Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Song Review: Kary Ng's "狠狠/Ferociously"

Kary Ng goes retro for her latest single "狠狠/Ferociously", making it her first dance oriented song in years!  Known for her midtempo songs and love ballads, the young female songstress increases her versatility and well roundedness with her newest plug.

"Ferociously" details a love affair at its most intense with a retro electronic dance musical style, making it a unique, catchy, and addictive song.  There are some attempts at Cantopop dance songs every now and then, most of which I don't thoroughly enjoy because they tend to feel like they're too Western influenced, not innovative, and often, overdosed with auto tune.  "Ferociously" is my favorite Cantopop dance song now.  It's not only upbeat, catchy, and something you could actually dance to, but also stylish, creative, refreshing, and different.  I love the uniquely retro style of the song, which fits Kary very well.  It's great that Kary and her musical team are trying new things, and I'm looking forward to hearing more dance songs from her!

The MV has Kary herself dancing for the first time in an MV since her solo debut days, which I think is great.  She looks so much more mature and better now!  The only thing is I wish they could release a full version of the dance sequence, as you only see bits and pieces of it.  The "evil pig" masks were quite freaky and creepy, and were apparently part of an abstract theme which sought to say Kary could overcome evil like that.  I don't think this theme was executed too well, but at least it was creative and amusing.  The plot of the MV is questionable, but it's nice to see more effort being put into Cantopop music videos.  The MV is fun, quirky, and well shot.

This has quickly become one of my new favorites from Kary.  She is only getting better and better!  "Ferociously" is definitely a song worth checking out, especially if you're looking for something fun and different.

Younha's "Supersonic" Album Review

After a long lawsuit dispute with her former record label, Younha, one of Korea's most underrated and talented young musicians, is finally makes a comeback with a new full length album. The pop rock princess shows she's back and better than ever in "Supersonic", which includes some of her best work yet.

A more in depth look...

"Supersonic" is consistent and stays true to the sound and style of Younha that her fans know and love. Her rock influence is more evident and expanded on here, and it sounds like she's matured and grown into an even better musician. Each song carries her signature pop rock influence, but sets itself apart and has a different feel.

The album opens with the title track "Supersonic", probably the most heavy rock song on the album. From the first track, I was already hooked with the edgy electric guitar riffs and her strong vocals. "Supersonic" is a great pop rock song that boosts a hint of angst that had me captivated.

The album then transitions to "People", which possesses a completely different tone. It's laid back, playful, and even a bit teasing in its delivery and execution, especially when Younha sings "I don't know you".

"Rock Like Stars", featuring rapper Tiger JK, is a rock song with a funky twist. I love how Younha seems to give off attitude through her vocal delivery. A very fun track, and she definitely succeeds in "rocking like a star"!

Next comes the album's lead single "Run", probably my new favorite song by her. "Run" is an upbeat pop song that is uplifting, empowering, and beautiful. Younha simply sounds amazing and the song is not only phenomenal, but so is her vocal delivery. Not only does she show off so much range here, but her vocals along with the music literally give me goosebumps whenever I listen to the song! "Run" is such a powerful and exceedingly gorgeous song, and makes me so proud of Younha. This was her official comeback single, and she just seemed to pour her heart into it with every ounce of passion and love for music inside her.

"No Limit" is a fun and upbeat light pop rock song with a sweeter and thoughtful tone. The feel and sound of the song reminds me of a more mature version of her song "Gossip Boy".

"It Showers" is the first slow song on the album, a touching ballad with Younha's beautiful and moving vocals. The song itself is decent, but her emotion filled vocals pushes it to perfection. Her strong voice is powerful, capable, yet pleasing to the ears instead of grating.

The album continues its slower atmosphere with "Set Me Free". The song is full of intrigue. Though the chorus only consists of her singing "Set Me Free", the way she sings it coupled with the musical composition makes it chilling and empowering.

After "Set Me Free", the album continues the playful and sweet "Cream Source Pasta", which has a midtempo to faster tempo.

