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Energy
Genres Alternative hip hop
MandoPop
Rapcore
Pop rock
Years active 2002 - Present
Members
Ady
Penny
Joe
Xiao Gang
Former members
Milk
Toro

Energy is a Taiwanese hip pop boy band formed in 2002. The original band consisted of five males, namely Milk, Ady, Toro, Penny and Joe. Toro and Milk left the band in 2003 and 2005 respectively. Xiao Gang joined the band in mid 2007.

Contents

Members

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Milk

Joe

Toro

  • Commonly known as: Toro
  • Real Name: Alvan Guo Wei Yun (traditional Chinese: 郭葦昀pinyin: guō wěi yún)
  • Birth Date: October 2, 1981 (1981-10-02) (age 28)
  • Left the band as of July 2003

Ken / Penny

Ady

  • Commonly known as: A Di (pinyin: ā dì)
  • Real Name: Xiao Jing Hong (traditional Chinese: 蕭景鴻pinyin: xiāo jǐng hóng)
  • Birth Date: July 21, 1982 (1982-07-21) (age 27)

Xiao Gang

History

Early years

Five-member Energy had a distinctive Hip-Hop sound, which is sometimes mixed with electric guitars, like in their breakout hit "Let Go" (放手). Energy uses dance to perform their fast tracks, often compared to Korean boy bands. They also recorded chart topping ballads like "Love Me for Another Day" (多爱我一天) and "One Day" (某年某月某一天). Energy's popularity grew at a time where other mainstream boy bands like 5566 and K One emerged. Energy had a fan base of mostly goth fans or people who liked Japanese rock. However, Energy also attracted mainstream radio play with their pop ballads.

Energy's first studio album Energy! Come On! was released within the same year of the band's formation. The cover of Korean boyband Shinhwa's "Come On" had huge publicity in Chinese pop culture, but this caused controversy between Shinhwa's and Energy's fans. Shinhwa fans claimed that Energy copied Shinhwa's dance moves and musical style. However, the two bands were not in conflict. The album also contains pop ballads such as "Loving You the Second Time" (第二次愛上你) and "Never Say Goodbye" (永遠不說再見).

Their second album, Invincible, features the title track "Invincible" (無懈可擊), which is a cover of JTL's "Enter The Dragon". This track continues the band's signature rapcore cum dance sound. The single "Love Me for Another Day" (多愛我一天) is the best selling single throughout Energy's history, so much that Energy was labelled as a one-hit-wonder in view of this song. Other notable songs are "Boom", advertising Converse, which is a cover of Saliva's song. And "Ra-Men Song", advertising a brand of instant noodles. This song features Singapore's Terry Lee rapping with Energy in English. Ady injured himself while filming a music video for the album, and had to give their Asian tour a miss. He also missed out on the filming of music videos and promotional videos for the album.

Their final album as a five member band, E3, was released shortly after. The single "Capturing Evil" (退魔錄), a Triple 8 cover, is the theme song for an online computer game. Like the previous two albums, ballads were the minority of the tracks. The music video for "Only Me" (只有我) shows Toro behaving coldly towards the other bands members. Although the scenes in the video are obvious acting, Toro left the band not long after this video was released. He formed a new trio called "Typhoon" (traditional Chinese: 台風), of similar musical style to Energy. This other band has only one album - titled Overflow (Chinese: 天大地大) - to date.

Four members

Without Toro, the band's popularity declined. The musical style of four-member Energy was softer than before, and lacked the Rapcore sound which attracted most early fans. The remaining members continued their career with a Greatest Hits Collection entitled Energy 4 Ever, which includes previous songs like "More Than Words" and "Loving You The Second Time" (第二次愛上你). A second disc contained four new tracks ("One Love" is one of them) and two remixes of their previous title tracks. A limited edition of this album contains a VCD advertising Michael's Dance, a television drama Energy was shooting at the time. Touring by the band proved "tough" as Toro's lines had to be covered by the remaining members. Energy expressed that they were optimistic about the situation, and even joked about Toro's departure during public events.

