Monday, April 21, 2008

in love with TVB themes

Every few months I go on a Cantopop CD frenzy and buy them in batches from sites like YesAsia. While everyone has gone the age of technology and either d/l their music or buy from iTunes, I still like having the original hardcopy in my hands. Esp. for Chinese CDs, I never really know what's good out there as I'm out of touch in terms of the latest music charts, but places like YouTube are a great place to sample music before I commit, and I generally like to support the artists.

I purchased 6 new CDs online awhile ago, and they just arrived over the weekend, so will be listening to them and maybe sharing some thoughts I have about the songs in the coming weeks.

The first CD I started listening to was the compilation album "In Love With Drama (TVB Latest Theme Songs)." This album is sort of a joke because the way it's done is that in order to save money, TVB will have their own acting artists sing the theme songs instead of hiring real singers. There is usually a mixed bag of talent in there. If the actor/actress is also an established artist, then great, the vocals and arrangements are of much higher caliber. Then there are the wannabes, the ones forced by TVB to expand into music, whether or not they can sing. As a studio album, that can pass w/ some muster, but I absolutely cringe when they try to sing live. I have to make absolutely sure that there is at least 50% of songs that I like before I buy the CD, or maybe, a really good song that I love that I can't find anywhere else for albums like these.

01. 講不出聲 (溏心風暴 主題曲) - 關菊英 : Speechless ("Heart of Greed" theme) - Susanna Kwan
02. 只得一次 (同事三分親 主題曲) - 關淑怡 : Only Once ("Best Selling Secrets" theme) - Shirley Kwan
03. 最美麗的第七天 (最美麗的第七天 主題曲) - 鄭嘉穎 : The Most Beautiful Seventh Day ("The Seventh Day" theme) - Kevin Cheng
04. 禁戀 (鳳凰四重奏 插曲) - 佘詩曼 : Forbidden Love ("Maidens' Vow" subtheme) - Charmaine Sheh
05. 明成皇后 (明成皇后 主題曲) - 汪明荃 : The Last Empress ("The Last Empress" theme) - Liza Wang
06. 心領 (溏心風暴 插曲) - 林峰/ 鍾嘉欣 : Appreciated ("Heart of Greed" subtheme) - Raymond Lam/Linda Chung
07. 灰色錯對 (奪命真夫 主題曲) - 林保怡 : Right or Wrong's Grey Area ("Misleading Track" theme) - Bowie Lam
08. 第幾天 (賭場風雲 插曲) - 黃宗澤 : Which Day ("Dicey Business" subtheme) - Bosco Wong
09. I'm So In Love With You (舞動全城 主題曲) - 廖碧兒 : ("Steps" theme) - Bernice Liu
10. 金剛 (男人之苦 插曲) - 吳卓羲 : Golden Strong ("Men in Pain" theme) - Ron Ng

Songs performed by real singers (sang before TV ever came along) are tracks 1, 2, 3, and 5. The rest are performed by actors/actresses.

Songs I Most Enjoyed:

Track 6: I can't stand Linda's singing, but Raymond really saves the song, and I enjoy his singing in this very upbeat song. I wish I could just take out Linda's vocals and make it a solo piece. She has no air when she sings, she's reaching for those notes all the time, it's very annoying to listen to. That's the only thing I can't stand in the song, but I kept this as a fave 'cause I really like this song on its own.

Track 8: I could barely tell that this was Bosco singing, but I like that he tried to inject some emo in the song. In the past, I really raised an eyebrow when he tried to sing, but this is a big improvement, and the song is enjoyable.

Track 9: Bernice's Spanish-flavored song sounds perfect as a romantic ballad, and even though she's not a real recording artist, I think she should have her own album, her vocals are so strong.

Track 10: This song was the main reason I bought this CD. I think Ron's singing has improved a LOT since he first started to sing, and while I didn't like his first album (the songs and singing were really subpar there), I think he's worked really hard to be less nasally and although I don't know if he can perform live well yet, this was a song I listened to over and over again.

The worst of the bunch, in terms of vocals and just plain crappy song, has to go to tracks 3 (sorry, Kevin!) and 7.

Track 3: OK, I love Kevin, but he really needs to stop singing these slow, absolutely dreary tunes that are not aligned with his image or persona at all. Why couldn't he get a recording contract like Raymond? He's a real singer, and can perform live, but he isn't given the hip, romantic songs that would get him more notice. This song is absolutely depressing to listen to, the tempo at a turtle's pace.

Track 7: Bowie can't sing!!! Skip this piece of crap. It sucks! It's horrible. He can't project, the song is a throwaway track, don't even bother. I hate this song. It's like he's talking through this song. Horrible, bad, terrible, gross. :p

That being said, I would say that the overall album is not bad. I think the song choices could have been better, as there are many TVB themes that I love but were never released. Obviously, this compilation was based on the popularity of the artists, and less about the quality of the music. Take a listen and rate for yourself.

Up coming posts on my other CDs include a different TVB compilation album that came out several years ago, and solo albums by Raymond Lam, Alex Fong, and Janice Vidal. Stay tuned!


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