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A familiar title which surprisingly entails a refreshing listen; G.E.M is back with her latest single “Goodbye再見” that marks the announcement also of her long-awaited new album “New Heartbeat新的心跳”. Honestly, I’m not exactly G.E.M’s biggest fan and had my fair share of criticisms of her music which is sometimes a hit, sometimes a miss. However I’m pleased to say that this one was a hit with me, for the way in which arrangement and melody really worked together to fuse an all-american rock sound with G.E.M’s signature very Chinese-pop balladic melodies. The layering of the arrangement, from nothing into a suspenseful strings and piano, and then adding drums before a full blowout into a full band rock sound fit the curves of the song perfectly, hugging its nuances and letting the suspense rise and then release in a way that was oh so satisfying. Unfortunately the bridge felt a little lost and directionless, but after picking up back into the chorus for the last time with Gem’s soulful voice backed by a passionate arrangement it had me hooked once again.

The lyrics were so-so and clichéd, but it was really interesting to see G.E.M using a style of discourse reserved for American rock songs, yet translated very fluently into a Chinese context. Given that G.E.M’s been trying to become the first Chinese artist to successfully break into the Western market, I do think that she’s doing an admirable job in fusing Eastern and Western styles, picking the best from both without too much compromise.

As for the music video, I think they over-complicated things with a crazy storyline. It was quite obvious that G.E.M didn’t have time to shoot with the male lead, which explains why they were never in the same frame at the same time. It kind of lets viewers down when they see that kind of disconnectedness, and let’s face it, music videos are just a little something to help the story move forward in an aesthetic manner. In my opinion, just taking more interesting shots of G.E.M performing on the rooftop with her band and some ambient shots of the city skyline would have been in better taste and worked just as well, if not better.

Overall a listening experience that really had me sitting up and taking note- I guess you could call it a ear-opening experience?

Review Score: 8.5 out of 10

Goodbye is out now on iTunes Australia