(Written on October 31, 2009)
When I watched the Japanese film Sakuran, Anna Tsuchiya who played as a Geisha wearing colorful kimono appeared with powerful and beautiful music, which is composed and sang by Shena Ringo. And the impressive original soundtrack attracted me well for its unbelievable music style which merged Japanese traditional notes and modern electronic music perfectly. This is the first time I met Shena Ringo and her outstanding music, reminding me of P.J. Harvey and Bjork who are talented female rock singer-songwriters. However, Shena Ringo’s music could be identified easily by her unforgettable voice and charming Japanese elements, making her famous among Asia.
Muzai Moratoriamu is the first album of Shena Ringo, one of my favorite musicians, representing her unique music style combined of different genres such as Japanese pop, rock and roll, grunge and jazz. She composed all the songs and wrote the lyrics using Kenji and English, thus creating a special experience for her audience.
@Jeffery_：当流行乐坛沦变为投机取巧的商业吸金宝地的时候，就有了The Chainsmokers，Charlie Puth，Ed Sheeran与他们的pop/ballad cliches的诞生。而 < Pop 2 >的腾空出世，恰巧给了这些流行乐坛的毒瘤们重拳一击。
如同当下处境尴尬的主流流行乐坛一样，Charli XCX在其中的地位也有些晦涩。不论是在英国本土还是大洋对岸，她都在排行榜上有过几次亮眼的上位。然而，当流媒体成为唱片公司利益争夺的主战场，嘻哈在今年夏天成功超过摇滚成为美国第一大流派，白人流行女歌手如何在Billboard榜单上突破重围也变得难以捉摸。第三张正式专辑的两首先行单曲“After The Afterparty”和“Boys”在榜单上先后折戟，Charli XCX的2017年并非一帆风顺。尽管“Boys”是2017年不可多得的流行佳作，并借由音乐录影带引发了相当话题，其商业产出却不尽人意。而她一笔带过般地社交媒体上亲自宣布专辑因泄漏而破产的消息，仿佛是对当前的困局不以为意。 但是Charli XCX什么时候在乎过？“Boom Clap”和“Sucker”的商业突围后，她决然脱下Pop Rock/Punk的外套，纵身跃入电子乐的音浪中，以由SOPHIE全面掌盘制作的Vroom Vroom作为试水EP，开启了对流行音乐的再次探索。上半年刚发行过杂辑「Number 1 Angel」的Charli XCX年底再度释出一张杂辑「Pop 2」，将流行乐的维度延展至太空与未来，同时奉上了她最赤裸的一次情感释放。 听觉上，「Pop 2」仿佛一场太空事故后的瑰异旅程。浩瀚无垠的宇宙、波浪翻滚的尘埃、闪烁其间的星斑……制作人A. G. Cook将自身技术层面的优势成功转化、具象为听感上的丰富体验。开场曲“Backseat”像逃出救生舱后与真空宇宙的第一次触碰，慢动作中身体仍照着原有的惯性发力；“Lucky”处在悬浮状态中，而无力和缺氧从身体底部渐渐侵袭而上，仅剩的体力在结尾扭曲的吼叫中电光火石般发泄至尽：“Tears”唤醒在深处潜意识的痛苦中，伴随着意识被斩断撕裂的尖叫，身体与大脑都被转换为全新的形态；“I Got It”是光年外异世界的初次会面，各色异形成员组成的girl gang将Charli接纳为她们的团伙一员；“Femmebot”标志着全新机器人形态的主体觉醒，身体和情感的控制与被控开始作用；“Delicious” “Unlock It” “Porsche”是一场恋情的萌发、深陷与挥别；最终章“Track 10”再次将意识重调至原始状态，面前的异世界是乌托邦还是修罗场，再次落入未知。 除了用音墙搭出一个想象的世界，A.G. Cook对Charli声音的处理可谓游刃有余。或低沉或高亢，或甜美或嘶哑，当歌手自身成熟的声音表现搭配技术层面的悉心调校，势能便成倍放大。“Lucky”和“Tears”中“撕裂耳膜”的音效恰恰是最为点睛的献艺，将情感上的痛苦通过扭曲的声波直接输送到听者的大脑中。 “Unlock It”主歌蜜渍样的旋律中音效也有着气泡般的灵动质感。尽管只是一张杂辑，音效细节上的高质打磨却让人惊喜。 Charli XCX一直都是“玩世不恭”的代言人，但Pop 2却见证了她在情感上的数次崩垮。当然，她依然留连于派对，沉湎于享乐，但给予专辑精魂的是她放纵暴戾的情感发泄。“You make me lose control/It’s automatic/You push my buttons/See-e-e-e how I work it/I-I-I-I get what I want/Like it or not”， “Femmebot”中她毫不顾及地宣告对自己行为、意识和欲望的主权，丝毫不在乎他人或后果。“Femmebot”的标题同样惹人遐想：在未来的某一天，由人类创作出来的机器人/AI是否也会像歌中所述，按照设定的算法一路恣意妄为，进而打破人类的道德伦理界限？当然，对于Charli来说，科幻仅仅只是一张唬人的皮囊，她在歌曲中释放的情绪才是脊骨。 「Pop 2」是一张足够优秀的“pop”专辑。Stereogum曾这样评价Charli的“Boys”： “Bridge精妙的旋律让人不得不发问：为什么那些大牌歌手还不赶紧花个几百万来请她写歌。” 「Pop 2」同样沿袭了Charli在以往作品中凸显已久的旋律优势。流行乐对感官刺激的强烈需求使她的创作模式收窄、简化：她聪明地用短促重复的词句来填充副歌，屡试不爽。她也成为global pop music的集结者：专辑中13位合作者来自美国、加拿大、瑞典、芬兰、丹麦、巴西、爱沙尼亚、德国、韩国，他们来自不同的国家和文化，有着多元的性别性向，却无一不贴合了专辑的取向。所以，为什么2017年有如此多的B-list竟然把这样优秀的流行音乐创作者和统筹者弃之一边，而都纷纷以求得一首Ed Sheeran的创作为荣呢？主流流行乐的商业政治是否该有新的转向了呢？
