Laure Shang becomes an ice mermaid for album

So was The Star really a song for charity or a reference all the Swarovski crystals you’ll be wearing?

Featuring another dress from Masha Ma in collaboration with Swarovski , singer Laure Shang is stunning in her Iceland photoshoot for her upcoming album Graceland. More photos below the cut.


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16 thoughts on “Laure Shang becomes an ice mermaid for album

  1. It’s nice every now and again but I don’t like when fashion and being showy becomes an overpowering element of a singer’s image. I mean there are people like Jolin to do lots of fashion and can’t really sing but she shows she works hard to learn to dance so I’m more like “… eeeeh…. fine. I’ll give it to ya… but very very grudgingly” but, as shown on “Wo Shi Ge Shou,” I think Laure needs to focus more on expanding the types and styles of songs she can sing though I have heard that she’s had trouble with her voice so I feel some sympathy for her. To me, at the moment, she’s kinda like Yang Jima. They’re both stuck in a style and need to learn to expand that. It’s not that being showy and crafting an image doesn’t take time and effort. It’s just that it’s too easy to craft an image and then lump it onto just anybody. So I really feel she needs to learn to dance, improve on her singing, or become more known for writing good music. This last one’s really hard but I feel it’s becoming increasingly necessary in the entertainment industry or else you’re really at the whims of if others want to give you good music.

    • Laure Shang does write most of her own music, hence why they’re all so strange (but in a good way).
      I’m actually super impressed with how she’s managed to be completely weird and different from the rest of the entertainment world while maintaining her own style of music. And I know she gets in the news for her strange outfits more, but she’s one of the few people whose voice and quality of music is actually worth it.

      • That’s good then. At least she’s making contributions. She just has to become known for writing music and that usually means exploring a larger variety of styles but everybody has their hurdles. I’m sure she’ll get there. She just has some personal blocks and biases to get over. In the end, exploring other styles would also be good for her since, I’m not saying her style is bad, but everybody likes variety and people eventually get sick of stuff if they hear the same style or thing over and over again. You need to expand to keep people interested.

        I’m actually kinda on the other side of the fence in terms of strange outfits and the whole style deal now are concerned so people who pursue style too much or make style too much a part of their image actually get a slight downgrade from me. I have my biases. This probably makes it harder for me to accept new artists since so many of them do the whole style thing. I absolutely do not like how Lady Gaga and K-pop and all the style-freaks came around and lots of people started to follow. I understand a need to draw audiences and survive but can’t you tone it down a bit and adjust it so it’s more you? I just don’t feel like I’m getting much personality or feeling much musical vigor in everything that’s going on. It almost doesn’t even feel like they’re humans anymore. Appearances are important but to this point it feels so fake to me and a waste of materials. What’s even going to happen to that costume after you’re done with it? Some costumes just don’t look… easily disposable…. in an environmentally friendly way… Guess I’m too old school. -_-;;

        • I usually don’t like the weird outfits thing (cough, Wei Chen ditch your stylist friends please, cough) , but it fits Laure Shang well because her music and her fashion matches really well. Her outfits strangely works for a lot of her performances and MV’s, or maybe I’ve just seen too much of her and gotten used to it.
          In a developed music industry, we don’t need people to try to break out of their molds to be liked. They should just stick with what they do best (cough, Wei Chen stop dancing, cough) and explore within their own interests. There are plenty of people who can do sing and dance well and look pretty, but not everyone can be Laure Shang. Plus, she already writes/sings a wide variety of music, just compare Amis, La Muse de la Nuit, The Faith, and Night Rose. Heck, she even sung “I kissed a girl” on Super Boys. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0wA9TANbBQ

          • Hmmm…. okay…. first off, I usually don’t talk about this since I find, more often than not, it leaves the wrong impression and people just see me as a music pain but to explain myself…. Maybe I take things too seriously or emphasize too much on being able to use a variety of styles or just being too much of a music stickler in general. It’s just that I’ve been taught ever since my piano days going into competitions that you have to vary up your repertoire and what you’re going to play. That usually means something technical, something romantic, and maybe something modern if requirements allow. The problem is, things that sound impressive (romantic music usually) isn’t always harder to play than the technical crap since in technical crap it’s really easy to make out where you make mistakes, don’t lift up when you are supposed to, etc. while with romantic crap you can slush everything over with the pedal. Since there’s this disparity in what “sounds impressive to an audience” and what “people in the field will know is impressive” you have to appease both parties and have both. (On a side note, you sometimes see music teachers game parents with this logic sometimes. Teacher A is good and tries to teach the child technical skills while Teacher B simply gives the child the romantic crap. At the end of the day, the parents think Teacher B is better since it sounds more impressive and that’s the teacher that gets the most students going to them.)

