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I Have Myself
Janice Yan (Singer)
I Have Myself
This professional review refers to I Have Myself

It has been a long time since a C-pop newcomer stirred eager anticipation in both the Cantopop and Mandopop scenes, but Janice Yan is an exception. Born to a musical family, the singer received attention on One Million Star seven years ago. Many fans had been waiting for her album and official debut for years. After releasing various movie and drama-related singles and starring in a large-scale musical, Janice finally launches her first album I Have Myself with the support of her record label HIM International Music.

The album features ten songs in total: nine Mandarin songs and one Cantonese song. The main tracks "One in a Million" and "Grim Reaper" share the same melody and are plugged in Hong Kong and Taiwan, respectively. The distinguished production crew, which includes Schumann Lee, Derek Shih, Jennifer Hsu, Daryl Yao, Wyman Wong, Lu Zhen Huang, Ma Yu Fen, Bing Wang and Chen Wen Hua, shows that the record label thinks highly of the album's quality. It also reflects the singer and her label's desire to explore different themes, styles and musical possibilities by working with various musicians for her debut.

I Have Myself is indeed a pleasant release with solid lyrical and musical quality. Songs are carefully selected, and the lyrics and music aren't just there to fill up the album. Multiple genres are mixed together so Janice can showcase a tender and affectionate side while exhibiting her versatile vocals through various styles like rock and R&B. The genre-hopping album prevents the singer from being pigeonholed too early by her vocals, singing style and music genre. Though neither the albums' lyrics nor compositions are superb or surprising, they are compatible with the singer and will remain fresh over time.

Janice's vocal performance is also outstanding. Her past cover of "Let Everything Go with the Wind" exhibited her compellingly gentle yet strong vocals. This time I carefully listened to her newly recorded songs. Her voice is soft but also gives off a tough feeling with an unimaginable power that is hard to describe. Striking a good balance between tenderness and toughness, her voice oozes considerable charm with perfect naturalness. She handles different genres well with her flexible vocals. Singing each musical note and line in great detail, she has full control of her emotions and vocal style, which can be both girlish and firm. Great passion and self-confidence can also be felt in her music. I believe that it's possible for Janice to achieve an important status in the music scene if she and her production crew continue to put effort into song selection (especially when launching Cantonese albums).

The Hong Kong and Taiwan plugs "One in a Million" and "Grim Reaper" are both written by Wyman Wong and produced by Bing Wong and Schumann Lee. The melody isn't very catchy but the string-driven arrangement has a soothing and timeless vibe. The Cantonese song "One in a Million" features hopeful lyrics that encourage pessimistic young Hong Kong people. Part of it is also about love: "Luck is slim / I don't regret because of love / Tomorrow morning may give me sunshine." The entire lyrics are warm and up-to-date. Singing in Cantonese, Janice shows firm vocals and sophisticated singing skills that fit the song's goal-setting theme. The Mandarin number "Grim Reaper" centers on the unpredictability of life and tells people not to find their love too late. The song's lyrics include quite a lot of well-written lines, such as "The beautiful weather before heavy rain / The peace before the plague / It's all happy tales before the accidents" and "Happiness won't wait for you / Go to Paris some other day / Who knows there may not be a Paris some other day." In my opinion, songs with philosophical messages on life can make Janice more elegant and attractive.

Starting the album is the second plug "I Have Myself," which kicks off with an unexpected rock opening that excites listeners' attention. The song helps the singer create a determined and confident image. Janice's considerable rock power is well controlled by her balanced vocals. The lyrics "I have myself" can be an advertising slogan or a buzz phrase.

Long popular with listeners, the movie insert song "Might As Well" has a catchy melody and healing lyrics that also evoke a heartrending and touching mood. Janice establishes a vivid style with her impressive and wonderfully reserved performance. The song would be totally different if it was sung by another singer. The rearranged "The Side with Light" is not an easy song but Janice manages to show various singing styles and hit high notes effortlessly without awkwardness. "The Gaze" features pleasant melody and lyrics. The choral part at the end brightens up the song and creates a youthful and hopeful vibe. The lyrics of "New Love" shine brightly and the singer exudes a gentle and self-possessed manner. "Frenemy," "Only If You Are Still Here" and "A Paradise" are also worth a listen.

I really look forward to a Cantonese album from Janice, even if it's just an EP, and I look forward to seeing her chemistry with other Hong Kong musicians.

by Stephen Lee

(Translation: Pisces)

  • Region & Language: Hong Kong United States - English
  • *Reference Currency: No Reference Currency
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