Asia Song Festival & Top 10 Influential Asians list

AmpedAsia came out with a list of the Top 10 Most Influential Asians of 2008, in which Utada Hikaru comes in at #5 , Rain is inevitably featured at #6, barely beating out Se7en at #7(note the pun), and Tila Tequila, to my ironic and yet amused horror, comes in at the bottom with #10, while Ang Lee and Jackie Chan, not surprisingly, lead the list.

Meanwhile the 5th Asia Song Festival came to an end yesterday, featuring an impressive and star-studded list of performers.

Asian music stars re-interpreting their western contemporaries’ hits

Why Asian stars shouldn’t attempt to reinterpret their often better-known contemporaries-

Utada Hikaru singing(or at least trying to) Green Day’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams. In English.

It’s bad enough that she has little feel for the song and can’t pronounce English well enough to make a success of it – WHO directed the video/was in charge of her costuming?

pink sweater=”I’m actually sexy, but I’m hiding it as best I can. Don’t you think I’m doing a good job?”

me: “Er…yes”

The original-

Say it with me:

“brilliant”. Okay, the song is near-brilliant and the video at least is compelling and well-directed.

Why Asian stars should attempt to reinterpret their better-known contemporaries-

Big Bang with Maroon 5’s “This Love”.

This is a poor quality version, I HIGHLY recommend going here instead and watching the crisp version, which dastardly wordpress won’t let me embed.

The original-

Overall, I would still say that the Maroon 5 version is better, at least from a technical standpoint – there’s just more going on, better use of color, etc. But I personally prefer the Big Bang version, for several reasons-

A) It’s sharper – the Maroon 5 is rather blurry around the edges at times, and frankly half the time it looks like they’re floating around on druggie clouds

B)I’d rather see close-ups of G-Dragon’s pretty face anyday than Adam Levine rolling around in graphic(uncomfortably so, at least for me) love scenes, and I like G-Dragon’s interpretation better – Big Bang’s video is more focused on the music and the song itself, and more importantly ends, not with the sex of Maroon 5, but with a sweet scene of GD coming up under his love’s window with flowers he’s run all this way to bring, only to be confronted with her and another man and rudely turned away.

Herein, in a nutshell, could be said to lie the present difference between Asian pop culture and American/Western – although it’s gradually getting more and more open and daring, Asian pop culture is still purer and more restrained on average, focusing on a more romantic idea of love/male-female relationships(or perhaps simply a more melodramatic one:), unlike the mindlessly body-and-sex orientated nature of much mainstream American music and media.

Besides…as I sad before, I personally find G-Dragon’s face much prettier to look at than Adam Levine’s. Continue reading