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RARB/CASA Forums • View topic - PennYo review

PennYo review

Discuss our reviews or just talk about any old album.

PennYo review

Postby tat-tong » Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:45 am

All 3 reviewers mentioned to some degree their dislike of the formulaic, vapid music on PennYo's latest CD. As a guy who's seen both sides of the musical fence (grew up in Asia, spent 4 years in the US), here's my take on why Asian pop music seems so utterly bland -

2 words. Piracy, and Karaoke.

Piracy is destroying music sales all over the world, but particularly in Asia. While artists could once sell perhaps tens of thousands of copies of albums in their native markets of say Taiwan and Hong Kong (China is far larger), nowadays they're lucky to scrape by with a few thousand. Bootleg copies of albums flood the streets barely days after their release, due to weak Intellectual Property laws and enforcement.

Record companies have responded to this trend by a) creating more volume and b) playing it safe, musically. By releasing a huge number of albums a year, and trotting out fresh new faces on a regular basis, they can create much more revenue, because they cannot count on having a few albums sell extremely well. With this much material being released, it's no wonder that a lot of it falls squarely in the "disposable" category. To make things worse, record companies cannot afford to tinker with a winning formula, because they aren't making enough money off of the successful albums to allow anything even remotely experimental (and hence not assured of some commercial success) to hit the shelves. Hence, only safe, conventional stuff is released.

Because of piracy, artists and agencies cannot count on album sales to rake in the dough. One alternative avenue is of course live concerts, but a huge percentage of the money now comes from karaoke video royalties. Karaoke is huge in Asia. Hence, songwriters and artists are forced to skew their musical choices towards those of the Karaoke crowd. For a song to make it in the Karaoke circuit, it's gotta be pretty easy to sing; unfortunately, this also translates to pretty bland and disposable!

Hope this sheds some light on the nature of the music on PennYo's album, and on the predicament befalling the entire Asian pop scene.
Tat Tong
Producer | Engineer | Songwriter | Arranger | Publisher

T2 Productions
Managed by Universal Music (Publishing)
An award-winning member of the VocalSource network.
tat-tong
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 4:41 am
Location: Singapore

Postby dekesharon » Sat Jul 08, 2006 2:10 pm

Fascinating, Tat. You're probably right.

That creates an opportunity for the rest of us to share our music with Asian audiences; show them that a cappella isn't just pop ballads, built on triads and laced with light R&B stylings.

In fact, the House Jacks are in Japan for the next 2 weeks, perhaps thanks to this trend? The music companies may be playing it safe, but the audiences here do seem to enjoy full-tilt contemporary a cappella.

So, get your butts over here people! All the sushi you can eat!

- Deke Sharon • 800.579.9305 • http://www.dekesharon.com

dekesharon
 
Posts: 1585
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Location: San Francisco

Postby lanian » Sun Jul 09, 2006 2:55 am

i agree with Tat on piracy ruining Asian music...

but I also wanted to say that Asian pop culture does not produce artists but just singers and posers...

Most of the singers are literally made by recording companies to generate money. And recording companies are like book publishers... they just want to copy successful formulas to make money.

In Asia, most of the singers don't write their own songs. They just practice singing and posing, and they expect the agencies to give songs to them... So every song sounds the same...
Kijun Seo

Caltech Fluid Dynamics
2006 -

Phillips Exeter Academy The Exeteras
2005-2006
lanian
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 2:31 am

Postby jrhailey » Sun Jul 09, 2006 8:19 pm

Josh Hailey
, '02-'05
jrhailey
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 6:28 pm
Location: Nashville, TN

Postby lanian » Mon Jul 10, 2006 3:33 am

Kijun Seo

Caltech Fluid Dynamics
2006 -

Phillips Exeter Academy The Exeteras
2005-2006
lanian
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 2:31 am

Postby jamesq84 » Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:30 am

jamesq84
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 1:55 pm
Location: Raleigh, NC

Postby gnotos » Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:37 am

Joshua Yap
PennYo (UPenn)'04-'06
SingSong (Beida) '05
gnotos
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:55 am

Postby rebecca » Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:43 am

rebecca
RARB
RARB
 
Posts: 336
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2002 1:40 pm
Location: washington, dc

Postby gnotos » Sun Jul 16, 2006 7:01 am

Joshua Yap
PennYo (UPenn)'04-'06
SingSong (Beida) '05
gnotos
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:55 am

Postby lanian » Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:22 am

Kijun Seo

Caltech Fluid Dynamics
2006 -

Phillips Exeter Academy The Exeteras
2005-2006
lanian
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 2:31 am

Postby gnotos » Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:57 am

PennSori's not in PAC but I think they're trying to get in this year. They're brand new I think - just formed last year.

However I think there's a moratorium on new groups entering PAC for a year or so - basically there are five million groups in PAC fighting for less than five million possible venue/dates and sources of $, so I guess they want to keep people out or slow the entrance of new groups?
Joshua Yap
PennYo (UPenn)'04-'06
SingSong (Beida) '05
gnotos
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:55 am

Postby lanian » Fri Jul 21, 2006 7:48 am

Kijun Seo

Caltech Fluid Dynamics
2006 -

Phillips Exeter Academy The Exeteras
2005-2006
lanian
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 2:31 am

Postby gnotos » Tue Jul 25, 2006 8:20 am

ehm? if you're in contact with him tell him we can provide limited help/consultation if they're going the self-mix route. (limited not by our generosity but by our skill :} )

ask him to facebook msg or something :}
Joshua Yap
PennYo (UPenn)'04-'06
SingSong (Beida) '05
gnotos
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:55 am

Postby jthelegend » Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:26 pm

or tell them to get in touch with Tat Tong. Helping out with this sort of project might be something right up his alley. Either shoot him an email, httong AT gmail DOT com, or aim him at : ratizzat

...i love how i just whore out tat's services for him
j. cannon
::2004-2007::
the panic room::producer-engineer::
member of the network
jthelegend
 
Posts: 522
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Postby tat-tong » Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:47 am

Tat Tong
Producer | Engineer | Songwriter | Arranger | Publisher

T2 Productions
Managed by Universal Music (Publishing)
An award-winning member of the VocalSource network.
tat-tong
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 4:41 am
Location: Singapore

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