‘Life Sucks’: Jolin Tsai Provides the Anti-#GoodVibesOnly Anthem
Let me tell you something: I cannot stand a #GoodVibesOnly type of person. It’s just not realistic. Ignoring the inevitable, unavoidable suffering that comes in this life is just stupid – and, frankly, deeply unhealthy.
I get that positive thinking is a good thing. I’ve read (parts of) The Secret. Or, well, I’ve read a summary somewhere. But better, and more emotionally mature, is to embrace the bad moments for what they are – naturally occurring parts of life – and ride them out until you’re out from under.
You can’t fully appreciate the good stuff in life without the bad. And Jolin Tsai, Queen of C-Pop™, certainly gets that.
After sliding in just under the wire with one of the best videos (and albums!) of 2018 in the form of Ugly Beauty, the 38-year-old Taiwanese pop icon and tireless LGBTQ warrior returned on Monday (March 11) with an entirely fitting visual for one of the most memorable cuts from the record: “Life Sucks.”
The thing about “Life Sucks” is that it’s not an entirely woe-is-me anthem as the title might suggest, nor a middle finger to the world. Instead, Jolin wisely demonstrates the art of marinating in misery before building back up again from the depths of depression – all served up on a future bass platter.
Incredibly #relatable frustration and despair provides the fuel for take-off (“Struggle to find love, suffer from loneliness / Struggling to make a living; stay in a job I hate for these small paychecks“) before Jolin steers us away from diving too deep into darkness with some real talk: “You fall down, you lie down, be negative, negativity helps, life has its ups and downs / Flush your bad luck down the toilet and forget about it, be negative, embrace your negativity and then cut it out.”
It’s a self-empowerment anthem, yes…but a far more realistic one.
The video finds us staring down at Jolin, plus a bunch of other people from various walks of life, laying on the ground (or a bed, or a gym mat, or a basketball court, or a boxing ring), all weighed down by their feelings. Eventually, through Jolin’s encouraging words, they deliver a synchronized routine before returning back on their feet again – it’s essentially Kylie Minogue‘s “Slow” as seen through the lens of depression. (Legends only.)
Once again, Jolin’s nailed the tricky task of balancing socially conscious lyricism with enjoyable, entirely bop-able production. The fact that the video’s captioned in a variety of languages only helps to make the message that much more universal. It’s Purposeful Pop done right, basically. (Sorry, Katy…)
Anyway, what was I saying? Oh, right: #LiveLaughLove #NoDrama #Smile #Happy #Positivity #Blessed.
Ugly Beauty was released on December 26. (iTunes)
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