Culture

Fine, We’ll Listen to Ai Weiwei’s Heavy Metal Album

Culture

Fine, We’ll Listen to Ai Weiwei’s Heavy Metal Album

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Heavy metal isn’t for everyone, but your interest might be piqued by the next artist to dip his toes in the genre: Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, who was notoriously jailed by the Chinese government on account of being a political rabblerouser. (Which in China is equivalent to simply speaking your mind.) According to Reuters, Weiwei will release an album filled with heavy metal music that will “express his opinion,” including songs about fellow activist Chen Guangcheng and the U.S. Embassy. “All I could sing was Chinese People’s Liberation Army songs,” Ai said in an interview, explaining how his guards would ask him to sing songs (for whatever reason.) “After that I thought: when I’m out, I’d like to do something related to music.” The album will be out in about three weeks in an online-only release because the Chinese government probably wouldn’t approve it for physical sale. Which means we’ll be able to hear it, too, and gauge the awkwardness of judging an actual political statement by the terminology of music criticism. Remember the brief moment in time when Pussy Riot was getting reviewed on Pitchfork? Just like that. Hopefully it’ll be better than the time he did “Gangnam Style,” which, sheesh.