Reviews

Still Fantasy (依然范特西) (yi ran fan te xi)

Still Fantasy (依然范特西) (yi ran fan te xi)

Release Date: 5th September 2006

Overall Rating: Rating Stars

The seventh album from Jay Chou, this album is named to after his most famous album Fantasy and represents Jay's insistence of not changing his style and that his music is still very much Fantasy. The album sees Jay collaborating with the famous Taiwanese singer Fei Yu Ching in track 3. The lyrics by Vincent Fang are as wonderful as ever with creative entries such as Track 4 which is based on Chinese medicine. Jay also experiments with some new styles which can be found in track 9 and 10. Jay once again composes all the tracks for the album with his best partner Vincent Fang writing a majority of the lyrics.

1. Twilight's Chapter Seven (夜的第七章) (ye de di qi zhang)
2. Listen To Mother's Words (聽媽媽的話) (ting ma ma de hua)
3. Beyond A Thousand Miles (Faraway) (千里之外) (qian li zhi wai)
4. Compendium of Materia Medica (本草綱目) (ben cao gang mu)
5. Step Back (退後) (tui hou)
6. Popular Imitation (紅模仿) (hong mo fang)
7. Heart Rain (心雨) (xin yu)
8. White Windmill (白色風車) (bai se feng che)
9. Rosemary (迷迭香) (mi die xiang)
10. Chrysanthemum Flower Bed (菊花台) (ju hua tai)

Editor's Review

Rating Stars Reviewed by kelvin on 9th October 2006

Track 01 - Many might find the melody of this song familiar and that is because it is based on the song "Two Lonely" Jay wrote for Matilda Tao all the way back in 2002. This song establishes the premise of the album - Jay is insisting he has kept that same style he had in 2002. The song itself does well in opening the album and having Penny in the chorus also helped give the song variety. Overall the song is better than the original.

Track 02 - Jay has written many songs about his family and friends but he has never actually written one about his mother, the closest was naming his album after his mother. The lyrics of the song are very playful and creative - it is as though Jay is talking to himself as a child. The song showcases the classic rapping of Jay and flows flawlessly. What would have made the song better is if the MV actually depicted Jay actually going back in time, that would have made the song very "fantasy".

Track 03 - The first plugged song of the album, it carries on where "Hair Like Snow" left off. Some perhaps will say it is too much like "Hair Like Snow" but there's nothing wrong with having another song with this style. The song also brings about the unique combination of Jay and Fei Yu Ching. It is not surprising why Jay collaborated with Fei Yu Ching as his "golden" voice is just perfect for the song.

Track 04 - A slight change in Jay's style, this song heavily uses electronic music and it results in a fantastic song. The rapping in the song is great, the lyrics are also very creative describing Chinese medicine. The only bad element to the song is the bit of commercialism in the MV, but that doesn't affect the quality of the song.

Track 05 - Another collaboration with Devon, this song doesn't disappoint and is sure to be one of the favourites on the album. The guitar in the song is especially good. The MV though doesn't seem to fit the song too well.

Track 06 - After talking about the paparazzi in the last album, this time Jay talks about people imitating his style. The lyrics are once again playful and full of references to his previous work.

Track 07 - This is probably the spiritual sequel to "Black Sweater" from the last album as it sounds slightly similar to it. The track is not particular memorable because it is between two other slow tracks 5 and 8. The lyrics are solid as usual from Vincent.

Track 08 - A song with lyrics written by Jay himself, the song has a solid melody although the lyrics are a bit simple and don't connect very well. Even so this does make the song much easier to remember and out of all the songs on the album this song sticks in my memory the most. By listening to the song one can easily get carried away and sing along with it, this song is sure to be a favourite in the KTVs around the world.

Track 09 - This song is a very big step for Jay because it is something he has ever done before, the style is of Bossa Nova and really brings out another side of Jay.

Track 10 - Another break through song for Jay, the style of the song is ancient Chinese, the fact that Jay actually pronouces clearly in this song also makes is stand out particularly. The song is for "The Curse Of The Golden Flower" movie.

