Wanting's Everything in the World needs more originality
Everything in the World (Nettwerk)
On first blush, Harbin, China–born Wanting Qu sounds pretty commercial in a Cantopop vein—especially since the opening track, the blandly titled “Life Is Like a Song”, is the most overproduced track on her glam-packaged Nettwerk debut disc. But by the second cut, the moody “Drenched”, it becomes clear that a hipper, more global sensibility is at work on Everything in the World.
The self-penned tunes—mostly produced by talented Winston Hauschild, who also plays a number of instruments here—are largely concerned with the anguished entanglements of young love. But the piano-playing singer’s powerful voice and potent presence aren’t those of a passive schoolgirl. On hooky tunes like the mid-tempo title anthem and the guitar-driven “Jar of Love”, with its sweet reggae interlude, Qu combines the soaring self-assurance of Alanis Morissette with the folk-pop attack of head Cranberry Dolores O’Riordan.
This charismatic Vancouverite still needs to risk more originality, although her identity problem is understandable in a radio climate that generally rewards only the slickest, most gimmicky performers.
Intriguingly, the CD’s closing, Mandarin-language tracks allow Qu’s voice more exposure, thus revealing more personality. They’re not translated, but it would be cool if her lyrics connected with this dedication, a short story unto itself: “Mom, thank you for fully supporting me doing music now, even though you were totally against it for the first 22 years of my life.” Now, I want to hear an album from that artist.