            I guess learning music isn’t always good. On one hand, there’s certain aspects you are better adept at appreciating but sometimes that just makes you more of a stickler since you have this influence and aren’t able to… well… let loose and just enjoy as much as before… especially if you’ve had ear training… It’s virtually impossible not to catch stuff that aren’t in line with “orthodox practice” at this point… It’s not that I can’t appreciate it… it’s just that every time I get to that part, I also know it’s there… or just be like “it sounds nice but how is this impressive?”… -_-;;;

            • So do you think Laure Shang’s music “sounds nice but isn’t impressive?” I guess I’m a little confused since I would imagine her expanding the type of songs she sings by learning to dance or dressing more conventionally won’t really make her music sound any better to the trained ears.
              Also curious, what do you think about her old albums from Huayi? Like the more theme-song ballad types? I really liked her back then, and I sometimes miss her singing those songs, but I also don’t have much musical abilities and can’t tell how they compare to her own songs.

              • Well… If you really want me to talk about this topic, I want to first lay out some ground rules in order to prevent hurt feelings. It’s just that I’ve learned from personal experience that sometimes, people easily get hurt if you don’t make certain things clear from the get-go, especially when there’s a significant difference whether social or knowledge-based or otherwise.

                First off, my parents are from Taiwan but both my maternal grandparents are from mainland China so lots of what I say may start sounding like a comparison between the two. I know it’s a bit unfair since there’s a gap in development in between the two places both socially and in terms of music history but the entire reason why I started lurking on cfensi was because I wanted to find out more about mainland China’s entertainment scene. In my opinion, mainland China has soooo much potential, just see selection rounds for The Voice of China and how hard it is to stop gushing about each and every contestant. It’s just that what mainland China lacks now is enough people with experience, enough people with knowledge of how to manipulate skills, and also there’s some social issues I will address later. We have the talent. It’s just we need the skills (to me, the distinction between natural born talent and skill is that skill is something you develop with time. An example of somebody with lots of singing skills in my opinion is Terry Lin. His voice, by itself, is kinda unremarkable but he has the skill to know how to use dynamics and shape his voice so it becomes impressive. In fact, I heard that he once did an interview where he dissected what part of your body you should be using when you sing so-and-so and everything… O_O) and experience.

                The reason I bring this up is that, growing up, I’ve seen signs that there are kids with parents from Taiwan that rat on kids with parents from China. Sometimes, these kids who claim they are “Taiwanese” and stuff actually have a very poor understanding of their heritage and where the exact difference lies in between “Taiwanese” and “Chinese” but yeah… do not approve of such behavior. I’ve been raised to say I was Chinese and feel strongly about it. IMO, even if you feel the need to be different, that doesn’t give you free reigns to talk off others and completely turn your head away from base similarities.

                First of all, most of what I know about Laure Shang is through cfensi, which I started lurking on a few years ago. Therefore, I’m not so sure what you mean by the theme-song ballad types. Either I wasn’t here or I just don’t remember… I tried looking some more of her stuff up on youtube before making this post since I want to try to be as fair as possible but most of the stuff I got was from “I am a Singer” which I kinda was watching…. actually… my mom was the one who was watching… I just kinda dipped in every now and again.

                Let’s start with the positive part first. LOVE HER VOICE. Her voice is just so unique. It has that unique ring to it when she adds depth to her voice. You don’t hear that very often. IMO, that’s one of those things that you have to be born with and is very very hard (almost impossible) to acquire through effort. It’s a pity she opts for airy sounds as often as she does.

                So she is gifted to begin with but I feel a lot of the rest may be driven by her personality, some mental complexes she hasn’t worked through, problems she may be experiencing from her voice, or other factors like the people around her.

                Before I start this, I want to re-iterate that I’m basically illiterate when it comes to Chinese so most of what I know is through you guys or my mom. She has a thing for following singing competitions so when she was following “I Am A Singer” she looked up Laure Shang. She took piano lessons as a child so she has well…. a different way of looking at things…. If any of what I say sounds inaccurate or unfair, feel free to butt in.

