I think it’s time I get things in motion. With the release of Leehom’s greatest hits compilation , I find it hard to believe that people will need a place to start wtih his music. But alas, if you are looking to get yourself into the world that is CPop — Chinese Pop Music, for those not in the lingo yet — what better way to get into it than Leehom Wang?
WARNING: Getting to know Cpop through Leehom Wang (王力宏) could result in terrible disappointment with the Cpop music industry overall, because he’s hard to top. Unless you’re willing to try more indie flare~
Unlike my beginnings with Jay Chou , I really can’t remember what was the first song of Leehom that I ever listened to, but I do remember being blown away by the music he describes as “Chinked Out” — but do not freak out. Though the word “chink” is pejorative, Leehom is taking it back and creating the fusion of Chinese music — usually opera, but he combines a series of traditional Chinese instruments — with different elements of Western music starting with hip hop, going through ballads, passing through rock&roll, and ending with autotuned pop.
With a discography that spans 13 years with 14 studio albums, four live albums and countless singles, Leehom Wang does seem to be the Music Man. He plays over 10 musical instruments including the guitar, drums, piano, violin, the erhu (two-string Chinese violin), the harmonica, the guzheng , and the zhongruan , among others.
He speaks English (he’s American, after all), Mandarin, some Cantonese, some Japanese and French. Plus, he’s hot and is such a great person. Did you know he’s adopted 10 children from Laos? What more can you ask?
Because his discography is so extensive, this Beginner’s Guide to Leehom’s Chinked Out will be focusing on 10 Leehom Wang songs of the upbeat (fusion, Chinked Out style) kind with an extra five songs showcasing his ballads. All in chronological order, divided by album, so we can all see the evolution and variety of his music.
Let’s get started~
Forever’s First Day (永遠的第一天)
狂想世界 (Kuang Xiang Shi Jie) – Fantasy World
Released in 2000 — 11 years ago! — Forever’s First Day is an album that is pretty hard to find nowadays. Despite Leehom’s humble idol beginnings, he began showing signs of greatness with tracks like Fantasy World.
You can actually check out a live version of a very young Leehom on YouTube.
The One and Only (唯一)
爱的就是你 (Ai de Jiu Shi Ni) – You Are my Love
The One and Only is one of the few, pun not intended, Leehom albums that was released in Japan — though it was released two years later in 2003 to promote Moon Child . It was predominantly a pop album with pop ballads and hints of R&B and pop rock, with hits such as this one:
谢绝推销爱的你 (Xie Jue Tui Xiao Ai De Ni) – Decline to Sell your Love
But with songs such as Decline to Sell your Love, Leehom also shows hints of wanting to venture into musical fusion.