Review: 末路狂花,魏如萱

魏如萱 waa wei is a Taiwanese singer-songwriter considered quirky and soulful. Nominated for a smattering of awards album after album, waa wei remains definitively underappreciated in the music scene at large (as all independent musicians tend to be) but is definitely synonymous with a balanced and thoughtful musical creativity.

沒有下一次了啦‭ ‬‭ There won’t be the next time
‬唉 心甘情願給你拿走一些‭ ‬‭ ‬色彩  Aye, I willingly let you take away some colour
害我整個世界剩‭ ‬‭ ‬黑白 but now my world is left with black and white 
不想不想祝你愉快‭ ‬ I don’t, I don’t want to wish you happiness
我真的真的笑不出來 I can’t, I can’t laugh about it

你終於‭ ‬‭ ‬給我走開‭ ‬ Finally you have gone away, I will be fine‭ ‬
愛上你算我活該‭ ‬ It’s on me for falling in love with you
don’t want you to see me cry‭ ‬

Her fifth studio album, 末路狂花 (Run! Frantic Flowers!) is an extended exploration on the theme of running away, and how sometimes that is exactly what needs to happen for us to find ourselves. The tracks range from groovy tunes to electronic tracks paired with waa wei’s soulful vocals.

Notably, the title of the album is the same as the Chinese-translated title for the movie, Thelma and Louise.

*A note that in the Chinese-music context, soulful doesn’t equate to the genre of soul in Western music, but a translation of the word 空靈 which ironically means empty soul, used to describe a singing style that relies on a lot of air.

我是比較危險的花 末路中的優雅 I am a more dangerous flower, the grace on the road to the end
犯賤中的瀟灑 狂歌中的飛花 the recklessness in indecisive regret, the flowers flying through the wildest songs
落在哪就綻放在哪 堅持到最後的煙花 blooming wherever they land, fireworks holding out till the end

Of course, the now widely covered and celebrated 你啊你啊 is part of this album (featured elsewhere on the blog). The track testifies to waa wei’s acoustic roots, and her ability to wield her voice as a powerful musical element, especially because the chorus of the song is a series of “oohs” and “ehs”.

At once playful, brooding, gentle and mildly creepy, waa wei’s approach to her music has always been to slip out of easy categories. The tracks have an Alice-in-Wonderland feel to them, where the fantastical, dream-like and real elements are a perfect blend of music. It definitely fortifies her reputation when she and other equally mystifying and glorious singer-songwriters like 陳珊妮 and 安溥 née 張懸 collaborate on tracks together, jury together, and just generally uplift each other’s work.

I feel the strength of those creative relationships in her pursuit of new forms of creative presentation. In other words, all I’m trying to say is, I love all the women artists who are creating new landscapes of haunting, longing, power, and beauty in the music scene. What a time to be in the presence of their work.

把檔案訊息照片都刪了吧 just delete all those files
那些禮物現在都是遺物都是疙瘩 those presents are now items from a will, difficult things
不要再把問題掃到地毯下 don’t sweep the problems under the rug anymore
不要先射箭再畫靶 don’t shoot the arrow and then draw a bow
重點是一個願挨 一個才會願打 the point is someone has to be down to take it, for someone else to hit
該怎樣就怎樣 其實誰都知道吧 what to do, what to do, I think everyone knows

Listen to the full album on Spotify!