by Cello Kan
It was someday in March, 2010, still a little bit chilly. I was standing in front of Hong Kong Coliseum, waiting for my friend, Ada. The drizzling rain made it even less comfortable.
Few days ago, my friend Ada (who is a top manager in a bank and always sings A-mei’s love songs in KTV) persisted in going to A-mei’s concert. Having no choice, I bought two tickets to the concert.
To be honest, I didn’t have any of A-mei’s albums, but somehow, I could still hear, know, or even learn how to sing her songs through different ways. She was pretty good indeed, but I just didn’t have the impulse to buy her albums. I had been to her concert few years ago. It was quite entertaining, but I just didn’t feel like going again.
While in the Coliseum, I found myself sitting behind a bunch of grandpas and grandmas. I was quite surprised to find them fond of A-mei as well.
“Something’s strange tonight,” I told Ada. Ada asked me “Do you know what Amit is?”
“A name of an album, I guess. Many album names are weird these days.”
“Guess who will be the special guest tonight?”
“No idea. Last time, they had Jacky Cheung as special guest. This time, I haven’t heard of anything yet.” To be honest, I didn’t like the idea of “special guest”. Which singer were you buying the ticket for? The idol or the special guest? Or you just took it as a good bargain as you “buy one, get one free”?
The light went dark and rang the first sound of the guitar – Holy Christ! Why was it so loud? It was just like I’ve attended a heavy metal music party.
After three songs, the grandpas and grandmas in the front couldn’t take it anymore and left the concert. With her mouth wide open, Ada looked like she was totally shocked by the performance of A-mei and forgot how to react. But at the same time, I blurted out “This concert is so fucking awesome!”
Our heart was left in the Coliseum even when we were heading back to the subway after the performance.
“I was totally subdued by A-mei. It was quite a performance today. There was even no special guest, only her! And she didn’t even bother to change her clothes! She is truly a singer, knowing how to conquer different types of music. Tonight, both the music and the visual effects were astonishing. I’ve got to buy the album
‘Amit’ tomorrow, reviewing all the songs one by one.”
“I should be the one to say thank you. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be here and I would have missed so many things. I was really impressed today. It was like I’ve found another A-mei. She is really something. I should really relearn her music, especially the one from Amit.”
“Absolutely! I didn’t know that Chinese pop songs could be like this before. I used to think only western music could be like this, such as the band Muse. How do you think of A-mei?”
“Trust me, no Chinese female singers can compete with her in singing and in music in the following ten years. She has been far ahead of anyone else.”
Five years have passed since then and A-mei’s high place hasn’t been replaced. She also makes a good combination of the things she likes with her songs, getting ideas from the songs of the new generation, such as Greeny, Soft Lipa and Miss Ko.
Last year, I heard the album “Faces of Paranoia” released in the name of A-mei, who was already drawing close to Amit, trying to seek something different in the trend of fashion. Hearing the music, I knew that Amit should be back soon.
I have to admit that I have a partiality for Amit. There aren’t many Chinese singers trying rock music, let alone Chinese female rock singers. For A-mei, considering her high place today, she doesn’t need to gamble her reputation on this kind of music.
I still remember the cover album A-mei released back in the early days. She turned “What’s up” by 4 Non Blondie into dancing version. In the album, she also did her best to sing. It’s not that it’s bad; it’s just not the kind of music I like – the taste was poor and the beat was unnecessarily strong. It was more like the music you would hear in pubs and bars so I refused to listen to it subconsciously.
But people change, so does A-mei.
Amit is different from A-mei in both music and lyrics. The themes of the lyrics are quite rare among Chinese songs, conveying a sense of darkness and Goth, even a little bit of morbidity. Besides music and lyrics, the integrated packaging also makes A-mei a different person, both inside and outside.
“Amit” released A-mei from her former self, reviving her, taking her to a new field and also, leading her fans to accept a brand-new her and a brand-new type of music. This time, she’s being even more ambitious and more drastic. In the album, there is only one cheesy song “Being Hard to Please”, with merely piano playing and vocals in the music, but it is quite a heavy one in theme. As for the rest of the songs in the album, they are all about heavy metal and the lyrics are just like roaring directly at you.
This album is an epic. It’s hard to find an album these days with so many different music elements in one. It’s a combination of hard rock, classical music, opera, reggae, dancehall, world music, electro, dub step and electronic music. And it’s not only one type being used in one song, but multiple. A-mei’s producer, Aadia’s, is very good at putting all these elements together, creating Amit’s own uniqueness which will never be mistaken.
At this time when albums are getting less attention, A-mei, however, shows that album is the only way to convey concepts. The flexibility in her songs has made her vocal part of the instruments. The music has been revived by her and vice versa. Either way, they are inseparable.
Every year, we hope there will be an album to represent that very year. I believe “Amit” will be the album of the year and it is no easy task for others to overtake it. If you’re going to buy only one album this year, “Amit” will definitely be your best choice. While I’m writing this article, the song “Give the Work a Break” comes out from my earphone. Here goes the song:
“The soul of a piece of work/ can’t be described/ even with the precise words/ it’s enough/ if I / adore it/ with my heart/ why bother/ trying to deconstruct it/ face it/ don’t be a slave to remarks/ be anatomized by it/ even if you won’t become an artist/ please give the work a break/ feel it/ from the bottom of your heart/ it will then truly exist”
Then why on earth am I trying to describe it with so many words?
Just feel it with your heart!