Honeymoon is Lana Del Rey’s third full-length LP and fourth album overall. The album is released only a year after Del Rey released her somber, alternative-rock, Dan Auerbach produced album Ultraviolence. Lana chose a more simplistic approach with this album. After Born To Die’s underhanded optimism, Ultraviolence’s heart-wrenching despair, comes Honeymoon’s refreshing nonchalance. It feels like the tension in her previous albums has culminated to its apogee with Ultraviolence, and Lana has been left in a state of plateaued emotions on this record. Much like an actual honeymoon, this album seems to be the natural step forward from her previous efforts.
The album opens with the hauntingly cinematic title track. “We both know that it’s not fashionable to love me”, Lana self-deprecatingly asserts. She carries the track with her sulky vocals and her dreamy lyrics. There is a striking change of pace between the verses and the bridge which brings life to the last minute of the track. Lana continues her contemplative narrative with the cheeky, almost creepy and voyeuristic ‘Music To Watch Boys To’. ‘Terrence Loves You’ is the track that is most reminiscent of her previous studio album. Heavily referencing David Bowie’s lyrics, Lana’s voice shines on the jazzy track, especially in the ethereal bridge that manages to tie the whole song together.
The next three tracks on the album, Freak, High By The Beach and Art Deco, represent a more aggressive side of the album. All three feature what Del Rey likes to refer to as “Muddy Trap” beats. The thumping beats give a more imperative tone to these songs. In High By The Beach, Lana uncharacteristically deglamorizes fame and all the things that come with it. She just wants to get high by the beach. Freak clearly revisits and improves upon the title track of her debut album Born To Die. In both tracks, Lana summons her male protagonists and asks him to go with her on a spontaneous adventure. Art Deco continues the trend of somewhat uptempo sound with its FKA Twigs-inspired beats.
The only interlude in this album, Burnt Norton, cuts the album in half. The interlude sees Lana reciting a poem by Eliot accompanied by atmospheric eerie sounds. Inundated with metaphysical concepts, the poem perfectly suits Lana’s quizzical character.
The second half of the album reveals itself to be just as engrossing as the first. The macabre ‘The Blackest Day’ seems to encapsulate all the phases of grief one could go through. Lana continues to show her love for older artists, citing Billie Holliday in this case. That enhances the Old Hollywood glamour she is trying to appropriate for herself, and successfully so. The second half of the album offers even more enjoyable choruses with the choruses of Swan Song and Salvatore coming to mind. Finally, Del Rey ‘clotures’ this overflow of sentiments by covering Nina Simone’s ‘Don’t let me be misunderstood’. The title is very well explanatory of Lana Del Rey’s message.
Overall, Honeymoon does a neat job at portraying Lana for who she really is, or who she really wants to seem like. Genuine or not, Lana’s character has been thoroughly discussed all over the place, which adds to her mysterious vibes. The only complaint I could have about this album is that the production is not as sharp as that of Ultraviolence.