Overall the album is very good and maintains Jay's usual quality, even though it is not Fantasy but it holds up well against his previous albums. The fact that Jay has tried other styles of music in this album also shows he can try new things if he wants to and succeed in doing so.

Rating Stars Reviewed by Just My Pride on 13th September 2010

From my Favorite song :-
On the scale of 5
1)聽媽媽的話 - 5

2)菊花台 - 5

3)夜的第七章 - 5

4)夜的第七章 - 5

5)本草綱目 - 5

6)退後 - 5

7)千里之外 - 5

8)紅模仿 - 5

9)心雨 - 4.5

10)白色風車 - 4.5

11)迷迭香 - 3

Comment : Still Fantasy , Still Zhou Jie Lun

Rating Stars Reviewed by tom on 13th March 2010

just my personal opinion

1. Twilight's Chapter Seven (夜的第七章) (ye de di qi zhang)
7/10
2. Listen To Mother's Words (聽媽媽的話) (ting ma ma de hua)
9/10
3. Beyond A Thousand Miles (Faraway) (千里之外) (qian li zhi wai)
10/10
4. Compendium of Materia Medica (本草綱目) (ben cao gang mu)
10/10
5. Step Back (退後) (tui hou)
10/10
6. Popular Imitation (紅模仿) (hong mo fang)
8/10
7. Heart Rain (心雨) (xin yu)
8/10
8. White Windmill (白色風車) (bai se feng che)
7/10
9. Rosemary (迷迭香) (mi die xiang)
7/10
10. Chrysanthemum Flower Bed (菊花台) (ju hua tai)
10/10

87/100 87% 4.5/5

Rating Stars Reviewed by Leng on 17th October 2009

I love this tracks: Twilight's Chapter Seven (夜的第七章)
Listen To Mother's Words (聽媽媽的話)
Compendium of Materia Medica (本草綱目)
Step Back (退後)
Popular Imitation (紅模仿)
White Windmill (白色風車)
Chrysanthemum Flower Bed (菊花台),
especially 紅模仿...

Im a big fan of JAY, his songs are just too good!

Rating Stars Reviewed by Anonymous on 25th March 2009

In my opinion, this is the best Jay album yet. Faraway, Twilight's Chapter Seven, and Chrysanthemum Bed got me addicted to this album. The melodies for these songs are extremely catchy and absolutely amazing!!

Rating Stars Reviewed by andy tan on 11th November 2007

track 1 = a cool song.....love the background sound 8/10
track 2 = one of my favourite song in the album 9/10
track 3 = find it the best song in the album.....thanks to Fei Yu Qing...beautiful voice 10/10
track 4 = a cool rap song... 8/10
track 5 = nice song.. 9/10
track 6 = another fast song.....nice 7/10
track 7 = find it a sad song.....good song 8.5/10
track 8 = a very beautiful song..........great work 10/10
track 9 = find it a very *gay* song...ahaha...because he and his sissy voice 8/10
track 10 = a very nice and slow song.. 10/10

Lastly, i find this album good.....his pronouciation is much clearer......and tried new styles of singing.....great work....

Rating Stars Reviewed by tchlg@hotmail.com on 3rd February 2007

My first album was Common Jasmin Orange and I just fell in love with it. Since then, I've been buying up Jay's albums like crazy, yes, include his previous ones. Throughout the years, he has built a style of his own but given his successes in creating something new, there's always high expectation on that aspect. I'm really glad that this album turns out just as great as his previous ones and there are definitely some bright sparks here - track 1, 2, 3, 6 & 10 (actually, I have difficulty in ranking). I wouldn't say the rest are not good but it's just that these 5 stands out more : )... hmmm that's already 50%! Track 3 even converted my dad who doesn't listen to pop music. I'm looking forward to his concert. Anyone out there knows when he'll be having his concert? Have been waiting for more than 2 years....

Rating Stars Reviewed by y_monkee on 23rd November 2006

Below is a review based on my impression after the first fortnight listening to the album. Some ratings have since changed and where it has, it indicates the changes.