Things settle down again with "Wait for Me", which is more calming and serene song that seems to be tinted with slight sadness and melancholy.

Aside from "Run", "Drive" is the album's biggest potential hits. Featuring rapper and singer Jay Park, "Drive" is catchy and radio friendly, but also composed well and meaningful. The sound is dynamic without being too busy by intertwining the song's pop sounds, piano, Jay's rap lines, and Younha's vocals together nicely. I love Younha's line "I'm gonna take control of my life". One of my favorites from the album, and I hope she promotes Drive" to be one of the album's singles.

The album closes beautifully and gently with "Hope", which is dominated by acoustic guitars instead of the electric guitars and drums dominated in the rest of the album's tracks. It is a very sweet and peaceful sounding song, with it's lighter vibe, and even gives off a feeling of hope and thoughtfulness. "Hope" is a gorgeous song. What a perfect way to end the album!

Highlights: Every song on the album is spectacular, but my personal favorites are the lead single "Run", "Supersonic", "Drive", and "Hope".


There is no dull or bad song on this album. Each song sets itself apart. "Supersonic" is a thoroughly fantastic album and is Younha at her best, both vocally and musically.  Here, she sounds grown up yet fresh. She has never sounded so empowering and amazing! There is so much substance and feeling in her voice and music. No other comeback has felt so deserving and strong this year. This is the best album I've heard all year. From the angst tinted rock songs, to the playful pop rock songs, to the stunning ballads, to the sweet and thoughtful ones, "Supersonic" offers a little of everything, showing Younha's versatility and talent as an artist. Besides that, it's just such a great listen and phenomenal album, from it's artist, musical composition and production, the fresh sound, to the overall wonderful execution. The album is a call out to people that Younha is back, and she's here to stay. "Supersonic" is a must listen of the year, whether you're a fan of Younha, pop rock, or just great music in general.

Rating: 5 stars

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Starhub TVB Awards 2012 - Fa Dan Fashion

On Saturday, August 18, a group of TVB artists attended the Starhub TVB Awards in Singapore.  Many of the awards given and the winners were a joke, with even more "pork" handed out than at the TVB Anniversary Awards.  Instead of wallowing about the results of the trivial awards (but if you must - a list of winners has been included at the bottom), let's take a look at the fashion choices by our lovely fa dan's.

Best dressed definitely goes to Selena, who looked gorgeous in a fitted strapless light aqua dress that trailed on the ground to create a mermaid silhouette.  I love the light aqua color, which gives off a refreshing feeling.  The color, design, fit, and of course, the person wearing the dress was beautiful.  To give it a sleek and subtle yet feminine look, Selena pulled up her hair into a loose updo with her bangs to the side, and accessorized with a silver necklace.

Best dressed male goes to Ruco, and cutest couple is Selena and Ruco.  They looked compatible and very sweet together.  Their ensembles complimented each other with the different calming shades of blue.  Ruco dressed in a dark blue/navy suit with black shirt and bow tie.  Not the typical suit you see worn, but he pulls it off looking handsome as always.  However, I wish he opted to stop wearing those glasses all the time.  Ruco went home with the "Best Newcomer" award...and I seriously wonder if he found the win funny, or just plain sad.

The night's Best Actress Myolie Wu wore a deep purple dress made up of a unique fabric (that I can't name).  The neckline and design of the dress, along with her newly cut short hair, makes her look very sharp and fashionable!

Tavia Yeung's fashion choices for award shows in recent years hasn't been anything I've had anything particularly good to say about, but she looked quite lovely that night.  She looked beautiful in her long flowing butterfly printed dress.  The design of the waist of the dress created dimension and created a small waist shape.  Her hair was appropriately pulled into a pony tail.  Tavia's dress makes her look fresh and sweet, and I liked how it wasn't overly formal.

It seemed blues and purples were very popular with the ladies for this event this year!  Linda always looks ready to be crowned Homecoming or Prom Queen with her gowns.  Basically, she looks beautiful but like a princess from a fairy tale.  Nevertheless, I like the color and detailing of the dress, which compliment the sweet and innocent girl very well.  The one shoulder is a nice change from the other dresses.  Ironically, a one shoulder dress is also what I wore to my Homecoming last year...

