Play (S.H.E album)

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Play
Play cover
Studio album by S.H.E
Released 11 May 2007 (2007-05-11)
Genre Mandopop
Length 43:12
Language Mandarin
Label HIM International Music
Producer S.H.E, David Tao
S.H.E chronology
Forever
(2006)
Play
(2007)
FM S.H.E
我的電台 FM S.H.E
(2008)

Play is the eighth studio album by Taiwanese Mandopop girl group S.H.E. It was released on 11 May 2007 by HIM International Music. During the week of its release, Play accounted for over half of all Taiwanese album sales, beating out its runner up by over 40% of the market share. Over 100,000 copies of the album were pre-ordered; by mid-July, the sales total reached 500,000. Despite being tainted by cross-straits controversy, "Chinese Language", the album's lead single, earned six awards, including one for its music video. Due to the overall popularity of the album, Play became the first S.H.E album to warrant its own concert, which was held at the Tamshui Fisherman's Wharf in July.

The track, "五月天" (May Day) won one of the Top 10 Songs of the Year at the 2008 HITO Radio Music Awards presented by Taiwanese radio station Hit FM.[1]

Pre-release[edit]

Following Forever album release in July, rumours had circulated around the Internet regarding S.H.E's tenth album. On 30 March 2007, The Beijing News reported that S.H.E had begun filming a music video for "Chinese Language", the lead single for their newest album.[2] Mere hours later, Tom.com revealed that the new album would be called Play, quashing contradictory rumours about the album's name.[3] On 12 April 2007, HIM announced that album's second single would be "May Day"; however, the song itself had nothing to do with the band. Mayday was so ecstatic that a song had been named after them that they promised to write songs for S.H.E in the future.[4] After years of criticism for covering too many songs, S.H.E finally produced two pieces for this album. Selina and Ella collaborated to produce "Wife" (老婆), while Hebe was responsible for "Say You Love Me" (說你愛我).[5] The song "Listen to Yuan Wei-ren Play Guitar" (聽袁惟仁彈吉他) was announced as part of Play on 13 April.[6] David Tao composed "Good Mood - Just be Yourself" in two versions, one for Play, and another for Rene Liu's newest album.[7] "好心情Just be yourself" became the successor to "Super Model" as Daphne Shoes' promotional song.[8] On 20 April, HIM set up countdowns at S.H.E's Xuite and MSN Space to count down to the album's release date.[9]

Musical style[edit]

The songs come from a potpourri of music genres, ranging from slow pop ballads to hip hop to a sound influenced by traditional Chinese music. Three tracks are tributes to accomplishments of three different artists, namely Yuan Wei-jen, S.H.E's mastering producer up until 2004,[10] superstar Jay Chou, and S.H.E themselves.

Reception[edit]

The album's lead single, "Chinese Language," was released on 16 April 2007 and debuted at #9 on the KKBOX Music Charts.[11] The song climbed seven spots before perching itself at the top of the charts on 18 April.[12] Preorders for Play totalled over 100,000 one week before the album's release date.[13] During its first week of sales, Play topped 15 different music charts.[14] The following week, all eleven tracks cracked the top 20 on the Inkui Top 50 charts. The album's second single, "Mayday", was China's seventh most requested song in karaoke bars.[15] Critics praised the album as an "excellent" showcase of S.H.E's "angelic harmonization."[16] By mid-July, around 500,000 copies of the album were sold.[17] Not all reception has been positive, however. Johnny Neihu, a Taipei Times columnist, found the album's lead single to be so disgusting that he barely "managed to drag [himself] out the door." [18]

In response to album sales, S.H.E held a concert at the Tamshui Fisherman's Wharf, with their setlist consisting entirely of songs from Play. The concert drew 20,000 fans. On 24 September, S.H.E announced another concert, which will be held on 10 November in Zhuhai, in preparation for the Changsha stop of their Perfect 3 World Tour.[19]

Zhong Guo Hua controversy[edit]

