HK Entertainment News Roundup
Saturday, December 27, 2003
I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude towards Em. Thanks for creating HKENTERTAINMENT and for indulging me; giving me this space to translate and post whatever I want.
2003 is coming to a close, I would like to share some thoughts on a few canto pop albums that I like this year and eventually, occupy a space on my ever-growing CD rack.
Kiss, Kiss, Kiss by At 17, released on 23/12/2003
At 17, a relatively new group made up by two girls. Eman and Ellen are both musicians. The tunes in the album are catchy and some interesting music arrangement and mixing. They still have a lot of work to do about their vocals but they compensate that by being involve in performing and composing the music in the album.
“Never Been Kissed” is a catchy ballad but it also exudes the bitter sweetness of teenage romance. Performed by both girls, it seems to give the feel that both girls were sharing the same experience. The acoustic version sang by Eman, suggests a sad and lonely feel of the protagonist reminiscent a lost love.
“Drawing You” is a jazz tune with a touch of big bang. Like the light and easy feel. It is like taking an enjoyable stroll along with someone and blending into the environment creating a dreamy landscape.
“Lost In LA” singing about the dilemma of leaving behind the ones you loved behind. Accompanied by the guitar, the tune sound so gray and a bit depressing. The delivery is good not choked with emotions but somehow the tune lingers on my mind.
Though this is quite a teeny boppy album, I like the folk pop genre they offered in some of their songs. The fusion of synthesized pop also created some sparks to this album.
Dress Me Up! by Denise Ho (Hocc)....this album was released on 19/12/2003.
Following the release of Roundup, which was a bit disappointing, Hocc redeemed herself by coming out with this fabulous album.
This album proved that Hocc is just as at ease with ballads as she is with rock tunes. "Larn" or "Lazy" is a fast track, where you could feel the bit of nonchalance and resigned air exuded by her rendition though there's a cheeky feel to it.
"Mong" or "Forget", it is a sad and beautiful song. Capturing the helplessness and sorrow of the aged dealing with senility. Nothing heart wrenching when she delivers the song but it touched.
"Sa" or "Sand"...simply love the piano arrangement and the way Hocc delivers the song; emotional yet controlled not too overbearing.
"Leung Wai Yat Tai" or "Twinned"...a tune expressing the thoughts of a mother towards her unborn child. Was it me or Hocc’s intent, I actually thought Hocc is trying to inject the feel that the mother was in anticipation of the child but at the same time felt insecure, mixed emotions there. Anyway, like the simple guitar arrangement and the tranquility it brought forth and very soothing.
"Yeun Sen Chut Hiu" is a rock tune and the genre of music, which is Hocc's forte. Hocc gave a great rendition.
I think this is a very sincere album. It might not be very Karaoke friendly but it is a great effort. There is a diversity of music styles, Hocc's great delivery and rendition of the tracks in the album created little delights.
Do give Hocc a chance...sample her music.
I Think, I Sing by Gigi Leung, released on 10/2003
Since composing the song "Tall Girl", Gigi Leung has proven to critics that she is not just a doe-eye babe.
Frankly, I dont like the way Gigi sings...her delivery was weak and at times unpleasant to the ears. However, I have to credit her for putting in effort to improve. At least, with this album, I find her singing better than before. The tunes she composed in this album were comparable to those by the top composers in the industry but Gigi can be more experimental...maybe taking a leaf from Anthony Wong or Jan Lamb.
Basically, Gigi does not have an impressive range to her vocals but the effort she put in to her rendition by injecting measured emotions into songs to let them come alive is commendable and a marked improvement from previous albums which sound so monotonous and devoid of feelings.
It's the best album Gigi had to date. A good buy if you dont own a Gigi Leung album. Next on....hope that Gigi will strive forward with more genre of music.
Candy Airlines by Candy Lo, released on 05/2003
The once alternative/rock artiste has gone more mainstream.
She released [Flower Talk] recently...comparing the two, I like Candy Airlines more. The music styles in Candy Airlines are more varied. Candy sounds a bit different from her other albums, less forceful but the delivery is more polished and more confident.