                My biggest concern about her composition, especially what I see recently, is she really likes to do this airy, avant-garde music. It’s fine once or twice but if you really want to prove you are a musician, one thing that is highly valued is range. I’m going to pull a Taiwan example here so bear with me. In Taiwan, well it’s a Chinese society, lots of kids get some form of musical education growing up so there’s a plethora of music teachers. Everybody knows that modern music isn’t always in line with orthodox music practice but there’s actually a range that most music teachers are willing to accept. Some examples of people in the modern music scene that are more accepted by these music teachers are Jay Chou and J.J. Lin. They have both at least experienced with different types of songs, not always successfully, but they’ve shown an ability to balance orthodox practice and modern music in a way that is impressive.

                I haven’t had voice training but from what I can gather, singing and being a good artist can be broken down and assessed by the following qualities. Actually, it’s kinda broken down mechanically if you really think about it. Most of the things listed here are things you learn to do with time but some have to be given to you at birth.

                1.being able to evoke deep or strong emotions.
                2. being able to manipulate a great range of styles (both by melody and lyrics but in general, slow songs, fast dance songs, upbeat songs, songs that have that catchy rhythm, sad songs, light-hearted but catchy songs, etc. this usually means tempo manipulation too to vary it up)
                3. vocal range (high and low)
                4. complex and well-written lyrics (won’t be able to speak much about this one. still working on my Chinese)
                5. dynamic range (very soft and very loud. Skill comes into play more-so here. Knowing when to be soft and how to be soft and when to be loud to make people feel a certain way. Sometimes, being soft is done as a way to emphasize the loud areas. Also, it’s very hard to sing at either extreme and navigate between the two)
                6. How long you hold a note. Sometimes, I feel that some singers have managed to learn the secret of brass instrument players. Brass instrument players are notorious for having to learn the skill of breathing in through your nose and blowing out with your mouth at the same time.
                7. Other. Just putting it here. There’s other things I’m aware of that will make things harder to sing like difficult lyrics, having fast parts, or parts that require you to move around a lot of notes and a kinda wide range given the period of time allowed, etc.

                That’s all that’s coming to my head at the moment. I can’t speak for Laure Shang’s lyrics but her dynamics and vocal range don’t come off as particularly wide to me. Also, the recent music I have seen is kinda repetitive in terms of the airy, whimsical, avant-garde style. I haven’t been able to really feel her music…. this might be in part due to the melodies or my Chinese just being bad. Her melodies are whimsical but they lack a dynamism to make them interesting to me. After a while, they kind of lack a focus. Usually, ways to get around this is having a B-section that is slow and then the chorus has a tempo change or a melody style change but her changes aren’t so drastic.

                By comparison, Jay Chou, just to be consistent, lacks the innate “it” factor, kinda mumbles and can’t sing and pronounce clearly, but there’s some range in style, complexity in lyrics, and some degree of dynamic control.

                “sounds nice but isn’t impressive” is one way to put it but I would rephrase it to be, “You are so lucky. You have the company to back you and spend the budget that they do on your music videos. You have the innate ‘it’ factor. All you are lacking is some skill and something to show more musical vigor and that is where you fall short. So close yet so far!! There are so many people who have undergone intense musical education but don’t have the opportunities you do. I can only hope that you will continue to learn and make improvements.” I guess I might be ridiculous and expecting her to be more like Jane Zhang since it’s obvious to me that she has the musical background but… ehhh…

                I can say that but I also feel it’s a bit unfair. Comparing her to Jay Chou, come on! She’s only been in the industry for a short amount of time. Also, I don’t know anything about her family situation so I kinda feel bad for just hammering her, especially if she has never had the chance. Also, when my mom was doing research on her, she told me that apparently, when she was competing in, I think it was Super Girl, she had problems with her voice. The one downer of singing is that it’s not an instrument. Some singers like Celine Dion will go for periods of time without talking to stop putting strain on your voice. Otherwise, you might get weird growths or other complications that will destroy your voice. Not good. According to what my mom found, she ended up getting an injection to open up her voice. My mom was very against this when she read it. She was all like “Why didn’t she just not go back. It’s called recovering and saving yourself up so you can have a brighter tomorrow!!” The point is, I’m not sure if she’s still having voice problems. If so, this part is genetic and I just feel sorry for her. Then again, one of the reasons for why I stopped piano was because I have small hands. My hands didn’t grow as large as my body did. I can understand the “URGH!!” feeling.