01 - 夜的第七章 = 5/5
This song is EPIC!!! The atmosphere the music creates, the images it conjures and the way jay's voice adds to the mystique and mood of the song is fantastic. And then, just when you thought that's good, you get this girl (I don't know who) who sings. I love it. I love what she brings to the song, her voice and the way that completes what is already a fantastic song.

This song sounds and feels like it's a movie. The way it starts, the drama during the middle, the suspense near the end and then the way it builds to the climax. ... this is an audio movie that's being played in my ears. I love track 1's from Jay :inlove:. It's the only track number that has never let me down.

02 - 聽媽媽的話 = 3/5
A song very much in the same vain as "Ye Ye Pao De Cha" and Maltose. I have to say, that at parts, Jay's rap sounds a bit like jason tong (?) from the Iron bamboos based on the two songs I've heard from jason (one with Landy, the other with Lara).

After the maturity of the last song, it's weird to follow it with this much light-hearted song. I would've preferred if this was in the latter part of the album like Maltose and Ye Ye Pao De Cha. What I DO like is the fact that he's taken the feel of Maltose and Ye Ye Pao De Cha and created a fresh sounding song. He's not always been able to do that.

03 - 千里之外 = 3 /5
I really expect a lot from Jay's tr3s. Go back in Jay's history and u'll find this is always one of the standout track number, at least IMO. That's why I was a little disappointed with this song. This is really the 3rd version of Dong Feng Po (the 2nd being Hair Like Snow). Unlike 聽媽媽的話, which sounded familiar yet fresh, this song seems rather devoid of innovation and originality. There's really little difference between this and Hair Like Snow, except this time there's Fei Yu Ching and there's no catchy "lurh er la..." bit.

Since I've listened to this song more, I have grown to dislike it less. Its main redeeming feature is the substance and feeling the two put behind their vocals. This is especially evident in the latter stages of the song. Fei Yu Ching's old skool style of singing is also not my cup of tea. IMO, this is a let-down of a tr3. Not since 星晴 have I heard a tr3 so weak, but I think this song is way better than 星晴 (lol).

04 本草綱目 = 3/5 (Now: 4/5)
From the offset, I think this sounds a lot like Landy's Girl Power. Listen to the arrangement and instruments used. So no bonus points for originality. The lyrics however, are just stunning! Kudos to Vincent Fang.

I just love how this whole song comes together. It's got a very "diao" feel to it. Plus, I've always loved the more Hip-Hop side of Jay than the more bland side of his ballads (minus a few exceptions). I also enjoy the pipe or flute thing at the end, it's a great way to finish the song IMO.

But just as with November's Chopin (11C) he said that it would have a classical feel and there was really only one track that had that (Nocturne), the same is true for this album. From memory, he said in a news article this article would have a hip-hop feel and this is the only song that really evidence this. Why must u tease and mislead me Jay? WHY!?!?
05 退後 = 1.5/5 (Now: 2/5)
Look, this isn't a bad song by any means. It's just standard Chinese slow ballad. The trouble is, because it's from Jay, I really expect more. It's not that I hate it for this reason. 1star is actually the rating I give to songs that are ok but is not particularly special.

It's hard to identify what is musically wrong with the song but I can easily tell you that this song has no soul, it's devoid of character. It's not like songs like Signals that warms you with the feelings of courtship, or Qin Tian that fill you with memories of first love, or the pain and sorrow of break ups with Ge Qian. This song is more like another product off Jay's music factory than a finely crafted little music box you'd normally associated with songs Jay produce for himself.

06 紅模仿 = 3.5/5
What a unique track!! There's definitely a feeling of freshness when I first heard this song. Apart from tr9, I've heard nothing released in the last 20yrs that sounds like this song. The "Aiya Aiya oh" bit is not the best Jay Improv sound I've heard. I actually found it detracts from the theme of the song. ... I enjoyed the trumpet that plays throughout. It's something different that Jay hasn't done. It's a good solid track.

07 心雨 = 1/5
A Ge Qian / Feng clone. How disappointing. The similarities go right down to the similar instruments used.What I said about 退後 having no soul applies here. There's nothing this song does that Ge Qian or Feng doesn't do better. A major step back from those two songs.

