Creativity in full bloom

The first thing that grabs your attention is the unusual- looking title.

Interestingly enough, the Chinese phrase Mo Lu Kuang Hua is also the translation used for the American movie title Thelma & Louise (1991). That road movie about two women breaking free of their mundane lives turns out to be a signpost of sorts for Taiwanese singer-songwriter Waa Wei's fifth album.

The title track is an electro-rock number on which Wei proclaims with a snarl: "The ordinary is my enemy." Then, she coos in her higher register on the chorus: "I'm a more dangerous kind of flower/The elegance at the end of the road/The confidence of the lowly/Frantic flowers in the gale/Bloom wherever they land."

And yes, her creativity is in full bloom here.

    • ASIAN


      Waa Wei

      Sony Music Entertainment

      3.5/5 stars

Her sly sense of humour emerges on the electro track Snow Girl as she laments: "The heat of passion that others want will kill me." And she wistfully imagines on the gentle Little Fish: "If I were a mountain, you couldn't come and go as you please."

Wei dips into a variety of genres here from the gently jazzy Crooked to the breezy pop of I Will Be Fine to the guitar ballad You You.

On the last, she sings in Mandarin and Minnan and also scats to convey her tender state of being in love and pain.

On the album's dreamy, perky synth-pop closer Monroe, she draws inspiration from the icon and bombshell Marilyn Monroe.

When it comes to music, Wei is no shrinking violet either.

Boon Chan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2016, with the headline 'Creativity in full bloom'. Print Edition | Subscribe