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Timeless (HQCD) (Made in Japan)

Khalil Fong (Singer)
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Timeless (HQCD) (Made in Japan)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

After four original albums that were greeted with critical and commercial success, singer-songwriter Khalil Fong comes up with a cover album that traces his musical inspirations. Back in 2005, the year he made his debut, Khalil already had this idea of recording a cover album that is closely tied to his days growing up, and he would give the old songs new arrangements. The time has finally come, and this self-selected collection includes 10 songs that have influenced him most one way or another. This is a very personal project for Khalil, as behind each of these songs there is a story for him. For instance, the first plug "Red Bean" (originally sung by Faye Wong) was a song his friends used to sing in karaoke when he returned to Shanghai in his younger days. Other tracks include Amei Chang's Remember, Michael Jackson's Bad, and Susanna Kwan's Kwang Chiu, which is Khalil's first Cantonese song.

The HQCD version comes with a bonus track - The Moon Represents My Heart originally by Teresa Teng.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Timeless (HQCD) (Made in Japan) Timeless (HQCD) (日本製) Timeless (HQCD) (日本制) Timeless (HQCD) (日本製) Timeless (HQCD) (Made in Japan)
Singer Name(s): Khalil Fong (Singer) 方大同 (Singer) 方大同 (Singer) 方大同 (カリウ・フォン) (Singer) Khalil Fong (Singer)
Release Date: 2010-01-08
Language: English, Cantonese, Mandarin
Country of Origin: Hong Kong
Disc Format(s): CD
Other Information: HQCD
Package Weight: 160 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
Publisher: Warner Music Hong Kong
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1021931911

Product Information / Track List

HQCD的碟片採用製造液晶螢幕的聚碳酸脂注塑,碟片反射膜更採用了比一般鋁更耐熱、耐光的銀合金反射塗層,藉使音樂信號的解像度,透明度及感知度顯著提升,致使音色可更細膩的傳達,令聽眾有如身在現場,得以享受最接近音源回放的體驗。

有些歌 是一輩子的, 無論什麼時候出現, 都是新歌

自2005年出道至今,四張全創作專輯銷售與口碑一致受到肯定,創作動聽,唱腔獨特。全新自選集收錄了10首好聽悅耳的歌曲。這些旋律在無形之中影響了他的生活,陪伴他的成長,為他的背景添上色彩,給予他音樂創作的養分。好的旋律不因時間而改變 透過Khalil的聲音,記憶永恆的經典。

HQCD特別收錄: The Moon Represent My Heart月亮代表我的心

01. You Are The Sunshine of My Life feat. 黃韻玲 (O.S. Stevie Wonder)
02. Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You (O.S. Glenn Medeiros)
03. Bad (O.S. Michael Jackson)
04. Kwang Chiu 狂潮 (O.S. 關菊英Kwan Guk Ying)
05. La Bamba (O.S. Ritchie Valens)
06. Red Bean 紅豆 (O.S. 王菲 Faye Wang)
07. Georgia on My Mind (O.S. Ray Charles)
08. Remember 記得 (O.S. 張惠妹Amei Chang)
09. Wonderful Tonight (O.S. Eric Clapton)
10. Moon River (O.S. Andy William)
Bonus Track:
11. The Moon Represents My Heart 月亮代表我的心 (O.S. 鄧麗君 Teresa Tang)
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Timeless (HQCD) (Made in Japan)"

September 2, 2009

This professional review refers to Timeless
Cover albums are tricky for any musician to do. Should the musician create something new at the risk of alienating fans who are so attached to the original song that anything different would be considered blasphemy? Or should the musician stick close to the style of the original songs, and risk being so faithful that the cover ceases to serve any purpose? Khalil Fong chooses to do both in Timeless, his way of paying tribute to his favorite classics, both Western and Chinese. However, Khalil has mostly picked classic songs so untouchable that he ends up becoming too restricted by his love for the songs to do anything more than pay tribute to them. More critical fans won't need to doubt Khalil's ability as a musician, which he proves again here, but they might instead doubt whether this album needed to be made in the first place.

