Grading the Top 10 in … TAIWAN!
1. Jolin Tsai, “Mi Huan (Fantasy)”
Steamy europop with a robotic intro from Jolin Tsai. The video is a tumblr girl fantasia of floor-length pastel mermaid hair, Glinda gowns, Britney-type bubblegum, and the lavish glittery aesthetics of Pierre et Gilles. Jolin Tsai is the biggest female pop star in Taiwan, and the second biggest overall (after Jay Chou). This is her contribution to the ever-growing canon of pop LGBT anthems modeled after Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful.” Be sure to check out the video for “Dr. Jolin,” where she helps a man in a leather harness give birth.
Best YouTube Comment: “want to rub” —chaocheng812
2. Yen-j, “Single Cell”
Yen-j (a.k.a. Yan Jue) is a jazz-pop singer-songwriter whose hero is Stevie Wonder. Here he and his girlfriend get trapped in a series of twee and occasionally grotesque setups. I could not resist the little cartoon doodles or the amoeba stuffed animal that acts as a relationship proxy.
Best YouTube Comment: “that smile I melted =*v*=” —cheukyeungdc7593
3. Angela Zhang, “Invisible Wings”
Angela Zhang is a beautiful Mandopop idol known for her performances in Romantic Princess and My MVP Valentine. Here she learns how to control her mutant powers and rides that pretty/scary line.
Best YouTube Comment: “I admire her! she sings like an angel! i met her once when I was in taiwan and she said hello! that was when i started watching her videos! im a diehard fan of her!” —CelesteTay123
4. Ai Yi Liang, “If You Love Me”
I couldn’t find a video for “If You Love Me,” so the video here is of Ai Yi-Liang’s not good but fascinating cover of Beyoncé’s “Naughty Girl.” We are none of us Beyoncé, except for Beyoncé, but make sure you stay tuned for the sax solo.
Best YouTube Comment: “Really hard to listen to!!!! Unpleasant” —lucahsu
5. Aaron Yan, “Memo”
Aaron Yan goes looking for clues and comes up with this coffee-shop rocker. The youngest member of Taiwanese boy band Fahrenheit, he went solo for his 25th birthday. He also starred in the hit Tdramas Love Buffet and Mysterious Incredible Terminator (which sounds incredibly mysterious).
Best YouTube Comment: “He should debut in Korea!” —MadelynMichiyo
6. Peter Pan Yu Wen, “Needles”
Best YouTube Comment: “good gripping emotional song” —god1015
7. Lara Veronin, “Dare Not Cry”
Lara Veronin, also known as Lara Liang, is a Russian-Taiwanese-American indie-folk singer-songwriter whose work is inspired by Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, and Regina Spektor. Born in Los Angeles, she moved to Taiwan in her teens, joined C-pop band Nan Quan Mama, and became known for her duets with Jay Chou. This song about unrequited love is from the (postapocalyptic?) drama Alice in Wonder City.
Best YouTube Comment: “Listened a few times not tired” —fang990620
8. Du Lan Wu, “Lei Beng Le (Tears Fall Down)”
This sounds like a Celine Dion song mixed with the underwater music from a video game and I LOVE IT.
Best YouTube Comment: “Really hurts” —JieYiLin
9. Lara Veronin, “Bones”
Another Lara Veronin song. You can definitely hear the Regina Spektor influence here. Fans of Lana Del Rey who don’t mind horn sections might like it too.
Best YouTube Comment: “I love Lara’s voice” —Only4FLH
10. Elleya Tao, “Original Love”
A romantic story of young love from Elleya Tao, with soda and volleyball.
Best YouTube Comment: “Aletheia University with a hundred years of history!!” —AUFF990030