Fala Chen has a simplistic fashion taste, which is seen in her choices for events such as these.  Unfortunately, simplicity did not work for her here this time as she was just too plain, and the main piece was a disaster.  The strapless white dress had potential, but instead is ill fitting and looks like she wrapped a bed sheet around her.  Predictably, she paired the dress with classic black heels, red lipstick, and simply wore her hair down.  Not Fala's brightest fashion moment, as the whole ensemble did not show her curvaceous figure or beauty.

However, it wasn't Fala that was the evening's worst dressed lady.  In general, I love Kate's everyday fashion sense and think she is a beautiful girl.  Her evening dress choices though are usually a hit or miss, and this was definitely the worst ensemble of the night.  Kate looks gorgeous in curls, but I don't know why she loves donning the slicked back hair so much, which only ages her and makes her look less attractive.  The dress does not compliment her at all, and the worst part has got to be the black yarn (?) that drapes off the back of her shoulders.  Kate looked gorgeous last year at the same event with her slightly curled hair and long sleeved v-neck printed dress.  She looked elegant and attractive without aging herself.  I hope to see her wear a gown that does her justice at the Anniversary Awards.

As always, there were hits and misses for the ladies at the event.  Hope to see even more great fashion at the Anniversary Awards!

The list of winners of the night:

My Favorite TVB Male TV Character:
1. Moses Chan as Sung Yee Long in "When Heaven Burns"
2. Kenneth Ma as Cheung Yat Kin in "The Hippocratic Crush"
3. Kevin Cheng as Law Lik Ah in "Ghetto Justice"
4. Bosco Wong as So Sing Pak in "Lives of Omission"
5. Sunny Chan as Emperor Do Kwong in "Curse of the Royal Harem"
6. Wayne Lai as Po Gwok Tung in "Forensic Heroes III"

My Favorite TVB Female Character:
1. Linda Chung as Kwan Ka Lok in "L'Escargot"
2. Kate Tsui as Yiu Ho Ho in "Lives of Omission"
3. Tavia Yeung as Fan Tse Yiu in "The Hippocractic Crush"
4. Myolie Wu as Wong Sze Fu in "Ghetto Justice"
5. Charmaine Sheh as Yip Tse Yan in "When Heaven Burns"
5. Fala Chen as Chung Mo Yim in "Queens of Diamonds and Hearts"

Star of Perfect Poise Award: Kate Tsui
Most Glamorous Female Artist Award: Tavia Yeung
My Favorite TVB Variety: 
All Star Glam Exam
My Favorite TVB Mega Variety Special: TVB Gala 2011
Best TVB Male Newcomer: Ruco Chan
Best TVB Female Newcomer: Aimee Chan
Most Improved TVB Female Artist: Selena Li
Most Improved TVB Male Artist: Raymond Wong
Most Energetic Award: Kenny Wong
My Favorite TVB Themesong: The Hippocractic Crush--連續劇 By: Joey Yung
My Favorite Onscreen Couple: Moses Chan and Linda Chung [Yes Sir, Sorry Sir]
Best Smile Award: Linda Chung
Singapore Media's favorite TVB Drama: Ghetto Justice
My Favorite TVB Actress: Myolie Wu
My Favorite TVB Actor: Kevin Cheng
Professional Spirit Award: Wu Fung
My Favorite TVB Drama: When Heaven Burns

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Song Review: Dear Jane's "Goodbye"

Dear Jane tells listeners that goodbye is just a new beginning in their breathtaking new single "Goodbye".

The song opens with gently playing electric guitar strings and Tim's vocals, followed by the build up of Jackal on drums. Through out the song, it takes a gentle beat on the verses before playing in powerful unison in the choruses. Tim's vocals sound fantastic here. He may sing upbeat pop/punk rock songs most, but still has a lovely voice and I was pleasantly impressed with his ability to sing with such gentleness yet power when the song called for it. I also love how Howie provides back up vocals in the latter half.

