Short spins: Asian pop

Short spins: Asian pop
CD cover: Journey into the Night by William Wei

Asian pop
JOURNEY INTO THE NIGHT
William Wei
Linfair Records
****

Just when you think of William Wei as a guitar-playing troubadour, the Taiwanese singer-songwriter upends that image on his third album. Its title in Chinese, You Suo Wei, means something to fear and is also a pun on the phrase meaning "it matters". And he confronts all manner of fears here.

Opening number Wolf is a rock number about keeping one's impulsive animal instinct in check: "I'm afraid when the moon is full, in just a flash, I lose my cool/Don't be afraid, don't be afraid, there's still a light on."

He has not completely severed links to his previous style - sensitive ballad By Your Side harks back to tracks such as Because Love and Still Loving You on his self-titled debut (2010) and Someone Is Waiting (2012).

Elsewhere on this record, the Golden Melody Award winner for Best New Artist in 2011 ventures into electronica and collaborates with reggae group Matzka and rapper Soft Lipa. Eventually, it ends with Dawn, offering hope and reprieve.

This is thoughtful, adventurous work. Whatever fears Wei might have, stretching himself is not one of them.


This article was first published on May 29, 2014.
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