08 白色風車 = 3/5
A song very similar to "Qin Tian", "All the way North" & "Excuse", only less good (^__^;;). Those three songs were at least 4/5 for me but it was something that grew over time (especially "Excuse"). So perhaps given some time this song will also rise up but I have my doubts. I must say though, for a clone-song, 3-stars is already pretty good. Just look at the ratings I gave other copy-cat songs.

09 迷迭香 = 4/5
YES!!! At last, something funky. Very retro~. I like how the bridge before the chorus sounds like he's taking tentative steps; it's very gentle and soothing. My only complaint is that not all songs in the album are this innovative. This will go down as one of my favourite tr9s along with Garden Party, Cliff of Love, Tornado and Nunchucks. This song deserves its rightful spot as the second best track on the album.

10 菊花台 = 2.5/5
Traditionally, tr10's are another highlight of Jay's albums. Besides this one, there are only 2 tr10's which I've given less than 4/5. The mixture of Cello, traditional Chinese instruments and the vocals of the song reminds me of Coco Lee's "A love before Time". Here, Jay's vocal range brings back a lot of memories from such songs as Black Humour and Silence but it cannot surpass these two benchmarks. 2.5 may seem quite low for a song that has no real flaws (yes, it even has a soul), but I'm rating it against its peers and I did enjoy tr8 more than this.

===
Total 29.5/50 = 3/5 = 59% (subject to changes as the year goes on)

Ye Hui Mei = 80%
Orange Jasmine = 78%
8th Dimension = 64%
November's Chopin = 62% (minus Initial D tracks. 63% with I-D).
Fantasy = 60%
Fearless EP = 60%
==> Still Fantasy = 59% <==
Hidden Track EP = 50%
Jay = 48%
Fantasy Plus (live tracks) = 25%

He should've done a Still-YHM. The album as a whole is solid because it's hard to point out problems with any song apart from their lack of originality. Track 1 is a real highlight for me. In my review last year, I gave 11C 54%, but as the year went on, that was eventually increased to 62%. I think there's also room for this album to do the same.

The disappointing thing for me, is that there aren't more songs like Track 1; songs with depth, spirit and uniqueness. Especially with some of the ballads, I just feel there was a lack of creativity expressed in them. I think if you take the ballads from 11C and combine them with the fresh-sounding songs on this album, you would have another YHM or at least an 7LX.

Rating Stars Reviewed by X-taZy on 22nd November 2006

1) 夜的第七章 Ye De Di Qi Zhang
Lyrics: Huang Jun Lang Music: Jay Chou Music Arranger: Zhong Qing Min, Michael Hammar

First I didn't realize that the chorus melody was from the song he'd early composed.
But i like the way how the song is introduced, it's like some backgroundmusic of movies.
the 2nd rap is the best part rapping in this song. A combination of the rapping in Yi Fu Zhi Ming & Ni Lian.
the female voice is done by Pan Er 潘兒 from Room 19. Jay made a good decision to chose her to sing the chorus.
Her voice is similar to Matilda's, but more tender.
And the violin that is keep playing during the rap: perfect on the right place.
Only I think this song is too short. i expected another part of rapping.
About the lyrics: Huang Jun Lang's style. Difficult to understand. This time I miss a meaning in this song.

10

2) 聽媽媽的話 Ting Ma Ma De Hua
Lyrics/ Music: Jay Chou Music Arranger: Michael Hammar/Hong Jing Xiao

This is my favorite, coz it makes so happy. For me this is another music style Jay hasn't in his previous album.
Sounds like a children song.
The rapping is the best part of this song. The way how Jay's different rappings unit together, sounds really funny and happy.
the chorus reminds me of my childhood. hearing this part it's like I can see happy children under the sunny sky.
I like the drums here, makes the rhythm so relaxing. (want to swing)

Even Jay is more focus on his music, his lyrics are also not bad. This is the 2nd best after "Shi Jie Mo Ri".

