Sunday, January 15, 2012

Kary Ng - "Myself" Album Review

As a young teenager, Kary started off as a back up singer to Stephy Tang in the bubblegum pop band "Cookies". With her sweet but strong voice, it was clear she had the most talent. Kary embarked on a solo career as a pop/rock artist and her future has only continued to look brighter.

Despite being only 25 years old, Kary has had years of experience in the music industry, matured, and has blossomed into one of the best young singers in Hong Kong.

Kary Ng returns with her new album "Myself", her most solid and consistent full length album yet. She has grown into a young lady, and it shows. As always, the music is of pop and rock influence. At the same time, she also experiments with other elements, including R&B and even a little jazz, and does it right. Orchestra strings are often heard as well, creating a pleasing and well-polished sound.

Most albums will have a couple highlights and then several mediocre or "filler" songs. However, each track on "Myself" is unique and strong.

A more in-depth look...

"歸宿/Final Destination" is a wonderful combination of instruments and synthetic elements along with her signature pop sound.  The song starts with a strong orchestral introduction.  She is able to show her range in the song as well, as she hits both low and high notes.  While "Final Destination" may seem like a solid and well produced track, it's only a preview of the great music that is about to follow.

"我本人/Myself" is a softer and more mellow track where Kary sings more gently. The strings sounded lovely here and the music gave off a slightly magical feel.  This track was a critical and commercial success, and for good reason.  It is beautifully composed and sung.

" 東京三月/Tokoyo for Three Months" boosts R&B beats and a softly singing Kary, resulting in a soothing song.

Less is more is what “吴哥窟/Angkor Wat” proves.  The song makes no attempt to stretch Kary's voice, yet each note and vocal is executed gently yet beautifully.  What is perhaps most unique about this is the old time feel, which is further reflected in the music video.  It is an emotional but subtle song that is wonderfully crafted.

"未晚/Not Too Late" is a more upbeat song, but keeps the sound of the album consist by keeping a mellow and serene feel.  Kary's vocals are very sweet here and I love the instrumental.

"現在已經是夜深/The Middle of the Night" feels unlike any other song Kary has released with its jazz influence. Very refreshing.

"海枯石烂/Even If the Seas Run Dry and the Rocks Crumble" is another beautiful sounding track possessing a more typical C-Pop ballad feel.  It's not too slow, but rather, relaxing and calming.  Unlike many of the songs that maintain a more stable pace though, "Even If the Seas Run Dry and the Rocks Crumble" reaches a powerful and beautiful climax and closes with a strong ending.

"不遠不近/Not Far, Not Near" is perhaps the song with the most R&B influence, this is of my personal favorites on the album. The la la's Kary sings towards the ends are surprisingly infectious and sweet, yet not annoying at all.

The feel of "初會/First Encounter" is similar to "Even If the Seas Run Dry and the Rocks Crumble" with its C-Pop ballad feel and heavy reliance with traditional instruments.  This results in a lovely song, and I especially love the bridge.

"幾個字/A Few Words", the last track, has the most jazz influence and even contains a hint of the blues. Unique and soothing, this sounds like something one would sing at a club or bar.

Although there are songs that stand out and are more memorable than others, each song is solid and lovely to listen to. There is no weak link. The whole album gives off a very soothing and relaxing vibe. Unlike her past albums, Kary goes for a more mellow and unique sound. This resulted in consistency and quality. No song feels out of place, yet it doesn't feel repetitive.

Personal favorites: "Myself", "Angkor Wat", and "Not Far, Not Near".

On "Myself", Kary proves she has matured and that she has what it takes to keep making quality music. She covers new territory by experimenting with different genres while staying true to her style, resulting in a wonderful album. She is also one of the few with a sweet and genuine sounding voice while having good range. "Myself" is a superb album and Kary's best yet.

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