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  1. MAJOR IN MINOR MAJOR IN MINOR Terence Lam (Singer)
    Major talent in Cantopop
    June 1, 2020 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    If you're one of those C-pop lovers who looks over the credits whenever you listen to a song, Terence Lam (Lam Ka Him) would not sound unfamiliar. Pakho Chau's "One Step Closer," JW's breakout hit "Contradictory Life," JW and James Wu's duet "So It's Because We're Deeply in Love," Yoga Lin's "Vulnerable," Joey Yung's "Science of Heart"… These are just some of Terence Lam's long list of credited tracks. The Cantopop songwriter now shows us more of his music talent in his singing debut. What's so special about Terence Lam is not merely his composing skills, but also his vocal timbre that reminds me of 90s and early 2000s Hong Kong singers. Free of overly polished vocal techniques, his unique,... [read more]
  2. The Untamed Original Soundtrack (OST) (China Version) The Untamed Original Soundtrack (OST) (China Version) Xiao Zhan | TV Series Soundtrack | Wang Yi Bo
    The Music of The Untamed
    April 30, 2020 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Good things come to those who wait. And by good things, I mean The Untamed soundtrack which I finally got my hands on last month. Though well over half a year has passed since The Untamed's broadcast in that summer of 2019, one simply does not forget about this drama. I could make a very long list of all the things great about this Chinese period fantasy series, and high up among those reasons would be the music. The Untamed's beautiful score was created by composer and pianist Lin Hai who fuses classical Chinese instruments and traditional styles into an RPG-worthy collection of epic battle songs and delicate, evocative numbers. Notably, music itself plays a role in the story of The... [read more]
  3. Feanna 17+ Feanna 17+ Wong Shuk Man (Singer)
    Rising super voice of Cantopop
    June 25, 2019 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Feanna Wong Shuk Man, who just graduated from high school this year, is considered one of Hong Kong's rising singers in recent years. Young as she may be, she impresses listeners with her pure and distinctive tone, even during live performances. She recently gathered her digital releases to officially present her first album, Feanna 17+! Feanna first stepped into stardom with "We Almost Fly" (Track 8), the theme song of the Hong Kong movie She Remembers, He Forgets, which won Best Original Film Song at the 35th Hong Kong Film Awards. As a singer and student, she cheers for public exam takers again in her 2019 single "We Can Make It" (Track 3), which is also written by "We Almost Fly"... [read more]
  4. #osnrap #osnrap OSN (Singer)
    #osnrap #hiphopdiscovery
    May 31, 2019 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Though I am not a huge fan of hip-hop, I came across rapper OSN and his debut release #osnrap recently, and I gotta say, I really love it! His songs are not about fame, money or girls. He reflects on and writes about his life experiences. For those who are not so into the genre, this epic album may change your mind. OSN is most famous for producing and performing rap ballads. His hit singles Without You (Track 1) and Why You Gonna Lie (Track 3) have gained about three million views on YouTube in just three months. The mixing and switching of languages in his lyrics never sounds incongruent. His highly rated title track Without You (Track 1) has really nice lyrics: "Cuz me without you it... [read more]
  5. Dear Monster (EP) Dear Monster (EP) Aaron Yan (Singer)
    Greet the monster in our hearts
    October 2, 2018 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    The 2000s Taiwan boy band Fahrenheit is probably a familiar name to most fans of Mandopop. After parting ways, Aaron Yan was the first member to go solo with his first release The Next Me. Unlike many idols, Aaron is known for his frank and honest personality as he publicly comments on political issues and even his relationship with other Fahrenheit members. The singer creates the new album Dear Monster under the concept of "REAL AARON" to share his thoughts to every listener. Most people tend to get used to things that happen around us in everyday life. As days go by, we gradually forget how to think and how to express; we don't want to be special, we just follow. We hide our unique selves... [read more]
  6. The World Sings Danny Chan The World Sings Danny Chan Hong Kong Various Artists
    Oh Danny Boy
    September 30, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    If he was alive, September 7, 2018, would have been Danny Chan's 60th birthday. Though the legendary singer has long left us, his many hit songs remain as classic representatives of eighties Hong Kong music and Cantopop ballads. To commemorate Danny's 60th birthday, Universal Music launched a special project that included a memorial concert and the tribute album The World Sings Danny Chan produced by veteran Alan Tsui. The album begins with Alan Tam's version of "Cherish Today" (Track 1) and the classic encouraging line of "Put down your worries / Please cherish today." The original song is probably the best example of how Danny's music blended traditional "xiao diao" melody with a... [read more]
  7. Modern Tragedy Modern Tragedy Joanna Wang (Singer)
    Slice-of-life drama in pop rock jams
    August 31, 2018 Picked By Violet See all this editor's picks