"Goodbye" is a soft yet powerful pop rock ballad that captures such emotion, sentimentality, and passion. Words can not describe how much I'm in love with this song. It's phenomenal and moving. The melody is gorgeous.

The MV was filmed perfectly and compliments the song flawlessly. It is filmed with a vintage style with soft focus, calling for the video to be dominated by calming light blue's, white's, and gray's. The backdrop of the beach with its ocean, rocks, and breeze was beautiful, peaceful, and completely fitting. The band playing on the rocks with the waves and stunning background behind them made it simplistic yet powerful, moving, and full of beauty.

Dear Jane is proving to be such a versatile band with so much talent and promise. Over the last few months, I've been continuously growing to love them more and more. They've tried so many different styles and pull them all off so well. Their latest single is no exception. "Goodbye" is an absolutely beautiful song that carries so much feeling and power. It definitely goes on my list of highlights of the year. I have been replaying it over and over again.

Dear Jane's fourth album "Yellow Fever" will be released on September 4th! Support this amazing band!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

"Tiger Cubs" Review

"Tiger Cubs", with its high budget and quality of production as well as its cast ensemble, is easily the best series of the year hands down.

The series seemingly flies by with its straightforward plot and quick pace.  It has viewers hooked from beginning to end, without ever wavering in quality or consistency too much like typical TVB series do. From the first episode, it is clear the effort that was put into the series.   From the cinematic-like filming style, to the thrilling and well shot action sequences, to the wonderful ensemble of characters, "Tiger Cubs" is the most quality production of the year.

Cast and Characters

"Tiger Cubs" is easily most beloved for its young SDU boys, which consist of Oscar Leung, Him Law, Vincent Wong, William Chak, and Benjamin Yuen.

Oscar Leung receives the best character of his career with "Chong Chuk Yuen", as the role allowed him to shine and show his charisma and potential as a future leading actor.  Unlike his usual more rough and comic relief-type roles, Oscar is a gentlemanly, calm, mature, and sweet young man with a romantic side here, something we've never been able to see much of before.  Despite the age difference, he realistically portrays the brotherly friendship between him and Joe with ease as well as the sibling chemistry with Jessica.  And of course, his signature wink was adorable.

The fabulous acting by the young cast does not stop at Oscar though.  Him Law portrays the confident, cocky, rash, and impulsive "Yu Hok Lai" naturally and without a problem.  He matures and develops a close friendship with the team's technician So Man Keung (portrayed by Mandy Wong) as he helps her get over her fear of heights and achieve her goal of becoming the first female SDU member.  I can not deny he is one of the best actors of his generation and has what it takes to be a lead actor.

Vincent Wong delivers his most natural performance to date as "Yau Chun Hin".  In contrast to his best buddy Ah Lai, Hin Jai is humble and patient, but is insecure and lacks self esteem due to the pressure he feels from his family, which is full of heroic and accomplished cops.  Ah Hin was the character with the most potential, and I had looked forward to seeing him mature and become more confident as the series progressed.  Unfortunately, the script did not seem to have any intentions of focusing in on Vincent (notice he's the only one of the main SDU guys to not have any love interest), as he had the least screen time.  His character development was executed in a disappointingly abrupt and brief fashion.  Regardless, Vincent did wonderfully with what he was given.  In the early episodes, you could see the hesitation in his eyes as he started SDU training.    He also finally shed his habit of adding in English words and phrases to his lines.

No one had expected Hin Jai to be the one to die.  (Thanks to a prank by Jessica, who had "confessed" her character died early on during its airing.  This turned out to be a stunt by Jessica and Vincent to keep the actual ending under wraps.  Very clever, Jess...)  Hin died in such a tragic, graphic, and gruesome way.  Huge props to him for giving such a memorable performance in his last scene.  His death already had me in tears, and seeing the character try to utter one last smile to the world before he passed made my heart break.  Fantastic acting touch.  Previously, I already loved Vincent for his real life down to earth personality but thought his acting left much to be desired.  He shows he has what it takes to be a solid actor here, and I will be cheering for him all the way.  If a sequel does happen, I will greatly miss his presence.

