My Top 10 C-Pop Songs of 2015 – Jocelle Koh

Hebe_Tien

I can’t believe 2015 is almost coming to an end already! It’s been a hectic and eventful year, both for me and for the C-Pop music world. Check out some of my picks for the best, most impactful songs of the year – in my opinion at least.

10. 多遠都要在一起 Long Distance – G.E.M

What kind of top 10 list would it be without a little G.E.M? Taking the world by storm this year, she’s been working hard touring around the world and doing her part spreading Chinese music to the western world. Recently releasing her newest album “New heartbeat”, this single “Long Distance” was one of the first to be dropped in February this year. If you know Gem’s style, this song is extremely her. Set in her signature balladic sound, the simple piano and violin arrangement plays off her sweet vocals well. Have a listen and fall in love with her voice!

9. 可惜沒有如果 If Only – JJ Lin

Another one of the biggest songs of the year, JJ Lin’s done it again with his single called “If only”. Unlike other love ballads, JJ’s put a different spin on it by borrowing from a more European, classical feel for the song. Although he still uses the traditional ballad combination of piano and violin, there is this air of elegance to the song which suits his velveteen voice well. Also, the song is effortlessly catchy, and a must-listen of 2015.

8. 我不離開 I Won’t Leave – Princess Ai feat. A-Lin

This is definitely the power duet of the year. Featuring two of Taiwan’s foremost aboriginal powerhouses, Princess Ai who can sing the highest note in the industry and the beautiful A-Lin, they both make the high range of this piece seem absolutely effortless in their delivery. A really feel-good, inspiring song, the uplifting lyrics are made even more powerful by the two divas’ vocal execution. Starting off low and reflective, the song builds to a suspenseful release. A great song for shaking off the stresses of the day.

7. 怎麼還不愛 Why Not Love – Rosie feat. Yu Feng

As if it’s not enough that newcomer Rosie is absolutely gorgeous, her voice is versatile as it is sweet. Her duet with Voice of China contestant Yu Feng “Why Not Love” is one of my anthems of this month, for its groovin’ R n B feel and their pitch perfect and unconventional harmonies. Rosie’s voice is definitely a stand out point for me though, her seductive low tones and soaring, sweet high notes play perfectly against Yu Feng’s mellow vocals. The catch-and-release rhythm to the song is unique, and reflects the ambiguous love the lyrics talk about; wanting very much to be in love, but being unable to take the next step forward. Cuteness overload!

6. 輕輕 Lightly – Yen-J feat. Peace

The king of simplicity, Yen-J’s “Lightly” exudes chill grooviness by seamlessly fusing Chinese traditional melodies with a diluted EDM arrangement. A perfect combination pulled off by no one better than himself. A catchy melody that reflects the suspense and longing the lyrics display, both himself and newcomer PEACE did great on keeping up the unique song dynamics through their vocal performance. A very ‘cool’ arrangement, yet with a very introverted kind of heat to it which I am absolutely in love with. I could listen to this all day, everyday.

5. 滴答 Dida – Lara Veronin

I am a huge fan of songbird Lara’s music, and this single is the first released independently by herself and sister Esther Veronin under their multimedia label Meimeiwawa Multimedia. Directed by Esther, the cinematography for the music video is effortlessly beautiful, with an easy to understand, yet complex storyline involving a love triangle between three lovers. A beautiful song about love and loss that is easily relatable and deeply meaningful, made even more so by Lara’s sweet and melancholic voice.

4. 母系社會 Matriarchy – A-mei Zhang

Of course, no top ten mix would be complete without the presence of Mandopop queen A-mei, or in this case, her alter ego Amit. Her latest album Amit 2 goes where few have ever deigned to venture before, into the darkness, the discomfort that the industry fails to point out about the society we live in. An eerie, but effective piano starts off the song before dissolving into a full-on heavy metal arrangement. Amit’s voice is flawed to perfection to suit the topic of the lyrics, which depict quite graphically the importance of women to society and how they are mistreated and objectified. Definitely a listening and visual experience you shouldn’t be missing out on.

3. Everything – Men Envy Children

It may not have been a huge hit with millions on views, but to me this song represents the eventful debut of a wonderful band to the Taiwanese music scene. Men Envy Children entered the industry with no fanfare or applause, but managed to gain everyone’s attention with their professional music quality, and their wonderfully relatable tunes. With the help of producer Skot Suyama, their first single “Everything” quickly became one of my favourite songs of the year. The warmth in lead singer Mify’s voice envelops your ears and mind against an emotive, reflective rock-pop arrangement which is difficult to resist. Feast your ears on this one and let me know what you think!

2. 愛不需要裝乖 Love Doesn’t Need to Pretend – R-chord feat. Diana Wang

This song by R-Chord featuring Diana Wang took the cake for most unexpected hit of the year. Who would have thought that a full-on Rock song would make it to the top? With a hardcore grunge, heavy metal rock band sound and a catchy flow to RChord’s rap, what’s not to like? Even I can rap it by now, and I can honestly say I’m not much of a rapper. Diana’s pristine vocals that catch each nuance of rhythm and add another layer of class to the song top off the mix. The gender bending music video featuring Diana in a snazzy suit and tie and RChord in a wedding dress is pretty interesting too, but my favourite parts are the shots of the both of them rocking out on their guitars. Peace out!

1. 小幸運 Little Happiness – Hebe Tien

Not that this ranking system actually ranks my preference of these ten songs in any particular order, but Hebe’s “Little Happiness” is hands down the biggest hit of 2015. Only a few months after its release, it has already amassed over 34 million views on its official YouTube video. This is of course in part due to the fact that it’s the theme song for one of the biggest Taiwanese movie sensations of the year, “Our Times”, but it was made even more popular by the fact that it’s a wonderful song in its own right too. Hebe’s serene vocals combined with a simple, yet nostalgic guitar arrangement and topped off by bittersweet lyrics that hint strongly of fortunate blessings is just what one needs for a little R & R.