Ideally, I would cover every single track in this album in detail because it’s an incredibly solid set of songs – 耐聽, and exciting. I don’t think I’ve been this eager to get my hands on an album in a very long time.

This might be counter-intuitive because there is only one track on this album that is upbeat, so I think S.H.E deserves some special attention for what they did with 離開地球表面, and how they managed to translate the song into their distinct vibe, while keeping the original intact.

Best Cover: 如煙 by 艾怡良

如煙 is incredibly difficult to sing, mostly because it’s such a flat song. Lyrics-wise, it’s a powerhouse, packed with line after line of 阿信’s genius, but musically, it’s difficult to emote more and more, as the singing is lengthy, and requires repetition.

The reason I’d pick this as best cover is because 艾怡良 not only doesn’t go with a full band, she strips it down to acoustic, and manages to sing it without fatiguing the melody line.
I suspect something about the artful insertion of harmony layers and also that magnificent guitar, have a lot to do with it, on top of the lyrical punch of course.

I admit to getting a tad weepy on the first listen.

Best MV: 溫柔 by 梁靜茹

Can we first talk about how appropriate this match is?? 梁靜茹 has a voice that is warm, and familiar – like sunshine or a very good friend, and 溫柔 is the classic of classics. The arrangement is pretty simple, a little more ornate than the original in my opinion, but it really is her voice that sells the entire track. The only problem is that, with a song like 溫柔, it’s hard to differentiate between how much influence the original track has, and the actual power of the cover. It doesn’t really matter though, since listening to music is supposed to be all jumbled together in experiences personal and universal.

阿信 himself writes, “這首歌就是在那樣的日子裡寫下的,就寫在課本空白的地方。靜茹的聲音像一把沾了蜜的小刀,不偏不倚,刻劃著回憶。”

On another note though, of the nine MVs that they’ve released so far, this one is the best by a long, long shot. It’s the perfect compliment to the song’s spirit, and is simple enough, yet can create strong visual impact.

Best Transformation: 我心中尚未崩壞的地方 by 黃韻玲

阿信 says this arrangement uses an Acid Jazz style.

I don’t know that much about the technical side of music, but I will say that the surgery done to this song is very intricate in comparison to the original, and brings out a very interesting sort of whimsy that is a counter sound to the original’s more classic 五月天 rock band style.

This arrangement gets more interesting every time I listen to the song, and each listen offers up new details for my attention, which is why I’d award this best transformation.

Special Mention: 盛夏光年 by 林憶蓮

Only because her voice is so haunting, and the performance so addictive. They kind of hollowed out the melody and let her voice play at a distance, which I really enjoyed, and it fit the song’s vibe really well, while simultaneously reinventing the listening experience. Her voice is interwoven with the melody, and sound effects  that keep the song pulsating, so it feels like it expands and contracts with you in the middle of it.

Really though, I loved every song, although 愛情萬歲 by 魏如萱 is the most inaccessible for me as a listener (it’s too whispery). 你不是真正的快樂 by 鄧紫棋 was a tad underwhelming, because it was the I AM SINGER version, which I didn’t like as much as the original to begin with. She’s a very powerful vocalist for sure, but I don’t think she was able to keep the song’s original spirit as well as the other adaptations.

Lala 徐佳瑩’s 突然好想你, 曲婉婷’s 生命有一種絕對, and 家家‘s 我不願讓你一個人 were solid vocal performances, but those songs are also incredibly powerful songs in their overall musical-lyrical structure, which meant that when listening, I felt similar emotions to when 五月天 sings them.

So I guess I talked about them all. This always happens.
Mayday is so great at coming up with new ways to engage people in their storytelling.
By releasing a HERSTORY album, not only do we get to revisit tracks from female perspectives, we actually also get to hear how much weight Mayday’s music has in the scene.

I applaud their ability to let go. I believe they had minimal control in the song selection and adaptation process. The variety of female artists was refreshing, and the names were overwhelming. They are all amazing artists in their own right, which makes this collaborative album that much more amazing.

Posted by:jasmine

Jasmine is an editor, poet, and community arts organizer. She comes to poetry by way of Chinese music. This blog is a mapping of ways.

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