I.N.G Lucky Star or 外太空到地心 你就是

Why is it that song's dedicated to the concept of being lucky, whether it be in the infinitive or about the article, are always absolutely catchy. Evidence? Kylie's infamous I Should Be So Lucky, Britney's dedication to the fallen star in Lucky, Madonna 1980's electro monster Lucky Star, Clea's Lucky Like That and of course Lucky Twice's Spanish hit single Lucky. Well with Lucky Star the girlband I.N.G released one of the finest pop songs released in the "Central Kingdom"-this is the literal meaning of the China! And, with so many European acts on DSTP I thought it would be good to venture east. Indeed, DontStopthePop was always about pop acts from all corners of the world and its shocking that its never featured an act from Taiwan. Please please forgive me. The video includes tutus, some great dancing, planets and a skipping rope. I love it

Ok so, I.N.G are a girlband (Duh!). They consist of Ida, Nara and Gillian. As you can see the idea of taking the first initial to make the bandname deserves its own little footnote in the grand encyclopedia of girlbands (see R.a.e.n, T.e.a.r.s, Clea, N.K.D). Right so I.N.G started off well. Their hit single Lucky Star is an Über (yeah-people, I used the umlaut!) pop song and it has become an anthem amongst many Taiwanese teenagers. The album it came from didn't do so well even if it featured a Chinese version of Ilarie. However the Chinese pop scene is a hugely crowded place and I.N.G often faced major criticism for they were too similar to the huge Chinese supergirlband S.H.E. The knocks were bound to come but I think they're still together and are readying themselves to release another album.

Much has been made of the growing political power of China and I think you hear it in this song! What?! Yes! Hear me out. Ok Lucky Star is a cover-its written by a Swedish team. It came out a year or two beforehand in the UK and Europe as Karma Club. Their version is a bit mediocre. For sure its in English but it lacks any sparkle. Theres no bounce to the original. She - the singer - could be reading out the bus timetable for all it mattered. The singer on the original Lucky Star was probably thinking whether she'd left the kettle on back at home when she recorded her vocals for the song. The production is monotonous and even the production lacks something. The vocoders don't do anything and sound like a last-ditch effort to save the song. (NB: Seeing as this place isn't about negatives the remixes for the Karma Club version are absolutely amazing. In the delightfully named "Spank@TheOysterBar Mix" they use the exact melody of the Fever Tour version of Come Into My World performed by Kylie and mash that up with Donna Summers I Feel Love to produce a chilling and rather epic dance track of the sorts I've not heard in yonks).

But back to Taipei! So a year later and I.N.G come in and mutate the mere b-side of a song to pop brilliance. They've added some amazing sitars, the vocals are poptastic and in the backtrack I am sure I can actually hear bubbles. Its not in English but you sing along nevertheless. That, my friends, is the strength of a song I guess. But it just goes to show that occasionally production and writing great pop songs isn't always necessary about the writers or the studio behind the song itself. The act, the context and the background of the Chinese track also adds something-an X factor perhaps? People often say that its the production team and its writers that make the pop song go pop. Well in this case its not so. I.N.G slap the hell out of the original to expose one of the finest songs of 2006. It is this reason why I feel Lucky Star represents something brilliant and the political future of China. To be sure, its a rough metaphor but i think it kinda works. Simply put-something European simply wasn't as good as a pop product with the stamp 'made in China' marked all over it.

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JoseViruete said...

You can sing the chorus of "Last Christmas" in the chorus of this song. Anyway I loved them!!!

Robpop said...

I tried. But i had to sing the Wham classic really fast. But yeah, I see/hear what you mean!!! I love the fact that they say "Hi!" in their own song.

I wanna learn Cantonese now.

Anonymous said...

Oh oh oh! This song was released in Germany too by a different artist - "Prima Donna" and the song was called "Lucky Star". It was their second single after "Dum Da Dum, Why haven't i told you" - a europop take on the 60's. They kind of disappeared after that though...

Chris A - blade_guy@hotmail.com

Robpop said...

Oh god yes! The vocals of between the Prima Donna version and the Karma Club version sound exactly the same...

Anonymous said...

It's true! They do! I wonder if it is the same artist with two different names then? Interesting... do you know where to find the I.N.G version of Ilarie? They're comparable to S.H.E, who also sing a ton of covers, including "Cinderella", "I want it that way"

Chris A - blade_guy@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that, as someone who has lived in China for two years and bought dozens of Chinese and Taiwanese pop albums, China is NOT the future of pop. It's generally insipid, sugary, derivative, frankly boring and without the redeeming features of good tunes or good production. There are occassional songs that are fantastic, and artists such as Faye Wong (retired since 2003) but most is crap, crap, crap.

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