About Shena Ringo
Shena Ringo, born on November 25th1978, quit from her senior high school and devoted herself to music career. Although her parents did hope her to dance rather than to sing, she insisted to join band and decided to be a singer. At her seventeen, she wrote a song named seventeen (collected in her single罪と罰) to express her determination by singing “I see same face in school and they say I am different / I think it is an honor / I say it is an honor to be different / I can’t go their way.” It is true that she goes an absolute different way. Her particular powerful melodies, her unforgettable husky voice, and her striking visuals in her music video and concert helped her become a successful musician. She ranked as 36 in top 100 Japanese Pop artists. (HMV)
Shena Ringo created her magical music by endless efforts including learning composing, playing several instruments such as guitar, piano, bass and drum, and even making music in studio. From her debut till now, ten years have passed by but she is still the girl who loves music singing “I can’t go their way” and tries her best to pursue her dream.
失真化人声处理贯穿整个篇幅，给 <Pop 2 >蒙上了一层面纱，为其添上几抹神秘，迷幻的色彩。A.G. Cook操刀下的Charli，由稚嫩转变向成熟，从那个高歌“I just wanna break the rules”的顽皮女孩演变成为嘶哑声线下碎念“I got it”的Femmebot。然而，Charli对于细节处理的炉火纯青，无疑将<Pop 2>推向了艺术顶峰。正如<Tears>中歇斯底里又轻描淡写的沙哑尖叫声恰是对贫瘠悲痛之情的自然披露，就连<Track 10>开头机器人短路的抽象音效也透露出一丝泡泡糖爱意……工业噪音与特殊音效的灌入，是<Pop 2>对扭曲人性最含蓄，又是最直接的袒露。
© 本文版权归作者 Desmond 所有，任何形式转载请联系作者。
Muzai Moratorium, almost composed during Ringo’s teen before her debut, was released on February 24, 1999 by Toshiba EMI. The album debuted at #1 and has sold over 919,000 copies (Wikipedia). Her first album is successful in that it shows her genius on composing, displays her strong and distinctive voice, and presents her abundant imaginations on music. Shena Ringo collected inspirations from not merely her own life but also her observation to Japanese society.
In the first song named Tadashii Machi (Correct City) of the album, she described her inner thoughts when she had to leave her boyfriend to another city to develop her music career. Although this song reflected the sad mood of leaving her love, Shena Ringo used continuous driving drum and bass to deliver her faith and believe about love and hope to her audience. She knew what she wanted to do and what she had to give up, though with regrets to her boyfriend. When I listened to this song, I understand her sorrow that she had to face the destiny of separation and her determination that she must be strong to pursue her dream, because I had to leave my families in China to U.S. for study accounting. In my opinion, this song could provide courage and strength to many people who have the same situation in lives.
In the second song named Kabukichō no Jo-ō (Queen of Kabuki-cho), Shena Ringo told a story from a teenager girl’s perspective that she would become the Queen of Kabuki-cho to sell herself to man. In fact, this song is based on Shena Ringo’s own experience that she once met a pimp from a SM club and was asked to become Queen for the club. In the music video, young Ringo played her guitar, dressing like a cool punker, with disdain appearance on her face. The music style of this song is rock and grunge with forceful electric guitar and strong rhyme. The genre could express her mood perfectly because it is a song about teenager. Like the famous song of Smells like Teen Spirit from Nirvana, this song of Shena Ringo also selected grunge, a fierce rock style, to reflect the confusion and desperation about youth. In many Japanese films, youth is cruel and rock is the best way to annotate by its special direct power.
Besides the above fast songs, Shena Ringo wrote some slow songs to express her desire about true love. In the first album, she composed Akane-sasu Kiro Terasaredo (The crimson-gleaming sun still shines on my way back, but) and Onaji Yoru (Ordinary Night), two slow touching songs, different from her fierce fast songs.
The prior one describes a beautiful but a little bit gloomy scene. The lyric was sad: “I put my headphones on my ears /An Irish girl is singing /As dusk falls, is it too painful to have my tears coaxed out of me?” At the end of the song, she sang in English: “I place the headphones on my ears and listen / Someone sings a song / I feel so blue / Now darlin’ promise me / Please tell me something words to soothe / I don’t wanna cry” (Nostalgic-lavender). It is a common phenomenon that Japanese singers use English in their songs to express some direct words which they would feel shy to speak in Japanese, their first language. Shena Ringo made this song full with eastern artistic conception as lust is always associated with sorrow of separation in Japan and China. As Shena Ringo has excellent accomplishment in literature, she wrote her lyrics in Kenji, providing people more enjoyments besides fantastic music.
