IT IS FAIR to call mainland band Hopscotch's debut album A Wishful Way one of the most important albums in the history of Chinese pop, not only because it is the first original English album produced and released on the mainland, it also sets a new perspective of Chinese pop. It is impossible to define the three-piece band's music. The album opens with the title track A Wishful Way, a soft acoustic guitar song. With the dreamy vocals from lead singer and lyricist Tian Yuan, a 17-year-old schoolgirl, Hopscotch can be easily mistaken for a European band. But the following track Soldier immediately breaks this impression, with Li Tao and Liu Limin's arrangements. The dreamy atmosphere continues, but the melody and the singing are reminiscent of echoes in the mountains, a unique kind of Chinese sound backed by light electric guitar strumming and drums. Sometimes is a rock instrumental tune with a strong breakbeat. The band's potential as the successor to Laurie Anderson is revealed in these two songs. Animal Fanzenda, one of the best tracks, begins with a sad violin tune and Tian's suppressed singing and poem recitation, and ends with an eerie violin solo. In the last song Swim, a poem recitation goes along with the electric guitar picking and striking keyboard arrangements. Many articles debating the future sound of Chinese music have been circulating on the Internet since A Wishful Way was released. The album has also put Hopscotch on the international stage. They were invited to play in Stockholm, Sweden last summer, and were featured on a Channel 4 documentary. Hopscotch is an amazing band, and sure they are not the only great Chinese band. They symbolise the pathetic destiny of Chinese people who only catch international attention by expressing themselves in a language that does not belong to them.