Mandy Wong, like usual, delivers solidly and is perhaps the only female of the male dominated cast that is likable and interesting.  Christine Kuo gives what was hands down the weakest performance with her scattered Cantonese and English and bimbo-like character.  William Chak did well in the one episode he had the spotlight (the tour bus storyline), and I look forward to seeing more of him.

Although our lead actors perform adequately, they fail to shine and instead are overshadowed by the bright group of youngsters I mentioned above (excluding Christine).  Joe Ma, as our leading man, anchors the SDU team as their leader, but fails to leave an impression like the others.  He is likable as the hardworking "Chin Sir" who cared deeply for his subordinates.  As a character with not much of a dynamic though, he was easily outshined.

Jessica Hsuan portrays a different type of police officer here as the depressed and suicidal "Madam Chong".  While she delivers, it is hard to make this type of character likable as the depressed and suicidal state (understandably) of Madam Chong rid her of her personality and livelihood.  When she recovered though, she lost the only major dynamic she had.  However, as Joe and Jessica's relationship finally started to fall for each other, they did get some smiles out of me.  The scene where they are both sitting at the dining table stealing glances at each other was awkwardly adorable.

Other Notable Performances

This review would not be complete without mentioning the series' resident ultimate villains Kenneth Ma and JJ Jia, who made their debut in the first episode and returned in the last for a nail biting finale. Kenneth is chilling, frightening, and convincing as "To Tin Yau".  JJ Jia gives a decent performance as well.  However, they have already received endless praise for their roles, and I would like to mention others too.

Kenny Wong appeared in what was an underrated guest star role.  While I'm not usually fond of the actor, he gives a heartbreaking performance as the loving father forced into committing crime to get money for his sick son's surgery.  You could see the guilt in his eyes and that he genuinely did not wish to hurt anyone, especially in his last confrontational scene with Mandy.  Despite doing a bad thing, he sparked sympathy through the portrayal of all the emotions the character felt while doing it.  Jazz Lam was adorable, pitiful, and convincing as (autistic?) young boy whose life long dream is to be a cop and take care of his mom.  He is such a valuable and rare actor.

Lastly, a shout out to my favorite "underdog" artist, Patrick Tang.  He appeared in the series as a regular under Jessica's team.  Though "Ben" is Patrick's smallest role yet (I smell demotion), he makes the most out of the very minor but likable character.  It was nice to see Patrick in a more professional and mature role.  I loved the character's loyalty to Jessica as well as his subtle touches of humor.

The Series in General

The plot isn't one that sparks thinking or deep meaning, but the writing is above average for TVB's shoddy scripts these days.  The change in format was refreshing and proved to work well.  Since it clocked in with slightly longer episodes, but a shorter overall episode count at just 13, this made "Tiger Cubs" more consistent and less prone to cliches and filler material.  In fact, by the series' end, there is still a lot of potential for further development.  A majority of the scenes served a purpose, and unlike most TVB series today, doesn't stray from the point.  Additionally, the cinematic like filming style and high budget makes it look much more presentable, professional, and more attractive to look at.  It is the rare instance that they try something new and different and succeeded.  Quality isn't compensated, it's even better.  I appreciate how it still has the familiar feel of a TVB series, but attempts new things and actually executes it well.


  • The brotherhood, friendship, and chemistry between the characters.  The SDU team truly felt like a team, and I'll miss them!
  • The action sequences/climaxes.  The cases themselves were fine, but not overly intriguing.  However, the climaxes always had me sitting at the edge of my seat!
  • The finale.  Never has the finale of a TVB series had me so nervous, stressed, and thrilled!  My heart was probably pounding by the second half of the finale. 