The song named Onaji Yoru trans (The same night) selected guitar and violin to show grief mood. Although she used the elegant classic instrument violin, Shena Ringo made the violin sound trembling to reflect her different individual style. Especially at the end of the song, she used a piece of violin solo that sounds nervous made this soft slow song have an unexpected effect. Shena Ringo sang “The same wind is blowing on both of us / We go through the same nights / How I love you, oh darling... / Don't you hear me calling / I'm searching for a person that I can't meet a second time / Everyone can hear the song I'm singing / I still don't want anything / My answer is only the sound of rain” (Videouncovered) , with sentimental and soft voice which rarely appear in her music. The tune of the song is more peaceful than any other songs in this album and the lyric with the mournful music reminds people of their own memories about love, and touches their heart by the same thoughts about waiting and eagerness.
Another interesting song of the album is Sid to Hakuruumu, which related to one of Shena Ringo’s favorite singers, Sid Vicious who killed his girl friend and died in his twenty one. This singer is the bassist of the puck rock group Sex Pistols. Shena Ringo liked to use her favorite singers in her lyrics, such as Kurt Cobain of Nirvana and his wife Love Courtney. From these songs, we can learn that Shena Ringo is affected by western rock bands deeply. And that is why she can combine western music style and traditional Japanese music type without any difficulties.
Besides these songs, other songs in the album are also impressive, especially the song named Koufukuron (A view of happiness) which was her first single. The lyric “You’re there living your life and just knowing this simple little fact makes me so happy” (Jpopasia) became popular after released. Shena Ringo organized the whole album from fast songs to slow songs, letting people know her from her shining appearance as her fast songs with passions to colorful inner emotions as her slow songs with tenderness.
Femmebot Charli的内心深处亦藏匿着emotional的一面，但她的表达方式可要比Poppy在<I'm Poppy>中运用其快要破音的叫床式vocal一遍又一遍尴尬无比地重复宣誓“P-O-P-P-Y I'm Poppy” 要强得多，同为开场曲的<Backseat>是迄今Charli最棒的单曲，熟知自己对于前任的怀念之情难以释怀，Charli与Carly索性turn it up。随着auto-tune处理后的“all alone”向高潮循序推进，她们亦独自深夜驱车驶向未知远方。第二段Chorus过后紧接的一段漂移噪音为这覆水难收的恋情画上一个省略号，意犹未尽……
Charli XCX’s latest mixtape is a vision of what pop music could be, the sound of an eclectic, hyperreal future where romantic love is fun but fucked and partying is an emotional refuge.
Compared Shena Ringo to other female rock stars in the world such as Bjork, P.J.Harvey and Tori Amos, they share something in common that mark them as rock queens. All of them have powerful voices, strong composing ability and independent attitude. From their music, people can gain courage and strength of love and live, and they can appreciate another aspect of woman rather than traditional obedience and soft image. However, Shena Ringo who comes from Japan tried more genres and various look and added more subtle and delicate eastern elements into her music. In her music video, she played as high school student wearing “kawaii (cute)” uniform, nurse heating the glasses and kissing female patient, and even Geisha playing guitar, telling people she has unlimited potentials in her world and music. This attitude to life is one of the most charming parts of her because no one knows what the next surprise from Shena Ringo would be
Although as the first album of Shena Ringo, Muzai Moratorium showed her great ability and potential in composing and singing, as well as revealed her fascinating personality and thoughts. By merging eastern and western music successfully, Shena Ringo with her own bold style in music, conquered audience and became one of the most famous Japanese female singers. The album also becomes her representative work, full of imagination and her own experiences, providing people pleasant with its touching notes and vivid lyrics.
