Jay Chou [Fantasy] (Second Album)

February 23, 2009

愛在西元前 Love Before A.D. (Ài Zài Xī Yuán Qián)
爸,我回來了 Dad, I’m Back (Bà, Wǒ Huí Lái Le)
簡單愛 Simple Love (Jiǎn Dān Ài)
忍者 Ninja (Rěn Zhě)
開不了口 Can’t Speak (Kāi Bu Liǎo Kǒu)
上海一九四三 Shanghai 1943 (Shàng Hǎi 1943)
對不起 Sorry (Duì Bu Qǐ)
威廉古堡 William’s Castle (Wēi Lián Gǔ Bǎo)
雙截棍 Nunchucks (Shuāng Jié Gùn)
安靜 Silence (Ān Jìng)

The album starts off with 愛在西元前 Love Before A.D. (Ài Zài Xī Yuán Qián). Ah, this song always seems to pass over me, but I like it a lot. The arrangement is pretty calm, I like the tinkle like melody of it and how it makes me think of the city on a slow and bleak day. Jay’s vocals were surprisingly soft, but he did have a bit of emotion in his voice. It makes you think of a longing type of love. I adore how he took the song out, nice.

The next track on the album is the dreary 爸,我回來了 Dad, I’m Back (Bà, Wǒ Huí Lái Le). This is a rather personal song, as Jay talks about his mother and the abuse she suffered by his father. Its appropriately dark, the arrangement. Jay’s vocals during the verses reflects his anger and bitterness and perhaps his inability to do anything. The chorus shifts and he sounds sad and mournful and it makes your heart bleed. I like how the song ends with the sound of rain.

The next track on the album mellows things out with 簡單愛 Simple Love (Jiǎn Dān Ài). Ah, I love this song, it is just so sweet. The arrangement as well as Jay’s vocals and the music is as simple as the title suggests. This song makes me think of an innocent love, untainted by the world. It always fills me with a warmth and makes me smile from my heart.

The next track on the album is the up-tempo 忍者 Ninja (Rěn Zhě). Jay always has at least one song like this on his albums and they are always hit or miss with me. This would be a hit. I especially like the chorus, its pretty sexy.

The next track on the album is the down-tempo 開不了口 Can’t Speak (Kāi Bu Liǎo Kǒu). This track sounds so airy and windy and that’s only enhanced by the arrangement, which makes you feel like you’re standing outside under a blue sky with the wind blowing around you. Jay’s vocals are quite tender during the chorus and soft during the verses, though he did strain a bit which I found odd. I keep thinking this is suppose to be some sort of hopeful sunshine after the rain song, but it exudes such a depressing atmosphere.

The next track keeps the down-tempo’s coming with 上海一九四三 Shanghai 1943 (Shàng Hǎi 1943). This song brings me back to Love Before A.D. probably because of the similarity of the titles in a sense. The arrangement gives off a feeling of intimate longing, but it moves you. Jay put a lot of emotion into his vocals and even though they seemed all over the place like he couldn’t control himself, I still thought it was a good performance. This song seems rather sad as well.

The next track on the album is the slightly mid-tempo 對不起 Sorry (Duì Bu Qǐ). This has always been one of my favorite Jay Chou songs, I just love the whole flow of it. The arrangement is very clever and I can’t put my finger on it; guitar? Violin? Did I hear a piano at some point? Whatever it was it was nice. I love the way Jay chooses to sing this song, I mean its really hard to explain, but it was very interesting and certainly kept me engaged.

The next track on the album is the haunting 威廉古堡 William’s Castle (Wēi Lián Gǔ Bǎo). This song plays pretty darkly and certainly brings meaning to the title. The arrangement is so Phantom of the Opera or Count Dracula and gives off an atmosphere of being utterly alone. Jay’s vocal performance was very interesting, especially his tones during the chorus.

The second to last track on the album is the random 雙截棍 Nunchucks (Shuāng Jié Gùn). Er… hmm? I wonder what the point of this track was, since it seems to make no sense and sounds like an alternate more underwhelming version of Ninja.

The last track on the album is the down-tempo 安靜 Silence (Ān Jìng). This is not one of my more preferred ballads from Jay, in fact I hardly ever listen to it, but it is a good song. I love how simply sad everything is about this track, you get such a heavy feeling listening to this which is only enhanced by the amount of emotion prevalent in Jay’s tones as he sings this. This was a good ending to the album.

-GRADE: B+
Rating: **1/2 stars

Jay Chou’s third album Fantasy is a good album and definitely one of my favorites by him. Though this is a good album the songs don’t particularly stand-out. I mean of course we have the dark ‘dad, i’m back’ which speaks out on a personal level, so that’s sure to catch your attention and then we have ‘simple love’, ‘sorry’ and ‘silence’ which are the only other songs that really jump out at me, the others with the exception of ‘nunchucks’ just plays nice. Fantasy is course nostalgic because it was when Jay Chou was actually making good and meaningful music, instead of the stuff he’s putting out now, which is a far cry from what I’m use to from him. I’ll pop this in before Capricorn any day, seriously.

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