In 2004, Energy launched their first idol drama serial titled "Michael's Dance" (Chinese: 米迦勒之舞). This was seen as an attempt to revive their popularity. Its original soundtrack (OST) released contains songs recorded by them, including "Hey You" (the theme song for the show) and "I Hear the Angels Sing" (我聽見天使歌唱) (the ending theme song). "Hey You" featured heavy rapping while the latter track was a melodic ballad. Both songs, and "Dark Times" (黑暗時期) had slight Biblical references. The soundtrack also contained songs by other artistes like Sugababes or DMX. A notable track is "Let's Go" (一起走吧), which is performed by Energy and their good friend Show Luo (羅志祥). A "Behind the Scenes" VCD of this drama serial is previously included in Energy 4 Ever as a bonus disc. This disc acts as an announcement of the show. Penny sang a solo track for this drama serial titled It Isn't Raining (traditional Chinese: 天空沒有下雨). This song is not listed in the soundtrack, nor released on any other CD. This song was performed by Penny himself in Energy's FINAL FANTASY concert.

The album FINAL FANTASY (最後的樂園), released in 2005, signaled the end of a four member band. The hits "Heaven and Earth" (天與地 and "Taste of Tears" (眼淚的味道) had a more pop sound compared to early Energy music. This album FINAL FANTASY was criticised for using an excess of freestyle battle. The popular music video for Heaven and Earth has Ady trapped in a castle, and the other three members saving him. This seemed to allude Only Me and Toro's departure, telling fans that Ady was leaving the band. During Energy's Asian tour, fans tried to persuade the band to not disband. A documentary of this effort is released in the second edition of "FINAL FANTASY". After a series of FINAL FANTASY concerts, Milk turned to his solo career, which included hosting, advertising, and recording his first EP, titled "Puppet", which was released in 2006. Milk released his first solo album in 2008.

After the four man split, Energy attended several award ceremonies without Milk. They only performed their award winning hit "We" (我們). The announcement of a new album New Generation (猩人类) confirmed that Milk was no longer in Energy.

2006 to Present

After a year of inactivity, the three-member Energy released an album titled New Generation (猩人类) in mid-2006. This album has a more pop-rock sound, slightly different from what Energy had always been. The cover song "New Generation" (猩人类) features them dancing with extended arms, matching the ape-man theme of the album. The hit ballad, "Love Went Out of Control" (愛失控), is a cover of "One" by TVXQ, a Korean boyband. The lyrics for Love Went Out of Control is written by Penny, the rapper of the trio. This fact was emphasized by the band during live performances because Energy was criticised for not writing their own songs, and repeatedly covering other band's singles. The most notable track, "Quick Kill" (秒殺) is written by Taiwanese rock band MayDay (Chinese: 五月天). The two bands met in a charity drive in Singapore, and MayDay agreed to compose a song for Energy. MayDay sings in the song and appears in the music video. The last song of the album, "Defeat" (打敗) is written by well known songwriter Chou Chuan-huing (traditional Chinese: 周傳雄). He, too, lends his voice. In this album, Energy distinctively dropped the rapcore attitude they had in their previous years. However, Penny still gets to show off his rap vocals despite the band changing its musical style. The band's logo is also revised, despite having an iconic logo for five years. China's release of this album has two songs taken out because of "inappropriate content". One of the removed songs was Quick Kill, Energy's collaboration with MayDay. The band remarked in an interview that it was a "pity that the China audience don't get to enjoy the full album".

In mid-2007, Xiao Gang came as an addition to three-member Energy. Xiao Gang had helped Energy and K ONE to come up with dance moves, and reportedly is Penny's close friend. On tour, Energy described the addition as a move to make the band "more complete".

Energy's latest 2007 album, Born To Be Bad (天生反骨) was released on 22 October 2007 in two versions, one of which is a limited edition. The album received generally positive reviews. Energy was praised for being 'more vocally sound', and having unique musical ideas. The title track "Born To Be Bad" (天生反骨) received huge radio play and publicity because of its unique mix of hip-hop and rock. Energy's recording company initially didn't want the band to dance for this song, but Energy managed to convince them otherwise. To train their dancing skills, Energy came up with an exercise routine called the "Requires three thousand lives" (Chinese: 要你三千命) The title track Born To Be Bad enjoyed huge publicity due to its unique mix of hip hop and rock. "Too Much Freedom, Save Me" (太自由救救我), a track similar to Born To Be Bad contains heavy drum beats and guitar riffs. This album enjoyed commercial success also because of the pop ballads. The lyrics of the hit single "Stars" (星空) are entirely written by Joe and Ady. Another melodic ballad, "Promise Me" (答應我) had a musical style that was similar to that of their earlier ballads.

