残酷月光 is a song from the debut album, 神秘嘉宾 (Mystery Guest), of 林宥嘉 (Yoga Lin). He is the winner of the first season of Taiwanese singing competition, 超级星光大道 (One Million Star). This song is apparently Yoga’s favourite track from the album.
The music is by 陈小霞 and the lyrics by 向月娥. The song is reminiscent of a ’70s love ballad, not suprising, considering that the composer is a singer-songwriter from that era. This, however, is not necessarily a bad thing. A simple song sometimes captures the emotions of the listener more. I think the beauty of this song lies in its simplicity.
Yoga will be holding his ‘Yoga “Trick” Concert Live in Singapore 2009’ on 20 February 2009.
I like to find out an album’s concept, especially those of artistes/musicians who write and produce their own albums, to find out the inspiration behind their albums. So I read up on the concept behind Wang Leehom’s (王力宏) latest album, Heart Beat (心.跳).
About three-quarters of the promotional copy talks about things other than the music. What a shame but I guess as Leehom does more interviews, the concept behind this album should come out stronger (that is, if the media pays more attention to the music than gossip). Anyway, what I gathered from the promotional copy is that in this album, Leehom does not restrict himself to any musical style (think “chinked-out” for two of his last three albums). Rather, he challenged himself in breaking music boundaries.
I do sense a trail of rock influence in almost all of the songs, with some heavy use of the electric guitar, sometimes in songs where I think would sound better without it, like 春雨里洗过的太阳 and 另一个天堂.
There are certainly songs which stand out because such styles are not common in Chinese pop music, like 爱得 得体, 我完全没有任何理由理你, 玩偶 and 竞争对手. This shows Leehom’s versatility as a musician. However, a few of these songs somehow does not sound quite right. I think Leehom’s voice does not really suit some of these styles.
The slower tracks on this album like Everything, 另一个天堂 and 脚本 do not really stand out in my opinion, especially when Leehom has written songs which were melodically more engaging.
The more upbeat and fast tracks fare better on this album compared to the ballads. The tracks that stand out for me are 心跳, 我完全没有任何理由理你 and 竞争对手. And I have to single out 竞争对手 as the best track for me.
Musically, the album’s worth a 4 but on the whole, taking into account the vocals, arrangements and such, I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5. I guess expectations are higher when it’s Leehom.
Update, 5 January 2009:
After listening to this album a few more times, I’m beginning to appreciate the songs on the album more, especially the fast and mid-tempo tracks. The songs just grew on me. I still stand by my opinion that the slow tracks are not the best that Leehom has composed but I’m revising my rating for the album to a 4 out of 5.
Jason Mraz will be playing at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on 5 March 2009. Wow, is that cool or what!
He’s a great live performer. It’s amazing what he does with his guitar, with just Toca on drums accompanying him on his tour.
I was truly fortunate (he sells out concerts!) to be able to catch him in his first gig in Singapore at the Mosaic Music Festival in 2006. It was one of the best, if not the best concert that I’ve attended. He is witty, charming and he sounds great. I’m amazed how he always seem to hit the high and low notes with equal ease.
I regret not catching him at Singfest this year. But I’m definitely going to be there at his concert in Singapore next year!
I love this amazing version of Winter Wonderland by Jason Mraz. Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
Update (25 December 2008): So Warner Music asked for this video to be removed when their talks with YouTube broke down? Sorry that this video was unavailable for a while. I found the same video posted by another YouTube user. Shame on you, Warner Music, for depriving your artistes of another promotional channel. Merry Christmas!
Khalil Fong （方大同) released his fourth studio album, 橙月 (Orange Moon) on 19 December 2008. The album’s been in repeat mode in my player for the past few days. Just thought I’d share some thoughts about this album.
Khalil’s concept for this album is simply to sing love songs that evoke feelings of romance. In this aspect, I think he has achieved it on this album. The songs are soothing and groovy, very comfortable to listen to whether at night or in the day, especially with his soulful voice.
There are a few songs that stand out for me: Singalongsong, 如果爱 and 黑洞里.
Singalongsong is not that ‘singalong’ because the melody in some parts of the song are quite difficult to catch. This is in contrast to some songs where you sort of know how the melody will go even though you are hearing it for the first time. Not that it’s a bad thing; it just shows Khalil’s talent. Nevertheless, I can’t help but want to sing along everytime I hear it (and getting the melody wrong, still, despite having heard it umpteen times) because it’s so catchy.
I’m intrigued by the transition from the verse to the melody in the first part of the song because, if I’m not wrong, the tempo actually goes slightly faster when the song goes into the chorus. Because of this, when the drums part first comes in, it sounds wrong. But I’m sure it’s deliberate and after a few listens, I find that that’s something that makes the song special.
如果爱 stands out for me when I listen to it the first time because it’s groovy.
黑洞里 is simply brilliant, the melody lines in the chorus especially. You don’t know where the melody is going to take you. Melodic surprises throughout the whole song but it sounds really great.
I’d highly recommend this album. It’s a 4 out of 5 for me.