Sunday, 20 May 2012

Chou Style: 中国风 meets R&B, Rap, Rock and the Rest!

In my previous (and first) post on Chou style, I introduced mainly the Chinese style ballads but amongst them were two which were rather different viz Wife and Nunchucks.
Continuing on that note, here are more songs by the golden partnership, in which Mr Chou has cleverly and at times, irreverently mashed up different musical styles with Mr Fang's Chinese literary lyrics to create yet another distinctive genre of their own. The MVs themselves are an excellent showcase for Chinese culture and are masterpieces in their own right. There are a few which I'll also be showing the live performances of the songs.
And Jay is simply amazing in all of them!!
NB: Huang Jun Lang wrote the lyrics for one of them, instead of Vincent. 

Without much further ado, let us begin!

First up, let's present Dragon Fist aka Long Quan 龍拳 (from The Eight Dimensions). Kelvin's take from Jay Chou Studio says it all:
" Incarnate into Eastern dragon. Leap over the yellow river's two beaches. Ascend the top of Mount Taishan. This song is palace style drumming of 'Chinese body using Western skills'. It turns over mixed Chinese rock and roll to new influence. I think this song acts in kind of the same way as what Nun-chuks did for Fantasy. It combines old Chinese instruments with rock. The MTV is very good and you could sort of tell Jay was influenced by Dragon Ball Z when he made it."

I have to add in a VERY rocking live performance of this song here from the 2003 MTV Asia Awards:

Double Blade aka Shuang Dao 雙刀 with one of the most EPIC fight scenes ever! 

Next up: a song about Chinese chess, with lyrics by Huang Jun Lang, instead of Vincent, but no less rocking as it combines Eastern style with hip hop and rap. This is General/Checkmate aka Jiang Jun 將軍.

Chaotic Dance of Spring and Autumn aka Luan Wu Chun Qiu  亂舞春秋 is another mashup of styles:

Now for one of my favourite songs in this section...Huo Yuan Jia 霍元甲, the theme song for Jet Li's movie, Fearless. Jay had mentioned from sometime in 2003 that he wanted very much to write a song for Jet Li and in 2006, this happened! East-meets-West-meets-rap-meets-Peking opera...omg...I LOVE this song!!

And an another ROCKING live performance!

Compendium of Materia Medica (本草綱目) (ben cao gang mu) aka Herbalist's Manual starts off with a catchy Chinese flute riff, which recurs through the technorap/hiphop song.  The lyrics are taken from the ancient Chinese text of the Materia Medica...complicated stuff!
One of the comments on the youtube video says it best:
" haha this is a combo of.. medicine, rap, ghosts come alive, zombie dances, the robot dance movements, little kids, and chinese culture XDD. Only Jay could put all these into a MV."

Yet another movie theme song, Golden Armour aka Huang Jin Jia 黃金甲, this time for Curse Of The Golden Flower....great combination of rap, rock and Chinese sounds.

Gotta add in this awesome live performance from his 2007 concert tour:

Finally, I want to recommend this beautiful song which Jay and Vincent wrote for the Beijing Olympics (but sadly, it was not chosen for the main theme...*frown*), with such meaningful lyrics and a simple but memorable melody that it moves me every time I hear it.
This is A Long Journey Qian Shan Wan Shui 千山万水.

And another performance at his solo concert:

And with that note, I hope you've enjoyed this selection but rest assured, Jay has LOADS more music for me to share...can't wait to get round to his love ballads and others. :)

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