Associated Acts

T-Rush, a hip-hop girl group is featured in two of Energy's songs, namely "You Better Not Come Home" and "Live It Up", of heavy rap influence. This group toured with Energy during their first Asian tour and made a guest appearance in Energy's first concert in Taiwan.

Energy performed a song with Show Luo in the "Michael's Dance OST" called Let's Go. This song makes use of 'Freestyle battle', where Energy and Show taunts one another in rapcore. The music video for this song has Energy and Show outwitting each other in breakdance, which takes place in what seems like a dance hall filled with fans. The video ends with the two sides becoming friends, which mirrors the real life situation. There's the interesting mention of 'U2' in this song, if it refers to the Irish rock band is not clear.

They have been on Anthony Bourdaine's No Reservation on Television numerous times.

Other Featured Artists

Toro/Typhoon

Toro has been a great influence on Energy's music for their early years. He wrote a few songs for the band and was the rap firepower for most of the fast numbers and power ballads. Shortly after the release of Energy's 3rd album E3, Toro left the band. This caused Energy to have two unfinished music videos, and rumors that a great argument took place within the band. Nevertheless, the band finished filming the two videos without Toro, and even toured as a four member group. This took place at a time where boybands rarely had single members leaving them.

In a solo career, Toro had several gigs where he performed Energy's hits like Invulnerable. He also recorded a single called Give It Up. Toro had several major acts in his new management company, including writing songs for other boybands like 5566 or K ONE, which were assumed rivals of Energy. However, he is reportedly still friends with his ex-bandmates. In 2004, Toro formed the Hip Hop trio "Typhoon", together with Darren (江峻銳) & Xiao Chun (林衍村). This band's music style is similar to early Energy's, and has only one album to date - Overflow. Although Typhoon's popularity peak wasn't as high as Energy's, the trio gained recognition through variety programmes and acts with 5566.

Ady's Injury

Ady, the lead singer of the band, injured his back badly while filming a video for the album Invulnerable. It was in the middle of an outdoor dance sequence when Ady fell to the floor in pain. He was rushed to the hospital immediately. Because of this, he was unable to tour and promote that album with the rest of the band. He also couldn't dance in the music video of Boom, but appears in some scenes.

The album FINAL FANTASY was announced when Ady's back injury started to worsen. This spawned rumors that Ady was leaving the band for good, and Energy was no more. In their FINAL FANTASY LIVE concert, Ady only danced sparingly and couldn't take part in other dance sequences. At no time during the whole concert did the band mention anything about disbanding.

"We"

The ballad "We" (我們) is the third single from Energy's Final Fantasy album. The lyrics of this slow number is made up of 15 Energy song titles stringed together. These titles are chosen by Energy themselves, and the tune is composed by Singapore's JJ Lin.

The music video of this song is released in 2 versions, one with more footage of the band members. Energy's 6 albums are featured throughout the video in order of release. The last part of the video shows Energy looking to a big screen where their first concert in Taiwan is being shown.

Both versions of We is in the bonus DVD of Final Fantasy [4th Ed.], which is the very last release of four-member Energy.

Chinese Covers

Energy is known to perform many Chinese versions of other songs, and has been criticised for this fact.

Energy Title Original Title Original Artiste
无懈可击 Invincible Enter the Dragon JTL
Missing You Missing You Fly to the Sky
Come On Hey, Come On Shinhwa
Boom Click Click Boom Saliva
我會回來 I Will Return Outside Castle H.O.T.
Everything in My Heart I Swear S
Cowboy Cowboy Click-B
Ra-Men Song That Booty Song
愛失控 Love Went Out of Control One TVXQ
Capturing Evil 退魔錄 Knockout Triple 8
We Are Family We Are Family
我聽見天使歌唱 I Hear the Angels Sing I Can Hear the Heavens Sing
某年某月某一天 One Day Come Back To Me SE7EN
1 Time 1 Tym 1TYM
One Love On Love S'MAX

Discography

Albums

See also

External links


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