Defined by his ubiquitous Hip Hop clothing, Jordan has now been active on the pop scene for over a decade.
Although he does not possess a great voice, his humorous, self-mocking style has helped him to forge a consistently successful career.
Heartless You is the title track from Jordan Chan's 2003 album release, and also one of his best-known songs. Chan is famous for his mocking tone when singing about love, and this track is typical, with sly lyrics about a broken-hearted man recounting his relationship with a fickle girl. Unlike other Chinese singers, who would pile on the melodrama, the piano and the strings for such a topic, Chan sticks to his distinctly unromantic hip-hop style. However, this does not prevent him from injecting his songs with genuine feelings. Over some Chinese operatic rhythms, listeners can hear the lyrics: "A glass of strong liquor has purged my tears. A real man will never re-gather what they've decided to let go." Moreover, the singer doesn't forget to poke some fun at humorless romanticists, rapping "Every one of you should learn from Jordan Chan, who often suffers love Waterloos but remains perpetually ready for another relationship, otherwise you're destined to remain a lonely bachelor till the end of your days."
Jordan originally entered the entertainment business as a backing dancer, before switching to a successful career as a comedian. Then in 1994, he released his debut Cantonese-language album, and established his unique position in Hong Kong pop music. Soybean is another hip-hop song, but this time one that urges the nation to hold together and strive for a better future. While there are many songs in China that encourage people to stick to their dreams and personal aspirations, this humorous number is a little more daring, and far less serious. Within the lyrics, Jordan compares each person to a piece of soybean and advises "One soybean doesn't possess much energy so let's not make each other's lives difficult by squeezing each other for more room. We should fight together and soon it'll be our time to shine."
With a nose for current trends, Jordan Chan had managed to stay ahead of the game in the world of pop. However, he does not wish to limit himself to fashionable, fun hip hop, and has recently branched out to produce some high quality love ballads. Our final track from Chan, Mama's Words, is the leading track from his latest release, and molds something of a new image for him, although he persists with hip-hop on other tracks. Mama's Words is more R&B than hip hop, and allows listeners to enjoy Jordan's easy glides from tenor to bass, as well as his transitions to falsetto.
What also distinguishes this song is its bold music arrangement, with sudden bursts of piano music enticing the listener. Meanwhile, the lyrics talk of the conflict between love and dreams. The girl in the song heeds her mother's words that one cannot make a living through singing, and wishes to end her relationship with Chan. The singer retorts at the end of the song: You said I couldn't make a living with my music. But do you also remember how I promised you one day my dream would come true."
(CRI March 22, 2006)