Music Album Review: Jolin Tsai’s “Muse”

by Jolin Tsai

Language: Mandarin
Released by Warner Music Taiwan on September 14, 2012


If you were disappointed with Jolin Tsai’s (蔡依林) last album, maybe Muse will be your chance to get back into all that Jolin-jamming again.

It has been two years since the Mandopop diva, dance queen, and trendsetter has released an album. Her last 2010 album Myself, although positively received by many Mandopop lovers, landed at only number 4 on Taiwan’s list of best-selling albums of the year, and was also one of Jolin’s lowest-selling albums in recent years.

However, Jolin’s new artistically-flavored album, Muse–which was released a day before Jolin’s 32nd birthday–may be able to bring back all the sales that were lost in Myself.

Like its namesake, Muse houses many tracks that are influenced by the elements of art, poetry, and dance. In fact, the album literally showcases this theme in the lead single “The Great Artist” <大藝術家>, a very chic, danceable, and appropriate track to start off with in this artistic journey.

Nothing else in the album got me as pumped up as the second track, “Dr. Jolin,” arguably one of the catchiest numbers in the entire album. In all honesty, “Dr. Jolin” is, at the moment, the only Jolin song I would be willing to listen on repeat and not get annoyed by it. The music video for “Dr. Jolin” is also worth noting – the MV is a brilliant social commentary on gender stereotypes, featuring men dancing on heels and a pregnant man.

Jolin’s homage to the gay community does not stop with “Dr. Jolin”. The album’s third track, the Europop-influenced “Fantasy” <迷幻>, is now the new LGBT club anthem. Jolin’s statement on supporting same-sex love is clearly displayed in the colorful, majestic, and utopian-like MV of “Fantasy”.

Another song worth noting is “Friday the 13th” <十三號星期舞> – a typical, bubblegum pop song. I admit it – bubblegum pop is a guilty pleasure of mine! And while “Friday the 13th” does fulfill that pleasure, it is nonetheless a very inconsistent song. As I listen to the song, I felt as if two songs are meshed in together. Halfway through the song, the soft beats turn into a harsh dubstep-esque style. The song sounds as if it is unsure what mood to strike.

The last interesting song in the album would probably be “Spying On You Behind the Fence” <柵欄間隙偷窺你>, a bouncy and quirky song that utilizes acoustic melodies.

The latter half of the album mainly consists of ballads. Very typical, Jolin-ish ballads. I really have nothing to comment on them, other than the fact that I am already forgetting how they sound like.

Overall, the first half of Jolin’s album is very experimental and exciting; the second half of the album is what I would call the “Jolin Safe Zone” – an area that may not be able to attract new fans, but old fans of Jolin would definitely appreciate it.

Recommended Tracks:

“The Great Artist”

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“Dr. Jolin”

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“Spying You Behind the Fence”

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This review is written by Addy for

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  1. This is the type of music I play to stay up on late nights. Enjoyed the upbeat tracks, “The Great Artist” and “Fantasy” the most.

      1. EkinFan,
        Updating gossip, latest TVB drama spoilers, etc. My late night habits are probably “cleaner” than yours.

      2. LOL @ Jayne’s comment. On a more serious note, isn’t JayneStars based in New York? Here’s hoping that everyone there stays safe (along with other commenters who are in located in areas that may be hit by Sandy).

      3. Sure-Lee,
        I speak Cantonese and still stutter in Mandarin like a beginner. When I watch mainland dramas, I have to refer to the subtitles otherwise I will be lost.

  2. I like the great artist video clip, the song is meh. But my biggest problem is one of her outfit show her underwear (lightly but it’s still in your face kinda way), which add nothing to the outfit but bad taste and spoil everything.

  3. I’ve been liking your music album reviews, Jayne(stars)!

  4. Her style reminds me more and more of Ayumi Hamasaki of Japan. With the high priced MVs and many Caucasian actors. Nothing is wrong with that of course but it just all seem so familiar. Also, I wish she would gain 1 or 2 pounds.

  5. No new articles in the last 24 hours. Is it because of Sandy? Stay safe Jayne and all on the West.

    1. Jayne is probably in area where there is power outages. Power restore maybe to 3 to 4 days depending on the situation. Hopefully.

      Seek other english translation asian entertainment article websites during the down time for your enjoyment.

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