Thursday, March 27, 2014

Joanna Wang in Wonderland

   I wanted to include her in the previous post, but this album, Midnight Cinema deserves a separated entry. New album of Joanna Wang is... hard to describe. Absolutely amazing. Songs aren't new, those are reinterpretations and covers but done with such a class!

   The opening song, sung entirely in English, "Alice in Wonderland" is a slow tempo song, sketching somehow the emotional background to the entire album. Or so it may seem to be the case when we are taken back to very movie-esque second song - 被遺忘的時光(Forgotten Times). Song transports us to the archetypal, dense with cigarette smoke, club in Shanghai in the 30's. After this we have a small interlude with madrigal sounding song number 3 - 追夢人(The Dream Chaser).
   But fear not, we will get a song titled 夜上海(Night Shanghai) sung with Shanghai pronunciation, coming after a song based on tango rhythm. "Moon River" and "Pure Imagination", again songs in English are interpreted beautifully. And I love "Moon River" (from Breakfast at Tiffany's) song, it's one of those songs representing an old Hollywood glamour, movies with dazzling ladies and charming men. There's also "You Only Live Twice" (yes, Bond, James Bond song).

So far, only "Moon River" released as MV:

   To not spoil the fun too much - whole album is a tribute to golden film era. The title Midnight Cinema actually points to that.
Beautiful, artistic album having a strong, defined character. Joanna Wang smoothly moves from high notes to deep alto, juggling with styles and melodies. All filtered by her awesome voice and interpretation.

   From some songs and her rich, broad voice it's hard to guess she's only 25 (born in 1988). Especially on 當年情(Love from Once Upon a Time) and 花樣年華(In the Mood for Love). The latter has a hint of ominous musical moments in movies when a hero enters the dark forest, mixed with unsettling characteristics of an orgel.

List of tracks and movies they were taken from:

1. Alice in Wonderland / movie: Alice in Wonderland 1951

2. 被遺忘的時光 Forgotten Times / movie: 無間道 2002 (Infernal Affairs)

3. 追夢人 - The Dream Chaser / movie: 追夢人 1990 (A Moment of Romance)

4. 玫瑰香 The Scent of Roses / movie: 紅玫瑰 白玫瑰 1994 (Red Rose White Rose)

5. 夜上海 Night Shanghai / movie: 長相思 1946 (All-Consumming Love)

6. Moon River / movie: Breakfast at Tiffanys 1961

7. Pure Imagination / movie: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory 1971

8. 當年情 Love from Once Upon a Time / movie: 英雄本色 1986 (A Better Tomorrow)

9. 花樣年華 In the Mood for Love / album: 梁朝偉眼中的花樣年華 2000 (Tony Leung album: In the Mood for Love)

10. What is a Youth / movie: Romeo and Juliet 1968

11. You Only Live Twice / movie: 007雷霆谷 1967

12. 今宵多珍重 This Precious Night / movie: 監獄風雲二 逃犯 1991 (Prison on Fire II)

13. If I Had Words / movie: 我不笨,所以我有話要說 1995 (A Little Pig Goes A Long Way)


You can listen to the album here.
This is an album no one will regret listening to.
(my wallet is regretting it)