"Chinese Language," the album's main hit, was heavily criticised by pro-Taiwanese-independence critics as "praising China", or "kissing China's ass" in the lyrics of the song. Their record company cleared them for the above accusation, claiming that the song was praising the language if anything else, and stated that critics should not mix politics and music.[20][21]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Chinese Language" (中國話, Zhong Guo Hua)
  2. "Thanks for Your Gentleness" (feat. Fahrenheit) (謝謝你的溫柔, Xie Xie Ni De Wen Rou)
  3. "Listen to Yuan Wei-ren Play Guitar" (聽袁惟仁彈吉他, Ting Yuan Wei Ren Tan Ji Ta)
  4. "May Day" (五月天, Wu Yue Tian)
  5. "Excuses" (藉口, Jie Kou)
  6. "Boom"
  7. "See You, Cambridge" (再別康橋, Zai Bie Kang Qiao)
  8. "London Bridge Is Falling Down" (倫敦大橋垮下來, Lun Dun Da Qiao Kua Xia Lai)
  9. "Say You Love Me" (說你愛我, Shuo Ni Ai Wo)
  10. "Good Mood - Just Be Yourself" (好心情 Just Be Yourself, Hao Xin Qing Just Be Yourself)
  11. "Wifey" (老婆, Lao Po)
  12. "Always Open" (with Fahrenheit) (pre-order bonus track)

Music videos[edit]

For the music video of "May Day," label HIM recruited Mayday's lead singer, Ashin, to play the lead male role for the video.[22] In the MV, "Excuses", the male used is actually not Jay Chou, but a television host who is known for his ability to mimic Chou. It has been rumored that the original film with the real Jay Chou was ruined because of the hot weather, so they decided to make it a second time, using a fake Jay Chou, just to have a little bit more fun. The "Thank You For Your Gentleness" MV included Fahrenheit.

Charts[edit]

Release Chart Peak Position Chart Run
5 September 2007 G-music Weekly Combo Chart (Taiwan) #1 12 weeks
5 September 2007 G-music Weekly Mandarin Chart (Taiwan) #1 13 weeks

References[edit]

  1. ^ (Chinese) 2008 HITO Radio Music Awards winners list 1 March 2008. Retrieved 2011-04-19
  2. ^ (Chinese) S.H.E and Shaolin monks show off their kung fu skills. 30 March 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2007 (the article was written on 3/30 in the Chinese time zone)
  3. ^ (Chinese) Tom.com. S.H.E acts in "Chinese" MV. 30 March 2007. Retrieved 29 March 2007 (the article was written at 11:08 am, Chinese time).
  4. ^ (Chinese) S.H.E "praises" Wu Yue Tian; Ashin wants to write a song in reply. 13 April 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2007. (time zone difference)
  5. ^ (Chinese) United Daily News. S.H.E produce "Wife" in tears. 14 April 2007. Retrieved 13 April 2007 (time zone difference).
  6. ^ (Chinese) S.H.E dresses up as Play Girl{sic}, pose for the album. 13 April 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2007.
  7. ^ [1] 17 April 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2007.
  8. ^ (Chinese) [2]. 16 April 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2007.
  9. ^ (Chinese) HIM International Music. HIM ePaper - Issue 87. 20 April 2007. Retrieved 22 April 2007.
  10. ^ (Chinese) Sing Tao News. Lo Ta-yu releases and produces the title song from album "Total Song Influence" ; Yuan Wei-jen named as successor. 12 October 2006. Retrieved 30 July 2007.
  11. ^ (Chinese) KKBOX - Daily Music Charts. 16 April 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2007.
  12. ^ (Chinese) KKBOX - Daily Music Charts. 18 April 2007. Retrieved 20 April 2007.
  13. ^ (Chinese) S.H.E feeling love for each other; netizens joke around, turning "Chinese Language" into "Taiwanese Language". 5 May 2007. Retrieved 11 May 2007.
  14. ^ [3]. 23 May 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2007.
  15. ^ (Chinese) City Karaoke Charts. 25 May 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2008.
  16. ^ Taiwan-based Mandopop Girl Group S.H.E. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2007.
  17. ^ (Chinese) S.H.E's album sales are unparalleled; fan support is very touching. 9 July 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2007.
  18. ^ Neihu, Johnny. S.H.E looks like The Man to me. 12 May 2007. 27 September 2007.
  19. ^ (Chinese) Guangdong's fall and winter full of music, artists of all kinds are converging on the province. 25 September 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2007.
  20. ^ "Chinese Language? Chinese Transformation! 中國話?中國化!" (in Chinese). Liberty Times. 2007-05-02. Retrieved 2007-06-07. 
  21. ^ "S.H.E defend hit song 'Mandarin'". Taipei Times. 2007-05-06. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  22. ^ (Chinese) [4]. 26 April 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2007.

External links[edit]