                Another reason I would really like Laure Shang to spread herself out more isn’t just about musical integrity but for her own good. If you look at the singers who last and have longer careers, they are the ones who branch out into different styles. I’m not saying destroy your own style. For example, if you look at Lady Gaga, her songs and music videos are very “fashion fashion” but there’s variance in tempo, message, and melody in her music under the “fashion fashion” cover. It’s a very tricky balancing act, as most arts are, but something I feel Laure Shang needs to learn. Otherwise, she risks becoming too tied to a style and going down when that style falls out of fashion. If you vary up yourself, you have a better chance to “survive.” I want her to continue to grow and have a lasting career. I really do. She has it all, just this last vital piece is missing and it could destroy her. I think some of the words that were spoken when she left “I Am A Singer” really rung true and she should start taking notice. They said, “Sometimes, it’s not that she can’t. It’s that she won’t let herself.”

                The last complaint was regarding personality. Again, this is based on the little that I have seen. IMO, I am suspicious that she has some internal, mental complexes to work through in terms of image, being Chinese, looking up to European influences and avant-garde influences, etc. since she hasn’t been able to balance things well or stably in my opinion. Also, throughout all the above, when I say her, here, I mean her and the team of people behind her crafting her image. She might have some of these things but is suffering from management that runs her towards… well… “copy of Lady Gaga but exaggerate the avant-garde and take away some ‘musical composition know-how in terms of how to make music catchy.'”

                The other point about personality is something that I know lots of people in Taiwan harp on now. The tactics used in the mainland Chinese entertainment industry now are very “rough.” Again, this might come with social development but yeah. I’m confident that China will get there one day. I’m just impatient it’s not now. For example, in the Super Boy competition you guys showed a while back, there was that Korean kid that went to compete. To tell you the truth, he wasn’t bad and I really couldn’t understand why Laure wouldn’t give him the green light. The other two judges were more than happy to and I thought he was pretty good. Peng Jia Hui even said that all his movements and singing were very “biao zhun.”

                I know it’s weird with the possibility of somebody from Korea winning Super Boy but the likelihood that he would make it to the end was slim to begin with due to barriers. He was pretty good for a first-stage preliminary contestant. It won’t kill you to let him in. The bad part is that sometimes, these “rough” tactics send messages to all the other people watching that aren’t from mainland China like Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, etc. that you guys aren’t welcome and the mainland Chinese industry can’t “rong ren.” It’s hurtful and inaccurate since, in terms of the acting world, lots of collaborations but it sends that message. It’s probably won’t stop people from coming still when they have few other options but it’s hurtful.

                I guess it’s just sad because the mainland industry is so lucky to have both Taiwan and Hong Kong who have a bit more experience in some regards and can help make the growth of Chinese entertainment so much smoother. When it works like it is supposed to, it is sooooo beautiful but the other extreme is when it doesn’t and that’s just sad…. like Chinese Idol…. It was pretty apparent to me that the shenanigans going around weren’t the doing of Wang Wei-Chung since his Xing Guang Da Dao show isn’t run like that but… to tell you the truth, it was pretty obvious that they used lots of people from Wang Wei-Chung’s company in that show and it just sends the message that you are “using people to the bone” if you really want to be negative about it.

                IMO, the musical community is largely misunderstood in terms of having the image of “wanting somebody from an orthodox musical background to gain fame with orthodox music.” That’s ridiculous and won’t be happening anytime soon. It’s just we want the people working in mainstream music to demonstrate they have some knowledge of musical principles and what they are doing and balance that.

                I guess to wrap it all up, growing up in this era is really interesting since we’re seeing lots of the bad stuff that happened to the Chinese world disappear but also, as we get closer, there’s stuff to work over. Mainland China’s industry will continue to develop and hopefully for the better. My mom was upset about Chinese Idol but I was all like “On the bright side, they’re using Taiwan’s experience. If we let them go, they would probably turn to Korean Entertainment Companies and I know we both don’t want to see that… (we both feel there’s a lack of reason behind the hype) DX” Jealousies over things that are tied to how history turned out are unavoidable but we shouldn’t let them show. I hope Laure Shang will spread out more for her own career’s sake and also to project her to the top. To tell you the truth, we’re lucky. Lots of the stuff we wish we had are already at our fingertips. We just have to learn to channel ourselves to fit the times to use these tools. Kinda like way back when when there was a troll on cfensi and something about “freedom of the press” and stuff. I remember everybody being all “I wish China had a free press.” I was still lurking and wasn’t confident enough to talk but I really wanted to say, “We do!! Does the media from Hong Kong and Taiwan and Singapore and Malaysia count for nothing?!? We have it. We just have to learn to be more accepting of the greater hua-ren world in order to be able to use it.” That’s my point, I guess… Sorry about the verbal diarrhea… >.<

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