Music Scene

10 new Chinese soundtrack releases

SO BRIGHT 2: The show's cast perform various numbers, but the standout is Singaporean singer-actor Aden Tan (right in photo, with Tosh Zhang and Jayley Woo).
SO BRIGHT 2: The show's cast perform various numbers, but the standout is Singaporean singer-actor Aden Tan (right in photo, with Tosh Zhang and Jayley Woo).PHOTO: MM2 ENTERTAINMENT SINGAPORE
SO BRIGHT 2.
SO BRIGHT 2.

A memorable television theme song can leave viewers humming long after the credits roll. When done well, a good soundtrack captures the show's spirit and essence. Here are 10 new Chinese releases featuring mostly unforgettable soundtracks.


1. ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

SO BRIGHT 2

Various artists

Hear it on: KKBox, Spotify and other online music platforms

The soundtrack for the second season of Singapore musical Web series So Bright (2018 to 2019), about a group of aspiring musicians, echoes the characters' youthful spirit.

The show's cast perform various numbers, but the standout is Singaporean singer-actor Aden Tan (far right in photo, with Tosh Zhang and Jayley Woo). His versatility shines through as he effortlessly traverses between flashy show tunes such as Daredevil Killer and tender love songs such as Don't Leave Me Behind.


2. ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

FAKE PRINCESS

Various artists

Hear it on: KKBox, Apple Music and other online music platforms

In Chinese period drama-comedy Fake Princess (2020), a female bandit becomes a fake bride to a prince - and the show's main theme song The Ordinary Families, performed by Singaporean singer-actress Eleanor Lee, captures this tension of class conflict in a light-hearted way.

Some tracks, such as Coming Back by Chinese singer Don Chu, also reflect the emotions that develop between the characters as the prince finds himself drawn to the bandit.


3. ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

YOU ARE MY DESTINY

Various artists

Hear it on: KKBox, Spotify and other online music platforms

Fans of Taiwanese indie songbird Ann Bai will love this release, which features her ethereal, airy voice on three tracks - Begin Of Love, Loveless and Let's Be Together.

Although the soundtrack is for Chinese romance drama You Are My Destiny (2020), not every number is a sappy love song. Under The Moon is a heady, bass-heavy tune by Taiwanese singer Hsiao Ping-chih that will get your head bopping and your arms in the air.


4. ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

LOSE TO YOU

Marcus Chang

Hear it on: KKBox, Spotify and other online music platforms

The closing theme song of Taiwanese drama Lost Romance (2020) unfortunately does not make for a happy ending.

Taiwanese leading man Marcus Chang's vocals sound colourless and lacking in emotion and the song's several tonal changes result in a rather uneven listening experience.


5. ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK


PHOTO: UNIVERSAL MUSIC CHINA

MY LOVE, ENLIGHTEN ME

Various artists

Hear it on: KKBox, Apple Music and other online music platforms

The sentimental songs for Chinese romantic comedy series My Love, Enlighten Me (2020) explore several aspects of love.

A Warm Warm Song by Chinese actress Liu Renyu is a bubbly tune about infatuation, while Please Be Happy For Me by Chinese pop singer Liu Yu Ning (above) is a heartbreaking ballad about enduring unhappiness in order to see someone else happy.


6. ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK


PHOTO: ESPLANADE – THEATRES ON THE BAY

PLAYER

Julia Wu and ChrisFlow

Hear it on: KKBox, Spotify and other online music platforms

Watch it on: bit.ly/3drDXw4

This R&B-infused work by Australia-born singer Julia Wu (above) and Taiwan-born vocalist ChrisFlow is a theme song for Taiwanese variety show Super Taste: 48-hour Burning Desire!.

With its groovy vibe and gaudy but nostalgic music video, the catchy number will have you tapping along.


7. ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

LITTLE LIES

Shiga Lin

Hear it on: KKBox, Apple Music and other online music platforms

Watch it on: bit.ly/3hPF5N5

A theme song for the TVB romantic melodrama Life After Death (2020), this contemplative Cantonese number by Hong Kong singer-actress Shiga Lin ruminates on white lies which could cause rifts and misunderstandings.

Its poetic music video features the actress in a room filled with white balloons, which possibly symbolise well-intentioned untruths. When the balloons pop, it makes for a visually arresting and impactful message about the eventual crumbling of such deceit.


8. ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

WORKERS

Various artists

Hear it on: KKBox, Apple Music and other online music platforms

Several songs in this two-part soundtrack celebrate the happy-go-lucky vibe and camaraderie of the humble, hardworking construction workers portrayed in the Taiwanese HBO Asia original series Workers (2020).

The dramatic theme song YOUniverse, performed by Chinese newcomer Eric Wang, has a stirring chorus that captures the challenges and pain faced by the workers.

Taiwanese rock duo Power Station also milk the emotions on another theme song, Long Gone.


9. ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

LOVE ADVANCED CUSTOMIZATION

Various artists

Hear it on: KKBox, Spotify and other online music platforms

China-born singer Evan Lin's sweet and sunny voice makes the strongest impression in Best Arrangement, the opening theme song for Chinese television drama Love Advanced Customization (2020).

His well-blended duet with Chinese singer Xue Mingyuan, Midsummer, is another sugary number worth savouring.


10. POP

PRICELESS LOVE

Jinny Ng

Hear it on: KKBox, Apple Music and other online music platforms

Since 2014, Hong Kong Cantopop singer Jinny Ng has enjoyed success with several TVB drama theme songs, many of which populate her latest album Priceless Love.

Among the offerings are the intriguing I Remember from crime thriller The Defected (2019), the reflective Always Wrong from drama Wonder Women (2019) and the spirited Priceless Love from comedy-drama Neighborhood Finance (2019).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2020, with the headline '10 new Chinese soundtrack releases'. Print Edition | Subscribe