Sunday, February 14, 2010

Angela Zhang's Fifth Season Album

Angela Chang's Fifth Season

Angela Chang (Zhang Shaohan), who has been all over newspapers and magazines for rumours about neglecting her parents and messing with drugs, just released a brand new Mandarin album, Fifth Season. The title may confuse fans who are familiar with her discography though, as this is actually her sixth full release.

The boxset comes with a black 52-page mini-photobook, with photographs of Angela dressed from casual (a red T-shirt and blue jeans) to glamourous (à la Disco Queen, complete with a blond short bob), spanning 5 seasons defining the petite lady. The lyrics booklet, on the other hand, features many images of her in all sorts of white apparel, to fit the title of the first single, “White”. Also included in Fifth Season is a bonus DVD with 3 music videos: “White”, “The place we see the furthest” and “Shake your head”.

UrbanWire was really impressed with Angela’s vocals at first while listening to the disc from beginning to end. The first and second tracks, “Fifth Season” and the previously mentioned “White”, sound as though they were tailor-made for Angela’s signature powerhouse vocals. Both were sad ballads, in which the 27-year-old portrayed the feelings of heartbreak well.

However, as the CD continues to the next few tracks, you’ll realise that Angela’s voice in an upbeat song like “Shake your head” or a cheerful one like “Be a little happier” sounds similar to the ballads mentioned. The joyful numbers seemed to be infected with the sorrow of the ballads. In comparison to her previous album, Ang 5.0, in which you can imagine her smiling and jumping when recording “I’m in Love”, while your heart weeps for her as she belts out “Don’t Want to Understand”, the Taiwanese-born singer/actress appears to have lost the ability to render the various moods of the songs.

It seems like she was rather affected by the negative publicity she received while preparing for this album. Prior to the release, news about Angela refusing to support her parents spread across various media, while she fought back and claimed that her mother took about a hundred million New Taiwan dollars (equivalent to $500,000 in Singapore dollars) of her hard-earned money. To make things worse, she was accused of drug abuse. If these were the factors affecting her performance in the happy tracks, she could’ve just chosen ballads for her album instead to lessen the disappointment of her listeners.

Otherwise, the songs in Fifth Season are generally very well written, with enjoyable melody and lyrics, such as “Occasionally”, which is also a favourite. The chorus goes “偶爾很清醒 偶爾卻抗拒 偶爾有睡意 偶爾很傷心/當我們反覆練習 想讓愛歸零 但無能為力…” (translated as “Occasionally awake, but occasionally resist, occasionally sleepy, occasionally very heartbroken/When we practise repeatedly, wanting our love to reset to the beginning, but there’s nothing we could do…” Her performance in “Occasionally” also matches the high standard of her debut hit “Lost Happiness”.

There’s also a cover of Bee Gees‘ “I Started A Joke”, which was rearranged as a rock ballad. The Canadian-bred Angela certainly added a strong personal flavour to it, and her fluency in English helped rack up the points too. However, there’s definitely an uneven level of performance in Fifth Season, which was a pity as Angela didn’t live up to the expectations set by the standard she delivered with Ang 5.0.

Title: 第五季 Fifth Season
Artiste: 張韶涵 Angela Chang
Language: Mandarin, English
Record Label: Linfair Records
Distributed by: Universal Music
Release Date: Sep 25


  1. 第五季 Fifth Season
  2. 白白的 White
  3. 看得最遠的地方 The place we see the furthest
  4. 幸運之吻 Kiss of luck
  5. 搖擺頭 Shake your head
  6. 偶爾 Occasionally
  7. 我要你的 I want yours
  8. 尋找愛蜜莉 Find Emily
  9. 在快樂一點 Be a little happier
Tracklist In Chinese:
1. 第5季 (diji)
2. 白白的 (bai bai de)
3. 看得最远的地方 (kan de zui yuan de de fang)
4. 幸运之吻 (xing yun zhi wen)
5. 摇摆头 (yao bai tou)
6. 偶尔 (ou er)
7. 我要你的 (wo yao ni de)
8. 寻找爱蜜莉 (xun zhao ai mi li)
9. 再快乐一点 (zai kuai le yi dian)
10. I Started A Joke