You don't break what's not broken.  However, recent TVB series have indeed been broken - in other words they've mostly sucked.  "Tiger Cubs" takes a familiar formula but improves upon it with outstanding acting, cinematography, style, and action.  The script is no masterpiece, but it is through its execution that "Tiger Cubs" shines like a diamond.  

Rating: 4.5 stars

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Patrick Tang debuts with band SirV and releases first single "Love?Love! Love. Love/愛!愛?愛。愛"

HK actor and singer Patrick Tang makes a fresh start in his career by forming a band named "SirV", which stands for "survive".  The band's line up is as follows: Patrick on vocals, Choi Chi Hou and Michael on guitar, Wilson on drums, Henry on bass, and Nicholas on keys.  Categorized as a rock band, SirV is the new band to look out for in 2012.

On July 27, 2012, SirV had their first gig at Citywalk's Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics. They performed two songs, their debut single "愛!愛?愛。愛/Love! Love? Love. Love" and "憤怒了/Angry", both great songs with differing sounds and tones that show their potential versatility as a band.

SirV first performed "愛!愛?愛。愛".  It has the rock band sound, but what's different about it is the tone.  Instead of being overly edgy, dark, or full of angst, it possesses a refreshingly upbeat and more friendly feel.  I can't quite explain it, but its lighter yet still clearly rock vibe is a breath of fresh air.  The song is catchy, fun, and both Patrick's vocals and the band sounds great.  The sound fits Patrick well.

Next, they performed "憤怒了", their heavier rock song.  This was definitely something I did not expect from Patrick.  While I'm not sure if this is the sound that best fits him, he pulls it off, the song is still catchy, and I enjoyed seeing him rock out like that!  He has the power in his voice for it.  I'm anticipating the studio release of this song.

As always, Patrick performs well live.  I love the enthusiasm and passion he shows when singing and performing live.  He always looks like he's having so much fun!  He looks even more full of energy with his band playing behind him.  My only usual piece of constructive criticism for his live singing is to control his voice better, as his power and enthusiasm can make him belt more loudly than he should.  However, I love his onstage presence.  The audience looks like they enjoyed SirV's performance too!

Following their gig at the Citywalk Olympics Opening Ceremony, SirV released the studio version of their debut single "愛!愛?愛。愛".  Listen to it here: http://youtu.be/4-hRkXXcn3w The song is also the theme song of the play Patrick is currently starring in, "神扒之間/Oh My Goddess!"

Despite having talent and being one of my favorite artists (you can say he's one of the underdogs I root for?), Patrick has never been given the recognition and success he deserves, whether due to bad luck, timing, or his lack of "star quality". As an actor, he was meet with lukewarm response though he delivered solidly (and fantastically as the comedic and cute "Tai Siu" in "7 Days in Life"). In recent years, he's failed to replicate the moderate success and popularity as a singer he had from his early days, likely due to lack of enough promotion by his record company.

With over 10 years of hard work and experience under his belt, Patrick deserves to have more than what he does now. Though not the best looking or charismatic, I've always had a soft spot for Patrick. He's talented, overlooked, and seems to be a very sweet and down to earth person, even having taken the time to reply to me on Weibo before.

SirV is already off to a phenomenal start, and I hope that with this fresh start in Patrick's career, he will finally get the recognition he deserves. Go SirV and Patrick!  Conquer the HK music industry!

Support SirV:
Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/sirvband
Weibo: http://www.weibo.com/sirvband
Patrick's Weibo: http://www.weibo.com/n/%E9%84%A7%E5%81%A5%E6%B3%93

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

HK Artist Spotlight: Charlene Choi

One of my favourite Hong Kong artistes and singers is Charlene Choi, also better known as Ah Sa. She is best known to be in the group/duo called Twins along with Gillian Chung. Charlene has been in the entertainment industry for 12 years, and as well as being in Twins, she also has a solo career. If I am not wrong, Charlene is the number one most popular blog on Sina Weibo and also the number one most followed blog with over one million followers! 

