Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A-Mei's R U Watching? At Number 1

After almost two years between records, Taiwan pop superstar A-Mei (阿妹) has released a new album, and it went straight to the top of the G-Music album charts. R U Watching? (你在看我吗) is her first release since the Golden Melody-winning album AMIT, released back in June 2009, and like its predecessor went to number one on the charts in its first week of release. According to G-Music it had 28.92 percent of album sales in the week 22 to 28 April, displacing F.I.R's Atlantis who dropped to second spot.

R U Watching? is A-Mei's fifteenth studio album, and also commemorates fifteen years in showbusiness. The 38 year old aboriginal Taiwanese, who is also known by her full name Chang Hui-mei (张惠妹; pinyin: Zhāng Huìmèi), had a number one hit with her first ever single back in 1996, and hasn't looked back since. Her distinctive sultry voice and energetic stage presence made her a star not just in Taiwan but on the mainland as well. Even after singing at the inauguration of pro-independence President Chen Shui-bian in 2000 - a political indiscretion in the eyes of the mainland government that earned her a one year performance ban - her return to the mainland the following year attracted huge crowds of admiring (and forgiving) fans. For a period of time back then she seemed to act as a lightning rod for tensions between Taiwan and the mainland, although A-Mei herself insisted that she had no interest in the political squabbling.

A-Mei is twice winner of the Golden Melody award for Best Female Artist, she has the second biggest-selling album ever in Taiwan (Bad Boy, released in 1997 and sold over 1.38 million copies), has appeared on the cover of Newsweek, and was named one of Time Magazine's Asian Heroes. Although essentially a pop singer, she has never been afraid to incorporate new musical styles, sometimes at the expense of commercial popularity.

R U Watching? contains ten tracks, led off by the first single, What Time Is It Already? (都什么时候了). What Time Is It Already? is one of five ballads on the album, while the title track is a more up-tempo dance track. A-Mei herself co-produced the album, and five of the album's tracks were written by renowned Hong Kong lyricist Albert Leung (林夕). A review of the album can be found here at the jpopasia website.

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