CeeJay's Pick of the Month (July): 周杰倫Jay Chou X aMEI【不該 Shouldn't Be】- Ice Fantasy Theme Song

Hello again! August is right around the corner and we are back with the Pick of the Month of July!

A couple days ago, we were looking at the calendar and we realized we haven't done a Pick of the Month yet! So we started thinking of new songs this month that we enjoyed. After scrolling through the usual, dull list of Voice Entertainment uploads on YouTube and other HK music channels, we couldn't seem to decide on a song that really stood out to us. The songs were either boring or was lacking in originality. Finally, we came up with the idea to use the opening theme song of Ice Fantasy (幻城), the new epic fantasy drama from China that was released on July, 24th, 2016, since this was one of the dramas we just started watching. The song we chose is 不該 or Shouldn’t Be, sung by famous Taiwanese singers, Jay Chou (周杰倫) and A-Mei (張惠妹). Although there were many songs made for this drama, we really liked this one the most. We haven’t really done any Taiwanese songs for reviews before so this is exciting for us! Before, we get started with our thoughts on the song, we want to point out that this song was not newly released as of July and instead, this was released in June. However, we still think it qualifies for this month’s song since Ice Fantasy started airing in July.

Below are the videos of the song: the first one has english translation of the lyrics paired with clips from Ice Fantasy and the second one is the actual MV featuring Jay Chou and A-Mei.


作詞:方文山   
作曲:周杰倫

假裝我們還在 一塊 
我真的演 不出來 
還是不習慣你 不在 
這身份轉變 太快 

畫面裡不需要 旁白 
卻誰都看 的出來 
是我情緒湧了 上來 
想哭卻一遍 空白 

雪地裡相愛 他們說零下已結晶 的誓言 不會壞 
但愛的狀態 卻不會永遠都冰封 而透明 的存在 

輕輕飄 落下來 
許下的夢 融化的太快 
或許我們都 不該醒來 

你還是 住在我的 回憶裡不 出來 
讓我們 微笑離開 讓故事留 下來 
放手後 愛依然在 
雪融了 就應該花開 
緣若盡了 就不該再重來 

你依舊 住在我的 回憶裡不 出來 
我離開 將你的手 交給下個 最愛 
糾纏與 
(Oh)固執等待 
反而是 另一種傷害 
彼此緊握的手鬆開 去擁抱更多未來 

錯過的時間怎 麼買 
誰都付 不出來 
或許我們學會 釋懷 
讓過去安靜 下來 

雪地裡相愛 他們說零下已結晶 的誓言 不會壞 
但愛的狀態 卻不會永遠都冰封 而透明 的存在 

輕輕飄 落下來 
許下的夢 融化的太快 
或許我們都 不該醒來 

你還是 住在我的 回憶裡不 出來 
讓我們 微笑離開 讓故事留 下來 
放手後 愛依然在 
雪融了 就應該花開 
緣若盡了 就不該再重來 

你依舊 住在我的 回憶裡不 出來 
我離開 將你的手 交給下個 最愛 
糾纏與 
(Oh)固執等待 
反而是 另一種傷害 
彼此緊握的手鬆開 去擁抱更多未來 

Lyrics from: https://www.kkbox.com/hk/tc/song/jRo00wp2O5l25ssv25ssv0XL-index.html 

Let’s talk about the lyrics first. The lyrics are fairly well put together and the lines are understandable, instead of random words and phrases sloppily thrown together like many songs nowadays. Many people can probably connect to the touching and bitter story that is unfolded in the lyrics as well. It is the universality of the subject of love that makes the song relatable and yet, the lyrics are on point and the story itself is not too general that it loses effect in conveying feeling. From the lines, we can tell that something has gone wrong with a relationship and even though there is still love living in the lovers’ hearts, they know that they cannot go back to how they once were and must let go of their story. This is shown in “你還是住在我的 回憶裡不出來”, “讓故事留下來”, “放手後愛依然在”, and some other lines. From the second verse, we learn that they cannot revive their relationship as they have already lost the time they wasted and no one could give out some of their time for each other at the beginning as described in “錯過的時間怎麼買” and “誰都付不出來”. The only thing the two can do before they harm themselves further is to leave and embrace the future instead of being entangled in the irreversible mess and refusing to let go. Despite the love that still exists, it is better to leave the past behind and attempt to forget this heartbreaking encounter. Perhaps they will find a better future shared with a new lover later on. These meanings are displayed in:

“我離開將你的手交給下個最愛
糾纏與 固執等待
反而是另一種傷害
彼此緊握的手鬆開
去擁抱更多未來”

Many lines are emotional and the audience can really feel the conflicting situation that the characters are experiencing as they have to decide whether to give up this love or not. A great, touching line is “緣若盡了就不該再重來” because it basically embodies the whole story of the song saying that if the lovers’ fate together has ended, then they should not try to start again. There is a strong message here that tells us sometimes if you keep on trying to mend something that is already broken, it will only get worse. If it is known that something cannot be fixed, then it might be better to leave it alone. The relationship between the two were never meant to be because their fate has already ended and the word “緣” gives the feeling that the ones described in the song were star-crossed lovers.  Furthermore, in the first verse, “這身份轉變太快” could mean that there is a social status difference between the lovers and therefore, they are separated because of this, contributing to why there love did not work out. There is the need to praise the clever diction in the lyrics because there are some lines that really match with the theme in Ice Fantasy and it is brilliantly fitted to the story of the song. The incorporation of the theme of snow and ice in the lyrics as metaphors to describe the relationship is fantastic and brings the story to another level. This is contained in lines such as:

“雪地裡相愛 他們說零下
已結晶 的誓言 不會壞
但愛的狀態 卻不會永遠
都冰封 而透明 的存在”

These lyrics are powerful and a rough interpretation of the first lines would be that even though the promises are crystallized at below zero into a frozen state that appears unbreakable or incapable of going bad, love cannot be in the same frozen and transparent state forever. “許下的夢 融化的太快”means that their promised dreams are melting away too quickly and “或許我們都不該醒來” means that perhaps, neither of them should wake up from the dreams. The translation of “雪融了 就應該花開” is after the snow melts, flowers should bloom meaning that after the lovers’ let their emotions and affections melt away, they should find be able true happiness somewhere else instead of holding onto this relationship.