That's not the say the album, co-produced and entirely arranged by Khalil himself, is not impressively produced. Khalil promised an album on the technical level of an audiophile album, and Timeless is at least close to that level. Even though the arrangement of opening track You Are the Sunshine of My Life (Track 1) doesn't differ greatly from Stevie Wonder's original, it does upgrade the sound of the past and polish it for modern listeners (listen to that bass!). Khalil wisely chooses to recreate the song faithfully (even in his vocal style), and though he brings nothing new to the song, he knows that it has become such a musical holy grail that anything other than the original arrangement would be considered inferior. Ultimately, the version here is more a fine replication than a cover.

Khalil does the same with Eric Clapton's Wonderful Tonight (Track 9). Retaining its famous hook and generally mellow tone, Khalil simply recreates what makes it a great song instead of attempting the impossible task of outdoing it. Even though his voice doesn't match up to Clapton's original, the arrangement (including the great Jun Kung on drums) is more than enough to make this a worthy cover.

The biggest change Khalil gives to the tracks on Timeless is taking typical pop compositions and arranging them in ways that fit his smooth, but slightly hoarse voice. The prime example is his cover of classic 80s pop ballad Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You (Track 2). With a brass section as backup and the rhythm quickened to a mid-tempo R&B one, the new arrangement takes the cheesy, saccharine-oozing 80s style out of the song and makes it something fitting for contemporary young listeners. However, Khalil's take also lacks the emotions the original had with its slower pacing, and seems to rush into its ending chords, making this only a half-successful cover.

The same problem also plagues Kuang Chao (Track 4), the cover of the classic ballad written by Joseph Koo. While the arrangement itself carries over the elegance of the original, Khalil's voice is not built for the dramatic delivery Koo intended with his long, drawn-out lines. With that and its short length, Kuang Chao ultimately doesn't make much of an impression, which is especially disappointing considering it's Khalil's first Cantonese song.

Perhaps the biggest failure in reconstructing the classics on Timeless is in Michael Jackson's Bad (Track 3). While refitting the genre-defying pop classic with a big band-funk arrangement is interesting in concept, Khalil's deep vocal bores and replaces the attitude in Michael Jackson's original with the feeling of a playful exercise. The cover itself is energetic, and its arrangement is well-produced. However, the song either needs a better vocalist, or Khalil should've simply chosen another Michael Jackson song to cover. Meanwhile, even though the cover of La Bamba (Track 5) here also isn't particularly interesting vocally, the real fun is in the jazz-lounge style arrangement that continues on way after the composition itself has run its course. The impressive, drawn-out ending features a dynamic mix of brass, drums, and piano to make it the most musically engaging track on Timeless.

On the other hand, the most pleasant surprise lies in A-mei Chang's Remember (Track 8). Like Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You, Khalil quickens the almost sluggish pace of the original and replaces it with a slow-burning, synthesizer-driven arrangement most of the way through. But unlike Nothing's Gonna Change..., Khalil's version of Remember builds an entirely new set of emotions, especially as it reaches its climax during the bridge. The result is a well-written composition that's further enhanced by an arrangement that calls attention to itself without overstepping the bounds of the composition. This proves that Khalil can still deliver a great pop song outside his typical sound.

There's no doubt that the songs Khalil have picked for Timeless are excellent, well-regarded pop songs, and that he has covered a wide range of his tastes here. However, Timeless doesn't quite fulfill its potential. Khalil and his team have proven repeatedly with his original works that he's a talented musician, but they don't do much here (with the exception of Remember) for the music they're covering. As a result, Timeless is a somewhat lazy, but ultimately solid musical achievement that still proves Khalil is one of the most talented young musicians working in Hong Kong music today. His fans will be more than happy with their latest dose of Khalil goodness, but don't be surprised if it also simply raises the anticipation all that much more for his next original album.

Recommended Tracks: You Are the Sunshine of My Life (Track 1), Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You (Track 2), La Bamba (Track 5), Red Bean (Track 6). Remember (Track 8), Wonderful Tonight (Track 9)

by Kevin Ma

This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.
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