    Joanna Wang swept many awards as a newcomer with her first album in 2008. Though her debut became a massive hit, she frankly stated that the whole album was designed and created under "business considerations" and not what she really wanted. Starting from her second album Joanna & Wang Ruo-lin, she has expressed her own style of music on her own terms. Modern Tragedy is Joanna's latest album with songs all written and composed by the singer-songwriter. It was my first time listening to her and the tracklist attracted me with its funny long titles. As Joanna puts it, every sad story has its value; we just have to embrace it. Let's enjoy some 90s pop rock in her new album! Modern Tragedy... [read more]
  8. Nobody Island Nobody Island everfor (Singer)
    In search of lost times
    July 31, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    The retro trend has grown substantially in everything from fashion to furniture, and the craze for vintage nostalgia has also hit the Taiwan music scene. To develop a fresh retro sound, indie band Freckles' guitarist Sue Wei An has spent years experimenting with different styles, such as garage, nu disco, dub, ska and chill-out music. The musician showcases his pioneering spirit in Nobody Island released under the name of his new band Everfor, which includes his brother Sue Wei Bo on bass, Heartones' Du Yi Xiu on guitar and former FLUX member Li Liang Ying on drums. Inspired by his hometown of Tamsui in New Taipei City, the album captures the relaxing mood of the seaside city. Strumming the... [read more]
  9. Moments Moments Bianca Wu (Singer)
    The new sounds of jazz
    May 31, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Jazz has been slow to go mainstream in the pop-influenced music industry. The development of jazz encounters even greater obstacles in Hong Kong due to the musical tastes of local listeners. Though many Hong Kong singers, like Jacky Cheung and William So, have attempted to explore jazz, none of them seriously turned the groovy music into their own style. Well aware of the public's traditional views on jazz as old-fashioned music, Bianca Wu has made substantial headway in reinvigorating the jazz genre and introducing it to the Cantopop scene. In her 16th album Moments, the Canto-jazz pioneer finds a fresh approach to jazz by incorporating different musical sounds. "Sapphire Bowl" (Track 1)... [read more]
  10. FIAO TE HAO FIAO TE HAO Tiger Hu (Singer)
    Tiger Hu's new R&B landscape
    May 9, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Tiger Hu was hailed as the "little prince of R&B" when he debuted the hot album Wen Wu Shuang Quan at the age of 19. Though the singer-songwriter has explored many new sounds, he has never abandoned his R&B roots. By introducing the most up-to-date music styles, the musician again reshapes his R&B landscape with the album Fiao Te Hao. The title Fiao Te Hao means "don't be too good" in Shanghainese. The Shanghai-born singer-songwriter uses this slang to express his attitude towards life: stay hungry and strive for a better future. This insistent spirit is reflected in the title jam Fiao Te Hao (Track 2), an innovative fusion of retro disco, trap and EDM that shows the singer's aggression in... [read more]
  11. INNER VOICE (EP) INNER VOICE (EP) Tang Siu Hau (Singer)
    February 23, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    What comes to your mind when you think of Tang Siu Hau? The singing competition The Voice or the theme song "Half a Cup of Water" from the 2010 TVB sitcom Some Day? It's hard to think of a third thing to represent Siu Hau because she was always underrated during her five years under TVB. After joining Vicky Fung and Victor Tse's Frenzi Music in 2015, her talents were discovered through various surprising singles including "Elegance and Vulgarity" and "Strength and Weakness." Taking audiences away from the depressive world of her debut EP, the mini-album Inner Voice explores the power of communication in mutual understanding and self-discovery. The first plug "Mixed" (Track 1) continues her... [read more]
  12. Luna (2CD) Luna (2CD) AGA (Singer)
    Songs for nighttime loners
    January 31, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Sleepless nights may feel lonely, but they're the perfect time for introspection for people like AGA. Drawing from various genres like jazz, rock and hip-hop, the groovy musician's album Luna eloquently expresses the feeling of loneliness through stories of different lonely people and guides listeners to reconnect with their inner souls. The lead track 3AM (Track 1) creates a tranquil midnight with a very rich 90s R&B flavor. On top of a quiet piano melody fused with catchy drumbeats, the singer-songwriter sings about the internal conflict of a girl who struggles to break up with her lover. Rapper Ghost Style comforts the girl with his deep and gentle voice, which perfectly suits the smooth... [read more]
  13. C AllStar 2017 Live (2DVD + 2CD) C AllStar 2017 Live (2DVD + 2CD) C AllStar (Singer)
    Music and society
    January 22, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    While new groups keep popping up in Hong Kong, few of them can stand firm in the mainstream music world like C AllStar. Thanks to their compelling a cappella skills and realistic yet experimental music style, the vocal quartet quickly found a seat among numerous pop groups and rock bands in the Cantopop scene. However, the habitual collaboration between the four members has gradually become a comfort zone that stifles their creativity. Before going solo to find breakthroughs in their music careers, the C AllStar members inspire thinking about the future of Hong Kong and Cantopop in their farewell concert. Starting from the bossa nova debut song iSing to the EDM-style "Music Colony," C... [read more]
  14. Size 9 (Limited Edition) Size 9 (Limited Edition) Jan Lamb (Singer)
    Hoping for the best for Hong Kong
