[Introduction: Jeffrey827’s comments below are based on the 7 June 2008 post “Those Flowers – A Mystery?” The issue is whether or not Faye Wong (王菲) is the singer in version A (see below), which is a studio-recorded release of “Those Flowers.” Confounding the problem is the fact that we don’t know the identity of the performer in version A — that is, assuming it isn’t Faye. The 28 comments attached to that post by jeffrey827 and others are worth reading. Jeffrey827, however, takes the discussion to a whole new level with his detailed analysis of the different versions. -feifan]
jeffrey827, on October 2nd, 2008 at 8:56 pm said:
Feifan, ever since you published version A, I’ve been listening to it 50 times and I have to admit the more I listen the more I am convinced it isn’t her. I also listened to various artists’ performances and true this one comes close. I noticed 2 technical aspects: (1) key – same key used – most artists will use key that suits their natural vocal cord when doing the same cover (2) lyrics – only Faye and version A use lyrics “xing yun de shi wo, ceng pei ta men kai fang” (sorry I am not familiar with Chinese character input) which are not used by Pu Shu in his original. However, Faye in 2 of her live versions used “du..” rather than “la..” towards the end. I absolutely agree if she will do a studio version in her next album it will be an instant hit arousing critics to compare with other versions.
jeffrey827, on October 3rd, 2008 at 5:55 am said:
Now that I am hooked I listened to them a few more times. There are 3 lyrical differences between version A and the live version (by the way I think Wu Bing’s is the same as yours except yours didn’t start at the beginning):
- Before “you xie gu shi..” at 1:40-1:45 Faye uses Bjork like “i la..”
- The 3rd (and the last) time “ta men yi jing bei feng..” is supposed to be recited Faye sang it as “ni men hao xiang bei feng..”. This variation is the most intriguing part for me as I don’t know if she was spontaneous with words, or she forgot or she wrote it that way before performance. This is also the reason why I believe yours is the same as Wu Bing’s as both have such variation.
- The 3rd (and the last) time of “la la la..” Faye did it with a combination of “la, tu, a..” like a minority dialect which is similar to how Pu Shu sang it and for that I guess Faye admires him and purposely retained a bit of his style otherwise the 2 are of very different style.
In fact, no 2 performers use the same lyrics (so far). Also the musical notes used for the “la la la” part varies from one singer to another (again version A is very similar to Faye’s). This phenomenon usually happens to folk song and that’s why the first time I heard I couldn’t believe a young sing-a-song-writer (Pu Shu) composed it just in 2003. Perhaps Pu Shu got an “enlightenment”, an inspiration so intense that it spreads.
[List of different versions from the earlier post:]
A. This audio-only (“studio”) version is technically the best of the bunch, but is it Faye?
B. Faye’s live Shanghai concert version — sounds very similar to A.
C. Audio of Fan Fan’s MV version — doesn’t sound like A at all.
D. P u Shu’s live version.
E. Another version of Faye’s live performance submitted by Wubing 8.4.08.