On another level, this song’s story also corresponds to Ice Fantasy because the song describes how the two people still love each other, even though they must leave their relationship behind and go separate paths. This is the basic story between the main characters of the drama, Ka Suo (Feng Shaofeng) and Li Luo (Victoria Song). Although Ka Suo is the Ice Prince and Li Luo is a mortal, the two fall in love but soon are forced apart because of their differences. They are to let go of their love, knowing that it will not last.

The only thing that we would consider as a downside to the lyrics is that some of the first lines are a bit random but overall, the lyrics were pretty good and there was enough variation in the lines that prevented the song from being too boring with the same lines over and over again.

After a long description of the lyrics, let’s move on to the tune and the singing for a bit. The fact that the song was sung by both Jay Chou and A-Mei is a very attracting aspect before even listening to the song. The tune is alright and after a while, it gets quite catchy although we will admit that the first time we heard this song, we didn’t think much about it. We didn’t even know this was 張惠妹 at the beginning which is probably why we didn’t really pay attention to the song. After, when we began to watch the first episode of Ice Fantasy, we thought the opening song to be vaguely familiar and we soon realized it was 不該. We tried to give the song a try again with a more in-depth listen and we began liking it more. The melody is memorable and has the ability to adhere to your mind. When doing this blog post, we had to listen to the song numerous times and we are surprised we aren’t bored of it after repeating it over and over again. We remember when we did the review for Alfred’s song 問天, we got so sick of listening to the song, especially since we kinda hated the song in the first place and we were writing to complain about it. We always thought that Jay had a very distinct voice but sometimes we can’t hear what he’s singing because of the weird way he slurs and pronounces some of the words. This is probably his style but it really bugged us in his song 算什麼男人 at the beginning and we couldn’t even understand what he was saying without looking at the lyrics the first time LOL. Luckily, in this song, we can hear him a lot better and otherwise, the singing was great. We heard that some people suspected that Jay’s falsetto @ 2:55 was edited or fake. We don’t know if this is true so we got nothing to say about that. However, we also found out that Jay was the one who composed the song which is impressive. Jay and A-Mei’s voices worked well together and it is so hard to come across good duets now which makes us appreciate this song more, considering the difficulty in writing the duet and executing it well afterwards. Since both are wonderful, talented singers, their collaboration was definitely not a letdown and the singing was pretty spot on for the most.

The last portion of this review will be discussing about the music video of the song. The MV is quite interesting and right at the start, it gave us a futuristic/sci-fi feel. We are not too sure about Jay and A-Mei’s costumes, they look a bit funny to us - are they supposed to be like rock style or what? A-Mei’s costume is a bit random with the long black coat, pumps, and purple hair so we don’t really know the purpose of that. It looks a bit superhero-ish too...The setting really looks futuristic though. And then starting at 1:18 we get flashes of another story that takes place in a setting that resembles where we live now. Also, there’s a random dude in a green chamber filled with fluid and some shots or a microscope, cells, etc. At the beginning, we were like what's going on? But after the whole MV, we guessed that the main character in the MV shared a good relationship with a woman at the beginning since there’s a lot of shots of their happy times. But after, he got very ill (3:27) and is forced to leave the woman (3:38-3:44) probably to try to find a cure. Woman is heartbroken after he leaves and another man comes to comfort her. At 4:05, the other man proposes to the girl and at 4:08 we see the main character seeing this and looking disappointed. This probably means that in the middle, the guy got cured and returned to find the woman but she was already with another man. Also, this is the same guy in the chamber and looking at the microscope so that’s probably when he was trying to figure out a cure for himself and tried different tests. At the end, it’s Christmas time and the woman and her children are opening presents and the little girl gives the mother a snow globe and she looks outside as if she sees something. She gets up but at the end it is just a snowy scene that is shown. Maybe the woman was reminiscing about her past with the main character and she was reminded about their times together after seeing the snow globe since many of the scenes in the MV of them together was in the snow having fun. Or maybe, she thought she saw him and turned around to check but he quickly disappeared because he didn’t want her to see him and ruin her happiness now. Another possibility is that the snow globe present was from a mystery someone and the woman thinks that it was actually the main character who left this present there and turns around, hoping to see that he has returned. As for Jay and A-Mei they didn’t really have a story in the video as much and their purpose was mostly to stand there and sing. The music video was good because there was a story developed in it and it connected to the song (like the snowing scenes going with the lyrics 1:17-1:23). Some parts, however were a bit disjointed and random which made it harder to understand when things happened and what was past, present, or future but maybe this was intentional??

As we wrap this review up, we want to say this was a very successful song, not only from judging the plentiful views of the video, but because it is both a capable, self-standing song and is very suitable when put as the theme song for Ice Fantasy. The story developed in a mere few minutes which is incredible and the song really sticks to your head once you starting listening to it. The lyrics are beautifully pieced together and the MV has a good plot and is not boring. Now add on top Taiwanese singers, A-Mei and Jay Chou, and you’ve got an outstanding, five-star piece. This totally deserves being the Pick of the Month so we hope everyone gives the song a try if you haven’t already.

Until next time!

-CeeJay


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