    November 28, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    The frustration with Hong Kong's stressful lifestyle and stagnant music market has been growing in the city. By taking on various music genres, Jan Lamb revitalizes the monotonous Cantopop scene, and sends messages of hope and encouragement through the album Size 9. Cantopop enjoyed widespread popularity in Asia during the 1980s and 1990s, and the early 2000s also saw the successful emergence of superstars Joey Yung, Eason Chan and Twins. However, the industry started to decline in the recent decade as local listeners turned to more popular music from Taiwan and Korea. Hong Kong songwriters and singers also produced Mandarin songs to expand their markets. Hoping that the industry can revive... [read more]
  15. Love and Other Things Love and Other Things Janice Vidal (Singer)
    The metamorphosis of Janice Vidal
    July 31, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    During her ten years under Leon Lai's label A Music, Janice Vidal released a number of hit ballads that brought her various music awards. However, her repetitive pop ballad style has deterred her from achieving greater success. After joining Warner Music, the singer restarts her career with a series of surprising songs that vary considerably in style. Expanding her music map, Janice rediscovers herself in the album Love and Other Stories. Janice expresses her determination to make a change in her first comeback single "Butterfly" (Track 5), a compelling mix of soft rock and R&B. By asking "Who are you?" in an uncanny violin-driven opening, the singer reveals her confusion about herself, her... [read more]
  16. He-R He-R Crowd Lu (Singer)
    No love, no life
    June 19, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Known for his brand of humor and optimism, Crowd Lu has created a bunch of light-hearted and energetic songs. However, as revealed during an interview in 2016, the sunny singer-songwriter was originally a passive child bullied by his classmates. Hoping to be loved, the little Crowd started to develop his own peculiar sense of humor. Sharing similar sentiments with the unassertive Hwa Jia from his family drama A Boy Named Flora A, the musician beautifully conveys the character's intense yearning for family love in the drama's theme songs He-R and Bin A Tsai. A Taiwanese word meaning "small fish," He-R (Track 1) is a poignant monologue of a lonely man who lives a peaceful life in a new city... [read more]
  17. The Whimsical Voyage (EP) The Whimsical Voyage (EP) Hins Cheung (Singer) | Ivana Wong (Singer)
    A new look at old hits
    April 13, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Earlier this February, Hong Kong singer-songwriters Ivana Wong and Hins Cheung celebrated their long-lasting friendship in their first collaborative concert The Magical Teeter Totter 2017. Inspired by Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the concert's spin-off album The Whimsical Voyage takes them on a creative journey into each other's music worlds. Ivana takes the bolder step to elevate Hins's songs to a higher artistic level. One of the most important songs in Hins's music career is his debut song My Way, an encouraging R&B jam about the singer's growth and future. To echo the pivotal theme of "I will find my way / I want a different way," Ivana sings in a totally different way. She... [read more]
  18. Loveaholic Vol.1 Loveaholic Vol.1 C AllStar (Singer)
    A new approach to an old theme
    February 22, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    C AllStar came to prominence with the romantic and touching ballad "Love Stairs," but the quartet is better known for their socially relevant music style. Before going on hiatus, they launch an unexpected love-themed album for their farewell project Loveaholic featuring five different love stories. In the 90s, many Cantopop songs were covers of Japanese music. Featuring a classical and electric guitar duet, the retro R&B number "Moment of Love" (Track 1) recalls those golden days of Cantopop music. Apart from the melody, the old-school J-pop vibe is also reflected in the brief interlude on piano and saxophone, a common style of music arrangement in the 90s. The romantic mood is well... [read more]
  19. Imperfections (Regular Version) Imperfections (Regular Version) Ellen Loo (Singer)
    Embracing imperfections
    November 30, 2016 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Last year, at17's Ellen Loo shared her long journey of recovery from bipolar disorder in the album Pillow Talk. Walking out of the darkness, the singer-songwriter demonstrates her optimistic worldview in the album Imperfections. Featuring energetic guitar riffs, the album's first plug "Not Far Enough" (Track 1) further cements her indie rock style. Along with the hopeful lyrics "Adventure is the plot that I need / Just embark on adventures and see me getting far," the song best shows her determination in developing her career as an independent artist. To match her cheerful lyrics, Ellen adapted the slow R&B-style "Our Crowns" (Track 2) composed by Khalil Fong into an upbeat pop rock jam... [read more]
  20. People Like Us (HQCD) People Like Us (HQCD) Eman Lam (Singer)
    Jazzing up Hong Kong music
    November 22, 2016 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Jazz, which is now considered to be a more serious and classy music form, has become a marginalized genre since the rise of popular genres like pop, R&B, rock and hip-hop. Many Chinese pop singers do turn to jazz to add a touch of class to their music but only a few succeed in riding the rhythm. Through the highly acclaimed albums Eman Lam and On the Go, at17's Eman Lam has established her own distinctive jazzy groove while retaining a Cantopop style. Continuing the jazz pop vibe of her previous albums, People Like Us talks about different moments in life, including self-acknowledgement, sexuality, love and regret. The album starts with the most important moment in one's journey of growth:... [read more]
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