China Dolls

China More

When I visited Thailand recently, I heard this Thai pop song over twenty times---in restaurants, in shopping malls, and on the radio. I eventually found out that the song was put out by the China Dolls (and is the first song from their third album, China More), a Thai pop vocal-duo.

It was confusing to me at first: were they from China or from Thailand? It wasn't because of the name (my sister played with China dolls as a kid), but because of their popularity in Taiwan. It turns out that they're really from Thailand, but are of Chinese ancestry.

Not that that matters very much. Their music is very cheesy and the best description I can give is they sound like the Thai equivalent of Britney Spears or the Spice Girls. I really have no idea what their hit song means (my Thai friends informed me that it has to do with a mother chiding her daughter to not go out with boys). And I probably wouldn't like them too much if I understood what they were singing about, but as it stands, given that the vocals are in Thai (which I find an intriguing language because of its tonal nature), I've been listening to their album non-stop.

A great deal of the China Dolls' popularity undoubtedly has to do with their looks and sex-appeal. To their credit, however, the vocals of Hwa Hwa and Bell are indeed slickly produced (though with an over-used delay effect) giving a high-energy quality to the tunes. Definitely worth a spin if you're interested in fun Thai pop music.

Music ram-blings || Ram Samudrala ||