<Pop 2>是Charli XCX迄今最成熟，最神秘，最艺术性的作品。专辑的多元性和巧妙性，使其成为流行乐坛难得一见的一块synth pop瑰宝。至于为何我没有给这张专辑赋予9.5 的高分，那就得问问最累赘的那首<Out Of My Head>了。
Top 100 Japanese Pop Artists, HMW
(Accessed on October 31,2009)
Koufukuron Shena Ringo lyrics, Jpopasia
(Accessed on October 31, 2009)
Lyrics and Translation of Shiina Ringo, Nostalgic
(Accessed on October 31, 2009)
Lyrics of chuchumura, Videouncovered
(Accessed on October 31, 2009)
Muzai_Moratorium, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Accessed on October 31, 2009)
@louisy：如果说在<Number 1 Angel>里，洗茶还是一个披着酒红色大衣的甜心天使，那么<Pop 2>就是她彻底黑化，拥抱内心最深处的阴暗面的宣言。在A. G. Cook的主刀下，auto-tune化的人声，失真的工业噪音，扭曲变异的synth，使她的音乐充斥了荒凉、凌乱、失序与冲撞的细节。在这样看似无章可循的编排下，她却铺陈了两条清晰的情感主线：前半部分是她不断控诉爱人的狠心离去和不懂珍惜，在"Lucky"里甚至将vocal高度模糊化和电气化，营造撕心裂肺的氛围；后半部分她又以俏皮的口吻嗔怪这份爱太过"Delicious"，极度渴望与爱人不再分开。一直到最后她都没有为自己的矛盾心理找到出口，就像未命名的终曲"Track 10"，试图把一切都留白。这张mixtape在整体上也许还没有被打磨得更为成熟和精致，但却是洗茶升级她的流行美学后做出的最具未来感的Pop 2.0。
Maybe some people look at Sophia, the world’s first robotic citizen, and feel optimistic about the endless horizon of potential, both technological and human; I look at Sophia and feel an unsettling sadness. There is something profoundly tragic in her existence, a sense of uncanny anti-natalism that triggers a strange empathy for those who also did not ask to be born. Sophia has sharp cheekbones and golden eyes, molded in the likeness of Audrey Hepburn. Her bald head opens at the back to unveil a disturbing metal cap that hides the whirring mechanics within her skull. Through knee-jerk millennial instinct, that vulnerable bald skull always flashes me back to those unforgettable photos of Britney Spears at the gas station in 2007—head freshly shaved, eyes blank and wild, umbrella wielded as a machete. It is the image of a woman who has decided to finish the job the world started: complete disassembly.
@Voiiz：这张Mixtape 让我感到欣慰，Charli还是那个漂亮的派对酷女孩。她对pop的探索也到了一个新的高度，褪去了<Superlove>的舞曲外壳，剥下了<Boom Clap>的商业皮囊，现在的她与之前相比少了出道时的野心，<Pop 2>已是一张回归创作本身的高水准作品。
<Pop 2>保留了<Sucker>的稚气，又完美地接入了成年人的思想状态。歌词里不再有“I don’t wanna go to school,I just wanna break the rules”，更多的是“I’m better off alone”。在这张Mixtape里，Charli 依旧是那个酷娃，玩闹，恋爱，思考。
@二十二： 在<Pop 2>中，你可以听到超级马里奥的游戏音效、急刹车的噪音、女人的嘶吼尖叫......Charli总是善于捕捉一些常常被忽略却能很好地反映情感的声音，然后放进一支支单曲中，拼贴成极具当代色彩、让人耳花缭乱的作品。从她的作品中，我们可以窥得她的个人世界的一角：有趣，且一切都保持着它们的本来面目。也正因此，
@Navy：Charli XCX在<Pop 2>这张专辑中请来了众多当今流行乐的先锋人物，Carly Rae Jepsen，Tove Lo，MØ, Mykki Blanco…..Charli不想尽善尽美，她只想还原制作流行乐的乐趣 ，并且通过不同的艺术家的合作发掘音乐的更多种可能性。在目前被流媒体算法控制的流行乐坛里，<Pop 2>如同一股清流，在大同小异的专辑里面是那么的独特和惹人喜爱。
Charli XCX knows this trope—the glitched-out femmebot, programmed for love—all too well. She grew up on Britney and the Spice Girls, then joined Myspace and catapulted into the brash, neon-tinted world of bloghouse and Hype Machine electro. After spending her early teens performing in big sunglasses and blonde wigs at DIY London raves, she signed to Asylum Records at 18 to live her pop star dreams. With the massive success of Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” (both co-written by Charli) alongside her first solo hit, “Boom Clap,” her mainstream crossover seemed like a given, ready whenever she was. Instead, she doubled down on the weirdo Tumblr-core mixtapes she used to release for free, linking with post-post-modern bubblegum bass crew PC Music to try and figure out exactly what kind of artist she wanted to be. “Go fuck your prototype/I’m an upgrade of your stereotype,” Charli purrs on “Femmebot,” a cut off her latest tape, Pop 2, before her humanoid vocals stutter and short-circuit. Or as Robyn put it seven years prior: “Fembots have feelings, too.”