"Dancing at every stop" was a refreshing and catchy tune. The combination of symphonic music, electric guitar and Irish flute made an interesting combo...saving the tune from becoming dull and predictable. Clever touch.
Continuing with her success of "Ho Sum Fen Sau", this album offered "Sam Kok Chi"...a ballad that is karaoke friendly and bodes well for mass consumption. My personal favorite is "Kat Cheong Mut", like the Indie flavor, the music arrangement is good but it could have gone on a notch like Mavis Fan's who experimented with the same genre. There's folk rock, acoustic, rock, Latin and a bit of Irish flavor projecting the overall concept of "world music". Light and breezy, that's the feel I got from this album.
Other great tracks in this album are Coma and Step Game. The strings and violin made Step Game uplifting. Like the way Candy rendered Coma...it makes me feel like being in an abyss, the breathing sounds she interjected seems to echo this infinity.
The album cover also helped to garner my vote for it's retro and yet hip feel.
My 21st Century by Anthony Wong, released on 25/07/2003
I simply love Anthony Wong’s brand of music and that voice of his dreamy, idyllic and 'haunting' at times.
Anthony's music has this futuristic and avant garde feel to it. The mixing and engineering of his music is always exciting and full of surprises. It's a case of either you like synthesized pop, synthesized disco music or you don't. The lyrics are a bit profound and usually depict the happenings in Hong Kong. It will take some time to digest and understand the messages in the songs.
I also like the packaging of the CD. It is compact and neat.
If you had enough of cheesy and melancholy tunes, listen to Anthony Wong.
Live For Today by Eason Chan released on 22/7/2003
This album offers a lot when it comes to content.
"Sump Mien Mai Fok" or "Ambush" a ballad with lyrics from Wyman Wong. The song is catchy and easy to relate to. Like the piano music in the song..giving the hollow feel to the tune at the beginning, building and milking the listeners' emotions.
"Cruel as you"... I like Eason's delivery. As nonchalant as he sounds, but you can still hear the irritation through his voice that seemed to tell all about what the lyrics were trying to express.
"Forgot Lyrics" is a light and cheeky one. It is an exciting piece, replacing words with Do Re Me for the lyrics at some juncture but yet it fits like a glove and doesnt sound obtrude. It is a great collaboration by Edward Chan/ Charles Lee and Wyman.
"New Order" written by Eric Kwok. Like the touch where Eason sang like someone with a lot of flam stuck in his throat, complementing the jazzy tune while the saxophone in the background, lifts the tune. Brought forth the imagination of a bartender singing the tune in some pub. Have to credit Eric Kwok for lending his vocals to create that fabulous fade at the end of the song.
This isn’t the best from Eason but he still did a great job as a singer. I hope that the next album will be without 'recycled' tunes.
Number Ten by Edmond Leung, released on 13/6/2003
I like the concept of using numbers to formulate this album. Not a fan of Edmond's but I think this is his best offering to date.
Maturity in his singing and a better control has convinced me to buy this album and I was not disappointed. Departing from his usual blue and jazz style...he sound less surreal this time. Like "Chat Yau", it is simple and touching. "Pei Tou Sei"...the music arrangement is great, kinda inspirational.
Great lyrics from Lam Jig and it compensate some of the tunes that do not offer too much sparks but were nevertheless pleasant to the ears.
Overall, it's a very refreshing change from the Edmond Leung I knew. Looking forward to his next album.
Left Alan Right Lee by Alan Tam and Hacken Lee, released on 4/4/2003
Been listening to Alan and Hacken since I was a kid. Right, my nostalgic side kicks in.
If you don’t know them at all...I think this a great album to let you get acquainted and really know what is meant by singing live which sadly, only a handful is capable of doing so in today's world of canto pop.
Many songs that they sang in the concert once hogged the number one spot in various music charts and listening to them, brought back memories. Like the rapport between the two singers and the jokes they cracked during the concert. It is a worthy purchase.
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HK Ents News Roundup is a non profit-making site. Copyright 2003 Â© All rights reserved.
HK Ents News Roundup is a non profit-making site. Copyright 2003 Â© All rights reserved.