"聽媽媽的話 別讓她受傷 想快快長大 才能保護她"
and i have an impulse to say "I love You , mama"... so touching.. tears in my eyes

10

3) 千里之外 Qian Li Zhi Wai
Lyrics: Vincent Fang Music: Jay Chou Music Arranger: Michael Hammar

i like the concept, so original. And except the music instruments in this song, everything surprised me.
Jay using his voice different than he used to and the result is surprising.
The first is really soft and tender. About Fei Yu Qing, I think he sounds like a bit effeminate
But they both do match in this song!
the rap suits to the song as all other rappings in "Fa Ru Xue", "Qing Tian" etc. Good work of Michael.
Even though this is not my fav Chinese Style Song... the chorus is printed in my heart.
the lyrics reminds me of "Dong Feng Po", not the best "Poem"-lyric of vincent.

7.8

4) 本草綱目 Ben Cao Gang Mu
Lyrics: Vincent Fang Music: Jay Chou Music Arranger: Michael Hammar

I have to mention the lyrics first. one of the diao-est lyrics i've ever heard.
"山藥 當歸 枸杞go 山藥 當歸 枸杞go" So funny ,suddenly a "go" But the "lala~ " part is a lil bit weak.
when i heard this song for the first time, I immediately recognize that the music is arranged by michael.
coz it got the style of "Piao Yi"

8.5

5) 退後 Tui Hou
Lyrics: Devin Song Music: Jay Chou Music Arranger: Michael Hammar

Somehow , i don't think it's really Jay style, it's more of a regular ballad from the Chinese Manderin music industry.
This because of the piano arrangment and how the drums are introduced.
I love the lyrics but it's too short comparing to the others.
a song everyone will like, but not the favorites.

8

6)紅模仿 Hong Mo Fang
Lyrics/Music: Jay Chou Music Arranger: Michael Hammar

all the music instruments together brings me to a foreign land . Scotland? Italy? Spain?
I don't know, but i think a place where people love to dance in a group.
In this song Jay is showing his cute side...First the OT. "屁" (Pi) , and then '哼哼哈兮'
and the chorus is great. at the first time i hear , already know how to sing the melody.
This time i love the chorus more than the rapping.
the lyric is similar to "Si Mian Chu Ge" : Jay's criticize on somethin, this time :chinese style music

9

7) 心雨xin yu
Lyrics: Vincent Fang Music: Jay Chou Music Arranger: Michael Hammar

again, the intro seems like movies background music. I like that, because it make the songs in this
album have a common thing.
i like the first part because of jay's singing , it reminds me of "Fa Ru Xue".
as for "tui hou" the music arrangmentis not really outstanding.
no comment for the lyrics

8

8)白色風車 bai se feng che
Lyrics/Music: Jay Chou Music Arranger: Again

this song i give a 10 without hearing it.
Only by hearing the title , the tears already dropped.
Yes, if i'm right, this is the only one song with strings!.
the music arrangment is similar to "Gui Ji", guitar and violins.
i like the way how jay sings the chorus, emphasizing on "...最後 ....回頭'

10

9) 迷迭香 mi die xiang
Lyrics:Vincent Fang Music: Jay CHou Music Arranger: Zhong Xing Wen

Haha, never thought Jay will do music like this kind.
Feel like I am in a nightclub of the 20's 30's. and makes me want to dance.
i'm really get into it. I just love it.

9.5

10) 菊花台 ju hua tai
Lyrics:Vincent Fang Music: Jay Chou Music Arranger:Zhong Xing Wen

First I thought it would be something like "Shuang Dao" or " Huo Yuan Chia",
but yo totally different.
hearing this song makes me want to sleep, not because it's boring or something else,
but it's really relaxing. And this kind "Chines Style" is different that what you hear
in "Dong Feng Po" , "Fa Ru Xue" or "Qian Li Zhi Wai".
a really good theme song for the "Golden" movie, even though I haven't seen the movie yet.
it's kind of weird, but i think this song sounds like more a classy children song like "月彎彎"
than a love song..
but this time vincent did a good job.this "poem"-lyric is better than "Qian Li Zhi Wai"


8





average result: 88.8/10 = 8.9

Rating Stars Reviewed by Lin Dan on 18th November 2006

Easy...only two words....'Still Fantasy'...Jay all the way!!

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