Twins has always been heavily criticised for their live singing, but they still have had a large amount of fans supporting them throughout the years. Personally, I think Charlene has greatly improved in terms of singing, and singing live. She has learned to control her vocals more (although she may need a bit more practice), and she has also taken part in composing for her solo albums. Charlene’s live singing might not be on point all the time, but you cannot say she has not put in hard work. She is always trying to improve and change for the better, and has recently changed singing coaches to suit her better.

Not long ago, she released a full Cantonese album, "Montage". The title of the album is supposed to reflect on what she has experienced up until now. I love the whole edgy urban style going on. It looks very chic. The album consists of 10 new songs, which are very interesting and unique because the songs are all different to each other. Each song has a different sound to it, so I am sure that if you are interested in listening to it that there will definitely be a song that you will like! If you listen carefully to Charlene’s voice, you can hear that her voice is a lot smoother compared to her older songs.

The songs I recommend from "Montage":
明明 (Obviously), 鬆弛熊 (Relaxed Bear/Rilakkuma), 白頭到老 (Forever and Always), 瓦努阿圖 (Vanuatu). (Translations thanks to Charlene’s fans @AF forum.)

This album is also very interesting because the music composer Eric Kwok composes all ten songs.

Funny story, I actually thought "Obviously" was a very boring song at first.  After listening to it some more, I actually started to like it and find it very catchy.

I think the way Charlene sang "Forever and Always" is very cute, and I like how relaxed Charlene sounds when she’s singing "Relaxed Bear". "Vanuatu" is also a very fun song.

Other songs I recommend from Charlene:
簡簡單單, 早沾勿藥, 黑與白, 小玩笑魚樂無窮 (unplugged song), 二缺一, 小酒窩 duet with JJ Lin, 一直都在 duet with Raymond Lam and "Make a Wish".

I really like the idea behind 簡簡單單. Sometimes simple is enough! 早沾勿藥 is a lovely song. I really like it but I think it’s kind of underrated. 黑與白 is one of my favourites from the EP "Beauty Remains". I like how cute 小玩笑 is, it almost sounds acoustic. If I remember correctly, it is actually a remake of a Portuguese song. Of course we cannot forget Charlene’s popular 二缺一. I also like the two duets I recommended. This is an unpopular opinion, but I like the Cantonese version of 小酒窩 more than the Mandarin version.  Maybe it’s the language barrier, but I know the majority prefer the Mandarin version.

My favourite things about Charlene are how optimistic she is (her bright smile) and her fashion sense! I love her fashion style! 

I actually think she’s my fashion icon!

She’s had a lot of different styles for her solo albums as well. I really liked the style she had for her solo EP, "Beauty Remains" and also the idea behind it.

She re-used her old clothes and transformed them into elegant dresses, then went into an old warehouse for the shooting of the album. I like the dark and mysterious feel to it.

I really think Charlene has potential as an actress and maybe if there’s a chance, she could act in a TVB series in the future! She has just finished filming for the movie sequel "My Wife is 18".

If you are interested in following Charlene’s news, you should follow Charlene’s thread @Asianfanatics Forum. The fans there are really great at updating Charlene’s news. ^_^ I often get the news on Charlene from there, and they are also very helpful at translating articles, weibo posts, etc.  Not to mention, they are approachable and nice.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

New Banner/Layout - Niki's Picks

It's been a while, again...but I've finally changed the banner and layout. This time, the banner includes my pick of artists since August is my birth month.  I think you can see from my banners that I'm a very whimsical and colorful person, haha.  I personally like how it looks like Ella is blowing out one of the candles :). Anyways, I've chosen some of my favorite K-pop and C-pop artists.

From C-Pop I've included: Fahrenheit (of course),S.H.E., Genie Zhuo, and Danson Tang
From K-Pop I've included: Brown Eyed Girls, Sunny Hill, Secret, and Sistar

As usual, I hope you guys enjoy it!

Staff Song Review: Wonder Girls' "Like This"

The Wonder Girls are back again with their new mini album "Wonder Party", and their title track "Like This" is taking over the charts.