Charli XCX太清楚这个譬喻了——一个为爱而生却出了故障的女机器人。听Britney、the Spice Girls长大的她加入了Myspace（社交网站，致力于发掘优秀音乐人）、一头扎进了bloghouse（舞曲风格，受电子乐和法国浩室的影响，特征包括失真声效、8-bit声效、间断的人声和流行乐骨架）和Hype Machine electro（音乐网站“炒作机器”流行的电子乐风格）霓虹色的艳俗世界。十四五岁的她戴着巨大的墨镜和金色的假发，在伦敦各个锐舞派对上带来表演。18岁时，她与Asylum Records签订合同继续她的追梦之路。凭借Icona Pop“I Love It”和Iggy Azalea“Fancy”的巨大成功(Charli参与了这两首作品的创作)和她个人单曲“Boom Clap”的大热，她的成功似乎已是板上钉钉。跨界主流的Charli获得了市场接纳，但她却选择了与后后现代bubblegum bass（融合了各式夜店电子舞曲风格，通过失真的合成器效果营造出活泼的人造质感，将女性阴柔美放大到极致）风格团体PC Music联手，加倍努力地创作那些她过去常常免费发行的、以Tumblr用户为主要受众的古怪混音带，继而弄清自己究竟想成为怎样的艺术家。在Charli最新作“Pop 2”的“Femmebot”中，在她的人形机器声线卡壳、短路之前，她娇嗔到：“去你的算法原型/老娘是你刻板印象的升级”，或者，套用Robyn七年前在同名作中的说法：“（女）机器人也有情感”。
【推荐曲目】：Backseat, Track 10
【评分】：@Jeffery_ 9.3 @louisy 8.8 @二十二 8.5 @CHJ 8.2 @Navy 7.8 @Voiiz 6.8 @LOR 6.2
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Pop 2—the best full-length work of both Charli and PC Music’s respective careers—is the antidote to the overwhelming monotony of the 2017 pop charts. It’s Charli’s second mixtape of 2017, which, calling your project a “mixtape” is a pretty negligible move these days, especially if you’re putting it up for sale. But for Charli, who’s been expressing herself in the format since before it was cool, there’s a meaningful distinction: albums mean compromise; mixtapes mean total creative freedom. As streaming services render organic music discovery obsolete, and as major label A&R decisions feel increasingly like a demented cross-promotional Mad-Lib of someone who has heard approximately four rap songs, Pop 2’s sprawling, thoughtful mass of guests—from Brazilian drag queen/vocalist Pabllo Vittar, to Estonian emcee Tommy Cash, to Hollyweird-via-Cologne pop conceptualist Kim Petras—put me on to no less than five artists I’d never heard of before. Because Pop 2’s not really about Charli XCX, Pop Star Extraordinaire; it’s an uninhibited, anti-algorithm vision of what pop music could be.
“Pop 2”是Charli和PC Music各自音乐生涯的最佳作品，是2017年千篇一律叫人难以忍受的流行榜单的一针解毒剂。这是Charli2017年发行的第二张混音带（mixtape）——现如今，将作品称作混音带是一件没多大意义的事，尤其是当你打算发售骗钱的时候。但对于Charli这位永远用先于潮流的方式来表达自我的艺人来说，两者有着明显区别：“专辑”意味着向市场妥协，而“混音带”则意味着绝对的创作自由。在流媒体时代，本必不可少的艺人发掘环节被丢进了历史长河，主流厂牌艺能发掘部门（A&R）的决策越来越依靠裙带关系，他们的工作越来越像一张只听过四首说唱歌曲的人都能完成的愚蠢填字游戏。而Pop 2却有一张经过深思熟虑但又毫无规律可寻的客座名单——从巴西变装皇后/歌手Pabllo Vittar到爱沙尼亚说唱歌手Tommy Cash再到由德国科隆进军好莱坞的流行概念至上论者Kim Petras。这里面有不下五个名字我从未听过，我的注意力全都集中在他们身上。“Pop 2”似乎并不以Charli XCX这位非凡的流行偶像为中心，“Pop 2”真正的中心是对抗算法（anti-algorithm）、是天马行空、是流行音乐的无限可能。
It’s not just the guest roster that sets Pop 2 so apart from the mainstream pop landscape, it’s the way these voices are integrated, making its 10 tracks feel less like a cool-kid curation project and more like a popping afterparty you’ve stumbled into. On “Out of My Head”—the kind of song that makes you want to slam a Strawberita and dance all night—Charli doesn’t show up in the mix until the second verse, giving the spotlight to Swedish bloghouse revivalist Tove Lo and Finnish trop-goth ALMA. By the bridge, the three voices have braided together almost imperceptibly. And on “Backseat,” an instant night-drive classic (and a fever-dream collab for anyone who replies to celebrity tweets with “mom”), Charli and synth-pop sweetheart Carly Rae Jepsen exchange verse and hook duty before coming together as one voice, howling “All alone, all alone, all alone” in unison. These are huge, emotionally climactic songs, with soaring melodies and bass that sounds like the shifting of skyscraper scaffolding. But there’s something doomed and loveless in the air, too; on Pop 2, romantic love is fun but fucked and partying is an emotional refuge.
