Sissi Dai – Bubblegum Candy

February 13, 2011 at 6:49 PM | Posted in Sissi Dai | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Sissi Dai – Bubblegum Candy

1. Ye Xu Ni Zhi Shi Ai Wo De Mei
2. Pao Pao Tang
3. Hao Xiang Zhao Ge Ren Lai Ai
4. Tian Shi
5. Wo-Dai Xue Er
6. He Wo Yong Bao
7. Hong Mei Gui Yu Hei Mei Gui
8. Jian Qiang
9. Shen Ti
10. Wo Ai Niu Zai

♦ ♦ ♦

Bubblegum Candy is the debut album by Mandarin Chinese singer Sissi Dai, also known as Dai Xue’Er. It was released on October 12, 2007. Sissi Dai is a singer many people still haven’t heard from, maybe because her music didn’t receive much promotion and airplay.

Ye Xu No Zhi Shi Ai Wo De Mei is a ballad, and I always find it very tricky to kick an album off with a ballad, but oh well. It’s a soft piano track, and I fell in love with it when I first heard it a few years ago. Sissi has a soft and soothing voice, perfect for the Chinese music industry. The track builds into a power ballad with Sissi belting out some of her lyrics during the end, and she really nailed this song.

No offense to the Mandarin language ofcourse, but I think Pao Pao Tang sounds like a very funny translation for the title track ‘Bubblegum Candy’. It’s the first uptempo song on the album, and sounds more like a late 90’s pop song in the style of Britney Spears. There is no real climax in the song, it’s just pure fun with some good vocal performances by Sissi.

Hao Xiang Zhao Ge Ren Lai Ai is the second ballad already, but this one makes me think of a late night in China between the blossom trees and all those stereotypical Chinese buildings. Sissi truly has a great voice, I wonder why she’s not that popular, the quality of her voice is so beautiful and comes out best in ballads like these. The music is based on piano, soft percussion now and then, a guitar and some oriental chimes.

Tian Shi, and it’s more emotional than the other two, a more dramatical ballad with lots of strings and guitars. It’s quite a long track because it tends to drag after a while, but it’s woth a couple of listens because it sounds interesing from the very beginning.

Finally an uptempo track, Wo-Dai Xue’Er, and I think this song is in some kind of way about herself (her name is included in the title). It’s another 90’s inspired track if you ask me with a hopping synth beat and some electric guitars in the background. Seems like this girl takes her inspiration from the 90’s pop industry in the States. It’s a good song, not my favorite, but it’s quite decent indeed.

He Wo Yong Bao is the slow funky song on the album, and I love the guitar melody that is woven through the entire song. It makes a big difference for the presentation of the song. During the introduction, Sissi and a male are on the phone talking in English, and luckily it’s not Engrish! It’s a fun opening, and the song that follows makes a generally relaxed and laid back funky until the male comes back with a quircky rap that doesn’t quite fit the rest of the song…

Is it just me or does Hong Mei Gui Yu Hei Mei Gui sound a little bit too much like Britney Spears’ ‘Baby One More Time’ and ‘Crazy’? Well at least it is heavily inspired by them, that’s for sure. Sissi only changed some melodies and mixed the songs together into one, but she pulls it off quite well to be honest. It’s one of her strongest tracks on this album, but she comes off as not being original for taking two original songs for one of her own…

Jian Qiang is the fiercest song on the album with a lot of bass in the beat and heavier electric guitars throughout the song. The strings and echoes take this song to a more theatrical genre, and Sissi sounds very pretty while harmonizing. I wasn’t expecting the tough quality of the song, because it started out very classical. It’s a good song, it shows off another side of Sissi.

From the rock tune moving on to the oriental Shen Ti, inspired by Arabian music. Even Sissi’s singing and adlibbing take inspiration from the culture, and I must say it suits her quite well. The only thing with the song is that there is no climax again, it’s just flowing way too well, it’s too smooth while it’s still so attracting. I’m a bit on the fence with it.

Wo Ai Niu Zai is another midtempo pop song, and in my opinion again without any attractive points. There is a male singing voice at some points, which already makes it different, but he sounds a lot like an American band singer (maybe they did some computer tricks on his voice to make him sing Chinese lyrics XD). Sissi’s own rap is quite funny, and crazy enough she can do it quite well.

When this album was released, I already listened to it. For years and years I enjoyed Sissi’s music while surfing on the Internet, doing my homework… And now when I listen to it in a more critical way, I must say to my own surprise it is actually quite a disappointing album! It’s primarily made of ballads, songs that take after older popular songs and 90s music, and most of her songs are just plain. There is hardly any difference between verses and choruses, but Sissi does have an interesting and beautiful voice. It’s such a shame she wasted it with these tracks. She is still active, primarily as a model I think, visit her Facebook, but she has to come back into the music industry to release another album which will hopefully entertain me much more than this one eventually did. Maybe music that is a little more contemporary? I think an R&B genre will fit her well, mixed with some pop influences. This is such a shame for such a pretty and talented girl…

Favorite tracks: Ye Xu No Zhi Shi Ai Wo De Mei | Pao Pao Tang | Hao Xiang Zhao Ge Ren Lai Ai | Hon Mei Gui Yu Hei Mei Gui

OVERALL RATING

2½ stars

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