Barely a month after Jay Chou was in Hong Kong for his Opus 2 World Tour, the Mandopop icon dropped his 13th studio album, Aiyo, Not Bad. It has everything you would expect from him: a range of genres, pictorial lyrics, and mumbled singing.
Yang-Ming Mountain is a strong beginning to the fun album, grabbing our attention with its super catchy keyboard riffs and witty lyrics.
Stolen Love is a mix of tango music bridged with an accordion solo, like an updated French movie soundtrack. But the accompaniment overwhelms Chou's singing, and you have to listen hard to make out the intensely romantic lyrics.
The album takes a dramatic turn with What Kind of Man, a sadly beautiful, but not very exciting ballad. Chou's singing seems strained when he hits the high notes, and his slurring hurts the song's emotional appeal.
No Chou album would be complete without a Chinese-style song, and he delivers with The Traveller, melding Chinese music with R&B beats. Along with Extra Large Shoes, a creative tribute to Charlie Chaplin and comedy, most tracks are potential new karaoke classics.
Aiyo, not bad at all.