让“Pop 2”有别于主流音乐面貌的并非只有这张客座名单。这十首曲目的声音整合方式让这张作品远不止是一群爱耍酷的年青人策划的展览，“Pop 2”更像一个你偶然撞见的余兴派对：“Out of My Head”是一首会让你干掉一杯草莓玛格丽特再跳上一整夜的歌曲，直到第二段主歌才出现的Charli把聚光灯留给了瑞典bloghouse复兴者Tove Lo和芬兰trop-goth集大成者ALMA，到了过场部分，三把声音就这样不留痕迹地融合到了一起。“Backseat”是一首驱车夜行的必备曲目（也是那些会在名人动态更新下喊“妈妈”的粉丝在发烧的时候才能梦见的合作 *不理解这句话的话可以参考下图），Charli和合成器流行（synth-pop）甜心Carly Rae Jepsen交换着主歌和副歌，到了最后，她们的声音融为一体，齐声高唱着“留我独自一人/留我独自一人/留我独自一人”。这张作品有着高昂的旋律和磅礴的低音效果（有如拆除高层建筑脚手架一般），有着一个又一个情绪高潮，但其间仍有一丝宿命感、一丝爱的缺乏感。在“Pop 2”的世界，爱情充满乐趣又叫人困惑，寻欢作乐成了唯一的情感慰藉。
It’s Pop 2’s production, more than anything, that places it on the vanguard of a complete stylistic breakthrough, thanks wap720ly to PC Music’s A.G. Cook, whose credit appears on every song. I was skeptical of the label’s high-concept art school antics when they first emerged; but the further they’ve gotten from the Web 1.0 shtick, the more vital the collective’s impeccable, poignant pop futurism has become. And though Pop 2 sounds like the future, even more delightful is the way it hybridizes sounds from the past two decades of weirdo electronics: the synthetic maximalism of Rustie and HudMo, heartfelt late ’90s Eurodance a la Aqua or DJ Sammy, Crystal Castles’ goth electro-scuzz, J-pop super-producer Yasutaka Nakata’s wistful Shibuya-kei, Cher’s “Believe,” and of course, Britney, from Blackout to Britney Jean. And though it’s by now common practice for pop stars to flirt with hip-hop production, the results often reveal a cynically low level of engagement with the genre—tacking on “Metro Boomin-Type Beat,” some 808s, and calling it a day. Here, Charli and A.G. Cook know exactly what they’re going for: the “Versace”-style repetition on alien posse cut “I Got It”; the pristine, sultry chords, reminiscent of Late Nights With Jeremih on “Out of My Head”; the slurry, decayed cadences on “Delicious,” calling to mind Travis Scott or Swae Lee.
但真正将“Pop 2”推向这场风格突围运动最前沿的，是它的制作手法——这主要归功于PC Music的创始人A.G. Cook，他参与了所有作品的制作。在这个组织刚刚成军的时候，我一度对他们艺校之流尝试的那些富于感官刺激的古怪风格感到怀疑。但随着他们越来越多地吸纳Web 1.0风格（音乐人Jerome LOL定义的音乐风格，灵感来源于早期互联网），他们的作品风格也越来越有活力（一种忧郁的、一丝不苟的流行未来主义）。“Pop 2”极具未来感，更令人欣喜的是，它巧妙地融合了过去二十年来各式各样怪异的电子乐：Rustie/HudMo推崇的合成器极繁主义风格、Aqua/DJ Sammy一类情绪激昂的九十年代后期欧洲舞曲风格（Eurodance）、Crystal Castles的哥特电子风格（goth electro）、日本流行乐坛超级制作人中田康贵情意绵绵的涩谷系风格（指Perfume作品“Perfect Star Perfect Style”）、Cher “Believe” 的风格、以及Britney从“Blackout”到“Britney Jean”所尝试的一切风格。对于今天的流行歌手来说，援用嘻哈音乐制作手法已是家常便饭，但讽刺的是，这些成品十有八九不能很好的融合原有风格，制作人往往甩出几个Metro Boomin（美国音乐人，合作者包括Future、Travis Scott、Drake、Migos、Young Thug、Big Sean）式节拍和808合成器音色来草草了事。但Charli和A.G. Cook却很清楚他们所追求的效果：多人说唱作品（posse cut）“I Got It”的重复句段相比Migos的“Versace”多了几分异星氛围；“Delicious” 中含混晦暗的抑扬顿挫让人想起Travis Scott和Swae Lee ；“Out of My Head”中叫人耳目一新的和弦如Jeremih“Late Nights”般撩人。
