In Another Place (Xu Wei)

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General Information

Artist: Xu Wei
Title: 在别处 (zài bié chù) / In Another Place
Other translations: Elsewhere
Release Date: 1997, April
Type: CDDA & Tape
Catalog No.: Tape: RS9-MC, NWH96-332, MKC-1125, ISRC CN-C18-96-332-00/A.J6
CD: RS9-CD, NWH96-332, MKCD-1125, ISRC CN-C18-96-332-00/A.J6
Language: Chinese

Track Listing

  1. 我的秋天 (wǒde qiūtiān) / My Autumn
  2. 在别处 (zài biéchù) / In Another Place
  3. 我思念的城市 (wǒ sīniàn de chéngshì) / The City I Miss
  4. 树 (shù) / Tree
  5. 永恒 (yǒnghéng) / Prepetual
  6. 青鸟 (qīng niǎo) / Blue Bird
  7. 水妖 (shuǐ yāo) / Magic Water
  8. 路的尽头 (lù de jìntóu) / End Of The Road
  9. 悄无声息 (qiāo wúshēng xī) / Quietly Still
  10. 遥远 (yáoyuǎn) / Far Away


(c) Jack Tang (4 out of 5 stars)

Hailed on the album cover as the "New Hope for Chinese Rock", Xu Wei does deserve attention as a new artist. This album is truely a showcase for this talented singer/guitarist/songwriter. Xu Wei's style definitly has an "alternative" feel to it. The vocal style has a "lazy" sound. The arrangement and sound treatment of the instrument are vaguely reminescient of some alternative bands such as The Smashing Pumpkins, but he does much more than merely imitate others.

The melody of Xu Wei's songs are always very nice and sometimes even catchy. Some of them, if sung differently and accompanied by pop-like background music (i.e. crap), may become acceptable to the general public in China. But luckily Xu Wei didn't compromise his musical talents to sales figures. The album is a real treat for rock listeners. The music, with the frequent elegent combination of accoustic guitar and distorted electric guitar, rich in harmonics and feedback, is very refreshing and one-of-its-kind in Chinese rock. Xu Wei, who plays all the acoustic guitar part, and the electric guitarist Li Yianlian (of Overload) did a great job arranging the guitar parts of the music. I think Li Yianlian was very wise in avoiding bringing in any metal influence from Overload into this album. Dont' get me wrong, what he did in that Overload album was more than awesome, but those cool metal riffs and lightening solos won't really fit into the style of this album. There are lots of really nice touches in the music, such as the horn session with the distorted guitar in the background at the end of "Tree", and the guitar harmonics in " "( can't remember the name yet ). In songs that are basically accoustic, the music are also very nice written and arranged. The rymthm part of the music, thanks to the help of one of the best Chinese drummers - Zhao Muyang, are very solid and accompanies the songs well.

As far as lyrics go, they are poetic but all easy to understand and not without depth. There is a sad undertone in all the lyrics: a dreamer mourning for his lost dreams. The last song "Far Away" is an English song, I wish the lyrics are included in the album.

The only drawback of this album comes from Xu Wei's vocal style. His "lazy" style works for most of the songs in the CD, but if he could sound more energentic or passionate in some songs, it would definitely be a plus.

What's great:

Great arrangements with both acoustic and distorted guitars. Refreshing sound that differes with other bands. Good lyrics and great melodies.

What's no-so-great:

Xu Wei might want to have a little variaty in his vocal style.


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