keywords: singer songwriter, piano, ballad

Next up in my on-board flight ‘music’ listening session is ‘Hear I Am’ by Lillian Wong.
It’s 8 tracks long and features the singer singing on a minimal piano that sets open to turn through cute corners into emotional ones. The music hits an affordable atmosphere of something pleasantly recognizable and yet I have no idea with what.

She sounds very believable, delivering hit after hit with the music tightly following a pop structure, while still keeping things real. (if that’s possible, that is..)
You can hear that it is done by someone who is in love with making music. No idea if Lillian Wong also wrote the music, but it’s pretty nice, with eye for details, sweet melodies and… well its nice. Let’s keep it tight and polite.
oh and here are some personal links:

2Artists: Kara
title: Fantastic Girls
keywords: pop, Jpop

I’m sorry I really wanted to review Fantastic Girls by South Korean girl group Kara but…
there is heavy turbulence shaking my chair in the airplane as if being in a roller-coaster with stones on the rails. The screen of the board computer is going in flashing glitch mode and the sound of music is temporarily unavailable. So we just presume it is ‘Fantastic’.

1artist: kenshi yonezu
title: yankee
keywords: rock, speedrock, pop, alternative,

Now we are going for some cool stuff! From Japan the board computer gives me Kenshi Yonezy, who appears to my ears as an alternative rocker that really seems to rock this plane and my ears!
The music is very energetic, funky, speedy, fun and (how about that?) interesting!
The instruments are sounding super tight, with wicked beats, cool and positive sounding vocals that sound healthy and pleasant!
Oh my gosh, If I knew about Kenshi Yonezu earlier on, I probably just listen to this album on repeat and forgetting all the others..
There is the wicked guitar, the splendid bass & all the other unidentified stuff that sounds rather excellent. There is simply never a dull moment, happy speedcore kindness for all your fun party music!

This is really talented stuff, just the enormous amount of energetic speed and the band being able to keep it tight is simply one thing to have respect for.
It’s simply wowing my little brain away on this high altitude. Just try to play this fast with a band and big chance you wont be able to make it sound as easy as Kenshi Yonezu makes it sound like.

This is pretty impressive happy making stuff if you’d ask me. Not that asking is needed, as I will write it all down here anyway…
Recommended stuff! You know ‘Asia got talent’ and its right here! Even the ballads are speedy! Check out ‘Yankee’ if you can find it, cause it’s pretty awesome!..

There was much more that I had reviewed in my little notebook but as it contains so many times the word ‘shit’ and ‘shite’ I just thought that we keep it nice and friendly, by leaving the worst stuff available in the airplane out of this post.. (you might want to thank me later..) Besides after Kenshi Yonezu, nobody would sound cool!
So this is it.. I’m putting my seat down.. take a nap and fly wherever I’m flying too..
Bye Bye friends!
Willem van O.

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