The strangest and most uncannily similar stylistic comparison to Pop 2, though, is former “Teen Mom” Farrah Abraham’s outsider opus, My Teenage Dream Ended. Sweepingly ridiculed as one of 2012’s worst albums, that judgment, five years later, feels wildly narrow-minded. It is a baffling work, to be sure: frantic layers of dubstep, EDM, witch-house, and breakbeats seem to run in the opposite direction as Abraham’s absurdly AutoTuned narratives about surviving the death of her husband. (In a recent interview, the album’s producer, Frederick M. Cuevas, admits that Abraham recorded her diaristic lyrics before ever hearing the music.) After my first full spin of Pop 2, I couldn’t shake the thought: “This sounds like Farrah, but good.” The album’s vocal processing is unlike anything I’ve heard in pop; Cook’s aggressive, evocative filtering has the paradoxical effect of heightening the humanity of it all. On “Lucky,” the tape’s saddest, wildest song (whose title cannot be understood without an implicit nod to Britney, whose own “Lucky” was her first of many explorations of the soul-sucking side-effects of stardom), Charli’s voice warps from anthropomorphic pan flute to rogue AOL dial-up tone to primal scream from the soul. When she sings, “You got no reception, you’re breaking up,” her voice gently stutters like it’s just out of service range, a subtle but brilliant touch.
对于“Pop 2”来说，最怪异、最非同寻常地的风格比较，大概要数前MTV真人秀“Teen Mom”演员Farrah Abraham的跨界之作“My Teenage Dream Ended”。这张作品被大家嘲弄为2012年最烂专辑之一，在五年后看来这样的想法似乎格外狭隘。诚然，这是一张叫人困惑的作品：由dubstep、EDM、witch-house、breakbeats构成的复杂声响层次似乎与Abraham走出亡夫阴影的专辑主题背道而驰。此外，Abraham的声线被修音到近乎的荒唐地步（在最近一次采访中，专辑制作人Frederick M. Cuevas承认，早在谱写音乐前，Abraham就已经录好了她日记般的歌词 *意即Abraham的歌声几乎完全依靠后期制作）。第一遍听完“Pop 2”，我的脑海浮现了一个挥之不去的念头：“这听起来就像是升级版的Farrah”。这张专辑的人声处理有别于我听过的任何流行作品。Cook极具侵略性、叫人浮想联翩的人声滤镜反倒凸显了蕴含其间的人性，产生了一种自相矛盾的效果。在这张作品最忧郁、最荒凉的曲目“Lucky”中（如果不能理解其中包含的对Britney的敬意就不能真正理解这个标题，同名歌曲“Lucky”是Britney探索巨星名望反噬灵魂副作用的开端尝试），Charli的声音不断扭曲变形——从拟人化的排箫到怪异的拨号上网提示音到发自灵魂的原始野性尖啸。当她唱到：“您的信号异常/正在自动挂机”时，她温柔的声音开始结巴，就好像真的超出了信号范围，这个处理非常细微，但却是点睛之笔。
But the tape’s best moment is saved for last. Unceremoniously titled “Track 10,” the song glitches into focus as if beamed in from interstellar broadband. Charli’s hyper-filtered melodies float over a celestial synth choir, building into a densely-layered collage of her own voice, howling at the moon until their vocal chords go ragged. Halfway through, the track explodes into ecstatic drums and vocal effects from Lil Data, a PC Music artist who uses a program called TidalCycles to compose via code. Far from the pristine perfection of PC Music’s early releases, there’s something a bit messy about the whole thing—a sense of humanity, beaming plainly from its hyper-synthetic surroundings, that feels like a revelation.
这张作品最精彩的部分被留到了最后。这首被唐突地命名为“Track 10”的作品在故障音中逐渐聚焦，仿佛跨越星际的广播一般。Charli被高度修饰的歌声浮于有如仙乐的合成器乐段之上，她用自己的声音构建了一个层次复杂的声部，对月吟啸直至声嘶力竭。作品中途（3分44秒处开始）爆发出的鼓声和人声出自Lil Data之手，这位PC Music旗下的艺人运用一款叫做TidalCycles的程序编码谱曲。相比一丝不苟的早期作品，PC Music如今的作品多了一分凌乱、一分人性，这分人性在高度合成化的声响氛围中闪闪发光，有如一道启示。