29 August 2010 | mynameiscm
From a loyal Lee Hom Fan (LH I know you are reading this)
This movie is Lee Hom's first debut as a director of his romantic Comedy 'Love in Disguise.' Unfortunately, along with his other films, his acting leaves much to be desired. This movie has very cold humor, no character development, no climax, unnecessarily melodramatic and the storyline is narcissistic in nature. The connection of scenes is also poor.
As a singer, Lee Hom is dedicated to his goal of revolutionizing Chinese music. He incessantly rejects the gossip engine of the media and secludes himself to the creation of unique music and infusing genres. I think an understanding of his singing helps recognize his deficiencies as an actor.
One of his greatest weaknesses in his singing is his own natural vocal range. He peaks into head voice too early, which limits the genres that he can successfully create as opposed to a singer like 'Se7en' who in his tenor range has a mixed voice that peaks much later than Lee Hom.
This explains his choice of music genre and preference for Jazz. Most of his songs that he sings 'comfortably' are in the Soprano range. His live performances of some of his more popular songs are sung in a higher range, above what he can consistently produce as evidenced by his poor execution in live performances which he likes to cover up by asking the audience to sing.
This can be further demonstrated when we look at his musical influences 'Stevie Wonder' and how he failed to capture the essence of Michael Jackson's 'Man in the Mirror' in his cover tribute which essentially drained the life out of what is an iconically an energy driven song. Being of a lower vocal range would not generally be a problem with songs based in other languages, but with Chinese music, being able to sing as a higher range while maintaining the richness of a mixed voice is often categorized as good singing. Lee Hom suffers from his own vocal deficiencies but is able to make up for them by composing unique and functional music, as well as various vocal tricks which he uses in live performances to hide his inadequacy in hitting high notes. Much of the techniques he used are borrowed from speech level singing and the album before this tried to demonstrate them in songs such as 'Wan Quan Mei you ren he li you li ni' amongst many others. The effect was the creation of a very audibly unsatisfying listening experience covered only by the fact it has unique and had never been done before. One could argue this was so not only because many singers from Taiwan had not been trained in speech level singing but also because even if they had, no one would be foolish enough to that showcasing in a song which really shined only as an experiment, at some parts it sounded like I was listening to a 'learn how to sing tape.' Unfortunately as a pop star with very few people to relate to, Lee Hom becomes the victim of self-delusion. This is of course exacerbated by the Taiwanese media circle which would surround him with nothing but praise and with people who are afraid to give such open and honest advice with the fear of offending someone with such an outstanding musical career. To some extent, i think Lee Hom recognizes his own vocal limitations and is trying to improve his singing using lessons by Seth Riggs. He also innately refuses to recognize the talent of someone like Jay Chou, whose success lies quite closely with his ability to compose 'mainstream' songs and taking advantage of his tenor voice. I believe Lee Hom is trying to challenge the music industry to accept non-mainstream music. He does this in his latest albums by using techniques that use his vocals as an instrument rather in the traditional sense of a medium to express words in a typical high voice that traditionally makes up most Mandopop songs. The result however is not what you would expect, and as a fan, I find it quite difficult to enjoy some of the songs on his last album where he really does not focus on what sounds pleasing to his audience in his attempt to experiment with new sounds. It's no wonder why he emphasizes continually to the media that he is not a 'you zi ou xiang' but he wants to be recognized as someone with 'shi li'. Unfortunately, no new music arrangement will earn him that title unless the rest of his songs from now on are as high as Wei Yi, Forever Love and Kiss Goodbye, the very ballads that Lee Hom is resisting not to make by choosing not to cave into mainstream pressure. It's the same stubbornness that prevents Lee Hom from feeding the Taiwan Media in any way, even for public publicity. As a singer or classical musician like Yundi Li, maybe it doesn't matter but as a pop singer, a certain idol profile is required and Lee Hom should give away a little of his personal life to the media and to make his fans happy. He is not at the level yet, like Michael Jackson, where he can make his music do the talking, no matter how much he wants it to be the case.
As an extremely handsome individual, I expected Wang to have had quite a few invitations to star in movise. The reason why he hasn't is his poor acting, as evidenced in the range of movies that he has been involved in such as 'China Strike Force', 'The Avenging Fist' and 'Moonchild', amongst, those that I have watched. The lack of quality in his acting in these cases has been so bad that it has completely overshadowed the benefit of having a 'successful pop idol' bringing his fan base into a movie; this is not an easy thing to accomplish.