[music] aiyoh not bad… but it could have been better

jay-chou-aiyo-not-bad

 

I’ve been a fan of Jay Chou since 2005 (wah, it’s been 10 years?!) since his Incomparable album era. But as any Jie-lun fan would tell you, his music over the years has been a process of regurgitation.

Not to say that over the years, he has not spat out any good music. JC is still, after all, one of Taiwan’s top singer-songwriters, his albums still top the charts and he still performs to packed audiences during this tour. (He also sings better live–yes, he still mumbles, but his music is also best experienced live.)

However, the predictability of his music has turned away many. You listen to a new album and chances are, you’d be able to predict how the next track would sound. There is a pattern and it never fails. Every now and then, there would be a song that would stand out in the album, but in general, the music has failed to impress critics and offered nothing new to fans.

Sad to say, his newest album, Aiyoh Not Bad, is not any different. One would have thought he would veer from the path he has since stubbornly traveled considering he had two years to work on it since Opus 12. But unfortunately, it’s more of the same.

To be fair, there are efforts to experiment with new sounds like in the first track Yang Ming Shan, but the not-so-new-novelty soon tapers off as you listen to one track after the other.

This makes me wonder what has happened to JC. It’s normal to experience a plateau. If writers get writer’s block, musicians may also get it, even the best among them. But the thing is, this has been going on for at least eight albums now. It’s like getting a movie sequel eight times in a row, same cast, same plot, same filming set, same old story or in this case, same sound. Only the title changes.

On the other hand, it’s not bad to have a distinctive sound that when people listen to a song, they’d immediately say ~ oh, that’s Jay Chou’s style. Trademark is important especially for artists. But even brand logos reinvent themselves every now and then to keep the freshness and interest.

Still, I like seven out of the 12 tracks in the new album. Aiyoh not bad. Or maybe I’m just a creature of habit, sticking to the same sound all the time. My top favorites are What Kind of Man and Zen Me Le (with Cindy Yen). [The MV for What Kind of Man with Ariel Lin was shot in Verona, Italy; he’s a Europhile with a lot of his MVs shot in Europe.]

He’s also at his best when he mumbles sings ballads. Like I tweeted earlier, nobody does sad songs better than Jay maybe because he mumbles so you feel the pain. (He mumbles too much that in What Kind of Man, I swear I thought I heard him speak French.)

But the album could have been better.

Maybe Jay Chou needs new inspiration to be able to write new music. I’m hoping his marriage will bring something new to his musicality. Because truth is, it’s like being trapped in a boring marriage with the way his music has been going the past decade.

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9 thoughts on “[music] aiyoh not bad… but it could have been better

  1. I brought it in iTunes and it is a little better than Opus12 (only like 1-2songs) there. I am also Jay fan but his last 2 albums are bad compared to the others.

    Hey as you have the physical CD did you check if all the songs are composed by him? Recently his albums contains songs that which melody are not compose by him, or some song even lyrics are not from him or Vincent, so he is just singing it.
    Would be great if you can check and tell me.

    As his fan, who mostly concentrates on melody because I don’t understand mandarine much, I found out that most of the song I like are songs he compose the melody.

    So why don’t I like his 2 recent albums? Most melodies are average. In this new album there are 2-3songs which melody sounds similar to his old songs, and one has melody in the beginning which is similar to a song from HK Grashopper.

    Jay should seriously looks for young artists for his company who can help him make money.
    And not help his old dancing buddies or other friends debuting, which you can already forsee that they won’t make much profit (if not loosing).

    Maybe then he can concentrate more on his music and give us good music like his Album “November’s Chopin”

    • I also bought from iTunes. I’ve stopped buying his phsyical album since Exclamation Mark. I did not even bother with Opus 12 lol

      and I do agree with how he’s more preoccupied helping out his friends than coming up with better music. I guess he fancies himself as The Godfather lol

  2. I just hear the single today and to be honest i’m not really impressed. I follow Jay since long time ago and when he (finally) came to Indonesia for the first time i really excited and watched it. I love the melody in his song (like in Still Fantasy album which is one of the best from him) but when i heard his new song, i kind a disappointed. Maybe i’m a little bias because i don’t hear the whole album, but yeah that is my impression.

    Btw, thank you for the link for Tokio (in twitter). I enjoy the video so much! Arashi is so cute and Toma+Chinen so kawaii hahaha.

    • oh it’s you! you’re welcome XD

      which song did you listen to? I don’t even know what’s his lead track for this album hahahahaha though when I first listened to What Kind of Man, I found it flat. yet when I listened to it vis-a-vis the entire album, it ended up as my favorite.

      thanks for dropping by!

      • I listen Yang Ming Shan, not really like it. But Shoes Extra Large not bad. I like it. I’m suprised when i saw your blog and i found Jay Chou in it since i love Jay Chou too hahaha.

      • oh I don’t like Yang Ming Shan either though it sounds different from his previous first tracks (they all sound the same don’t they?).

        I like Shoes Extra Large too but it also sounds like another song of his lol well no surprise there though XD

      • Sounds different but not catchy in my ears. Yeah, it sounds the same but still better than Yang Ming Shan hahaha. Btw, is Ting Ba Ba De Hua in Aiyo Not Bad album?

        Maybe his marriage will help produce more good song in the future. I adore his musicality.

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