如同悲傷被下載了兩次, 陳珊妮 ft.林宥嘉
Before we talk about anything else, can we all stop and marvel at this exquisite MV? How the words don’t just mean what they say, but even do what they say? *cries in a corner*

Sandee Chan 陳珊妮’s discography includes 11 studio albums, 4 live albums, 6 collaborative albums and 3 EPs. She has written and composed over 65 tracks for other artists, drama and film soundtracks and is also a writer and visual artist.

If you’ve never heard her music, that’s okay. You just need to know she’s an 一姐 in the Chinese music industry. Her collaborative partners come from a wide range of industries and disciplines, which means her work has an expansive scope in terms of perspectives, talents and ideas.

Chan’s latest album, 如同悲傷被下載了兩次 is an appropriate Spring album, although she released it last september. I’ve been meaning to get to reviewing it but school happened and then it never stopped.

If you like ambient sounds, almost like cafe music but less mellow and more eerie, this album is perfect. If like me, you’re almost always about the writing, then this album is amazing.

陳珊妮 is a beautiful lyricist. She often talks about not being the greatest singer, but hopes that the creative effort she puts into her song from beginning to end really show in the tracks. I haven’t really explored her vast discography (being more familiar with her collaborations and recent work), but I think it’s safe to say that effort shows in her work.

Every song is complex, sometimes humorous and playful, more often slightly mournful and contemplative, but always poetic in execution.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 4.55.53 PMHere are my top three favourites in the album:

如同悲傷被下載了兩次

If it’s ft. Yoga Lin 林宥嘉 on vocals (he also composed the melody) I’m generally interested. But more than the lovely vocals by both Lin and Chan, Chan’s lyric-writing for this song is exquisite.

這微整形的宇宙
美麗過剩的哀愁
無人能背誦 白紙黑字的一頁脆弱

整個時代 顯得毫不掩飾
整個雲端 寫滿誰的瑕疵
於是可歌可泣的小日子 依偎著孤單相擁到死

If you come to 陳珊妮 looking for dramatic arc or even storytelling, you might be a little disappointed. What Chan is amazing at doing is peeling back layer after layer of complex emotion in phrases that are emotionally accessible, but not necessarily cognitively. The MV performance is by Chan herself featuring a quiet interaction between her hands and a book. It is poetic storytelling that doesn’t move us forward narratively, but holds our attention in suspended time.

漫天紛飛的銀杏森林

I’m partial to gingko (銀杏) so visually the title of this song has already got me waiting. Written by 駱以軍 (a Chinese professor and writer), composed by Chan, the song sounds like a walk through this very forest, and the music functions to deliver the central image of a vision filled with flying ginkgo leaves. Although musically, the entire album doesn’t deviate too much from a middling line of emotional expression, each song nuances its departure from that line in different ways. This song sits emotionally a few registers above 如同悲傷被下載了兩次, weaving the heaviness of a footstep with the wonder of a movement in the wind that liberates that step, or at least, imbues each step with a sort of hushed wonder.

更遠一點 的聲音
每要想起 就被雨刷刷去
被帶走的永遠最美麗

不是壞蛋

THE PUNS oh the puns. The egg pun is the guiding metaphor that makes this song playful and humorous, it is also one of the few (if not the only song) in the album that brings the acoustic guitar out. Written by 歐陽應霽 (a comic artist from HK) and composed by Chan, it’s the lightest of tracks, and also the silliest one.
I love Chan’s dry and deadpan sense of humour, particularly in the way it manifests in playful language delivered in more muted, albeit light-hearted tones.

我是蛋噢我
我是個蛋呀蛋呀蛋噢我
不是壞蛋 不是壞蛋
只是一個蛋 不是壞蛋

Freebie:

I Love You John (a pun for 這樣)  is still my ringtone. Brilliant and playful, I think this is one of Chan’s best songs.

幹嘛John John很奇怪
到底是不是John
就John 還是不要John Oh大概就John

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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