Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Song Review: Kelvin Kwan's "孱弱/Fragile"

Although unable to release another album before the end of the year like he wanted, Kelvin Kwan goes out with a bang with his new single "孱弱/Frail", which is also the theme song for his short film "茶木邂逅" co-starring Shiga Lin.

When I started listening to the song for the first time, I thought "Oh no, another slow ballad".  While I like ballads and Kelvin has a strong vocals fit for them, I was hoping for something more impressive and less generic from Kelvin, who is able to pull off more musical styles than the average Cantopop singer.  However, "Frail" turned out to be much more.

"Frail" opens with a piano intro and softly sung verse full of sadness.  At first, it doesn't sound too special.  The song then develops into a slightly gritty, grunge influenced song full of angst.  Having loved his earlier alternative rock oriented singles "Occupation" and "People of My Generation", I'm pleased Kelvin continued exploring this sound.  "Frail" is not as heavy, but still rock influenced and the song has a very thematic feel making it addictive to listen to.  The edgy electric guitar and music works well against Kelvin's husky and strong vocal performance. The song flows well from a slower to faster tempo and back without every feeling choppy or sloppily put together.  I'm satisfied with the musical direction taken here and think it fits Kelvin very well.

Although the song is pleasantly edgy and gritty, the music video is a bit disturbing.  While I like the cinematic feel with the dark lighting and sleek filming style and how it matches the thematic feel of the song, but the kidnapping plot seems far fetched and off topic (but it may be because of my lack of full understanding of the lyrics).  The sight of Kelvin being locked in the truck of a car, getting yelled at by a presumed ex-girlfriend in Korean, before finally being (assumed to be) killed with a hammer by the girl is rather unsettling.

Overall, "Frail" is yet another great song released to be Kelvin this year and continues to show his potential and talent as a musical artist by exploring a more heavy sound.  "Frail" has managed to become one of my favorite songs of the year just shortly before 2012 closes.

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