Wang Wen
100,000 Whys

Label: Pelagic Records
Three similar bands: Godspeed You! Black Emperor/Mogwai/Mono

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Forgotten
2. The Ghost
3. Wu Wu Road
4. If Tomorrow Comes
5. A Beach Bum
6. Lonely Bird
7. Shut Up And Play
8. Forgotten River

Xie Yugang
Geng Xin
Xu Zengzheng
Zhou Lianjiang
Zhang Yanfeng
Huang Kai

Diary Of 28 Sleepless Days 二十八天失眠日记 (2003)
RE: RE: RE: ‎(2006)
0306 EP (2007)
7 Objects In Another Infinite Space (2007)
IV ‎(2008)
L & R ‎(2010)
0.7 (2012)
Eight Horses (2014)

Sweet Home Go! (2016)
Invisible CIty (2018)


Artwork cover by Manolo Gamboa Naon
Recorded at: GT Studio / Dalian Urban Music Center
Sound Engineer: An Jiguo
Producer: Wouter Vlaeminck

Released 2021-09-24
Reviewed 2021-12-12


pelagic records

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Chinese band Wang Wen has been favourably reviewed by us earlier with their previous albums, and it is something exciting with bands from stranger places like that. They call their new album 100,000 Whys, and that is a pretty good title as we don’t ask ourselves that question enough. If we were to ask why more, we would probably be a lot wiser, and the world would be a more equal place. But what about these whys from China then?

Well, I wonder why they made it so long, did they really need to actually make the time to say why 100,000 times? The music is post rock of the instrumental kind; it will be very familiar to those who know the band’s work from before. The atmospheres are strong and the cover kind of reflects what you are getting, like a hike on rain-soaked hillsides in fall times. The hike is so long that you eventually give up and turn back and the journey back feels slightly richer than the one going forward, especially the end is dramatic.

It is an album that doesn’t offer the same depth and drama as the best works I have heard from Wang Wen, and I have to ask why they didn’t go for a more dynamic sound here because with this framework it could have been something. But it feels more like something to lull you to sleep than something to make you listen, I think it is an excellent soundtrack but not something that draws you into it. And it doesn’t have the same sense of novelty as the best works I have heard from Wang Wen.

I don’t have 100,000 questions why when listening to this one, more like one, why didn’t they ask themselves why they figured this was fit for release, they have shown that they can do better. This album is too bland and too long to really shine. Of course, it is very good, and you can’t fault much about it, but I want music to be exciting and unpredictable and this album fails in that regard. Wang Wen has better albums in their catalogue, this is fine but not particularly great.