Niki: "Like This" has a light hip hop sound with a repetitive hook and chorus. The song, unlike their past material, has a simple feel to it making it refreshing to watch and listen to. Since it is quite different from the Wonder Girls' previous songs, it took some getting used to. At first, I wasn't so fond of it. The line "Like this yo, like this", got me cringing slightly. However, after a couple more listens, I found myself hooked onto it because of the fun and uplifting feel it gives off. The lyrics are simple and gets a bit repetitive, but has an uplifting message and sound. Even if you don't understand Korean, you'll know that this song's purpose is to just get people up, dancing, and having fun.

What I like most about this comeback is the dance and the Wonder Girls' casual and down-to-earth image. The dance for the song looks extremely fun and I love how the dance moves are incorporated into the lyrics.  I also really liked the Wonder Girls' image for this comeback. Usually, they have very costume-like and uniform-like outfits for comebacks. However, this time, they have a more casual look and the outfits are fun, colorful, and each member has their own individual style.

The MV for this song goes along with its simple and fun vibe. In the MV, the Wonder Girls start a flash mob in the courtyard of a plaza. Everyone, including the elderly people and young kids, were just dancing and having fun (and I have to say, everyone was awesome at dancing). This type of simplicity is rarely done in K-pop which is why I really liked and appreciated this MV. It was different and simple, but still fun (more fun than watching the idols dance in sets with odd backdrops/surroundings).

Iris: Niki has pretty much said everything that should've been said. I wasn't too fond of "Like This" at first either, but it quickly grew on me. While repetitive, it's fresh, fun, and even a little funky. It's upbeat but refreshing feel makes it a great song for summer. There's so much energy in it!

The simplicity in this recent K-Pop release is definitely one to be praised. For once, the MV is not random or over the top. The video just makes you smile and want to join in the flash mob and just dance! The vibe of the MV is just so care free and natural, and so are the girl's images here. They don't look like manufactured Barbie dolls in uniform, they just look like youthful, stylish, and real girls.

Niki: Overall, I really like Wonder Girls' "Like This" with its fun and upbeat sound and dance. The simpleness was also a refreshing change to K-pop's usual extravagant productions. This comeback proves that sometimes simplicity can be bliss.

Iris: Agree with Niki 100%! "Like This" proves itself as a great song for the summer, or just one to get up and move to.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Song Review: Fiona Sit's "維多利亞女皇的非常秘密任務/Victorian SecretMission"

As another single from Fiona's dance oriented EP "Filicious", "維多利亞女皇的非常秘密任務", which (very) roughly translates to "Victorian Secret Mission", is an electronic and dance styled song.

At first listen, the song seems weak. Like Dear Jane's single "Let's Just Do It", the auto tuned verses ruin an otherwise good song. The song improves itself by the pre chorus, which possesses a serene and space like feel. By the time it launches into the chorus, it becomes a full on catchy dance track. Fiona looks great in her unorthodox costume, and the style of the MV fits with the feel of the song.

Overall, "Victorian Secret Mission" may not be her best song (I personally think that's a toss up between "Better Me" and "Hangnail") from her new album, but still a notable one. In an industry dominated by love ballads which can get boring, this is a fun and catchy dance song that makes you want to get up and move. And how often is a Cantopop song all of those things?

AE Experience Returns From Hiatus!

It's been a bleak period for AE Experience, with Niki and I somehow getting away with no updates for over a month due to vacation and laziness. We are now returning from hiatus, and hope to continue providing reviews and updates of all types of Asian entertainment. We have also become one of few sources on the web to cover Cantopop news and critiques, and we hope to further develop on that. AE Experience is still determined to become the best Asian entertainment blog out there!

Iris: After a relaxing month long getaway from home, I'm back to continue writing. Expect Cantopop catch ups on concerts, album and song reviews that released while we were on hiatus from me first. I will also be continuing my fanfic "Till the World Ends".

Niki: I've been SUPER lazy lately, so I hope that i'll post something soon. Iris and I are working on the Wonder Girls' "Like This" song review and it's been delayed for a while, but we'll get to posting it. I'll also be changing the layout soon.