Sunday, 7 February 2016

The Voice Entertainment Album Reviews - Hubert Wu, Alfred Hui, Jinny Ng, Fred Cheng

Hello! 

This time we are doing something different and reviewing four albums at once! They are the four recent albums released by Voice Entertainment! This will be a long post so just a reminder haha. 

The four albums are:

1. Hubert Wu's album, 明知故犯 which came out on December 2, 2015.
2. Alfred Hui's album, Watermark, which came out on December 10, 2015.
2. Jinny Ng's album, 眼淚的秘密 which came out January 21, 2016.
3. Fred Cheng's album, 當狗愛上貓 which came out on February 2, 2016

We'll start off with Hubert Wu's  明知故犯 thoughts:



1) 明知故犯: We heard this song from Hubert before the album came out and we thought that at the beginning, it was just like any other song. However, when we listened to the original version sung by  許美靜, we appreciated Hubert's effort and thought he put more emotion in. We find Hubert is singing a lot of female songs, but we also found that his attempts usually turn out even better than the original versions. We definitely like this rendition of 明知故犯 better than the original!

2) 相信明天: This song was alright, but after it was used for The Executioner drama of TVB, it sort of lost its meaning and served only as a theme song. The mood evoked by the song is weird; it isn't really one which gives you determination as the song title suggests and is more on the sad side. But we guess that it does fit in with the drama because it wasn't a particularly cheery one.

3) 如夢初醒: In this song, Hubert has the ability to make this song have an older feel to it, like from the 90s. He has great voice, though its a little on the higher side. Especially in this song, he gets voice gets pretty high. No wonder he sings so many songs from other females! UPDATE March. 28, 2016!! We just found out this song is originally from Cass Phang... sighs. NO WONDER HIS VOICE IS HIGH... shaking our heads in disappointment now. One more song that is resung from females. 

4) 讓我放開: This is a pretty good song and once again, Hubert puts great emotion and passion into his singing and really gets listeners into the song. We've found that he is a better singer in slow, sad songs, and 讓我放開 is another example that supports this. 

5) 心淡: We've heard a few other singers try this song and since Joey Yung was the original singer of the song, there's a lot of pressure to sing this well! Hubert, fortunately, didn't disappoint. Although, he was slowed down the chorus part of the song, it was sung nicely

6) 真相: We believe we have already expressed our disliking of this song, the theme song for Eye in the Sky, on the blog before. We feel that this song shouldn't really be included in Hubert's album because he didn't really sing much of the song, it was mostly Alfred.We couldn't really hear Hubert's voice. Also, the song isn't that good and lyrics are not really thoughtfully put together. 

7) 靈魂的痛: We heard that this song would be the theme song for the upcoming TVB drama: The Last Healer in Forbidden City (末代御醫), and we were not surprised AT ALL. Most of these songs are just theme songs. Voice Entertainment singers have a good 80% of their songs being TVB theme songs. If they aren't, they might become one soon! Song wise, it's okay, and we don't have much to say about it.

8) 高攀: Another TVB theme from Rear Mirror, but it's already been a while since the drama, and Voice Entertainment probably couldn't find any other songs to put it. Pretty much all the songs these singers have sung for TVB are in their albums!

9) 無力下去: The chorus is nice for both of us but the verses seem like just a bunch of words slammed together.

10)明知道 (國語): There's always at least one mandarin version of a song in any of their albums.

Overall: We thought that this album was pretty good and there weren't any songs that were really bad. Hubert has a great, distinct voice and is capable of a range of styles. Hopefully he gets more recognition from everyone instead of focussing on Alfred. He should really have more of his own songs too. The only one which didn't really belong is 真相. We feel that the song below should be included instead even though it wasn't Voice Entertainment's.



Alfred Hui Watermark thoughts:



1) 記住忘記我: This isn't bad and is listenable.. not much to say. We skipped out on Wuxin too so we haven't heard this much.

2) 郵輪: MV of song was boring and bad like all of Voice Entertainment's, but the song itself is one of Alfred's better ones, if not the best one on the album! All we can say is that we enjoyed the piano instrumental at the beginning at the song. The official lyrics video was even better to see than the MV. But then again, most MVs of Alfred are not good.

3) 歲月無悔: The song is good but maybe if someone else sang it, it would even be better because Alfred keeps breathing and seems like he's out of air all the time. At the beginning when we heard this, we were like: THIS IS BAD! But as Lord of Shanghai kept playing this song, we eventually accepted it. Is this brainwashing at work??? Lol. Or maybe the drama was too good and it was hard not to love every other part of it, even this song!

4) 忘掉他: We haven't even heard the whole this song but from the clip of it, we were not impressed! The chorus is just repeating the same lines: "忘掉他,忘掉他,忘掉他,忘掉他". It seems like a boring song that's a wannabe rock thing.

5) 仁至義盡: This song came out a while before the album, and we have listened to it several times. The MV is Alfred's better one with some more action/story, but still not that great. The song is more touching and not just sung without any feeling. Below is the cover of "仁至義盡" by Kayee Tam and Kwan Gor and we thought that this was pretty good too, maybe even better? But it's actually a good original song.

6) 其實你很美: This song is kind of boring, and sorry to say, but it makes us sleepy. However, we appreciate the effort put into singing this and can tell that Alfred has put at least some emotion into it.

7) 迷宮:We really didn't like this song and wasn't memorable for us. The song really had no meaning and was just another mediocre theme song which was for The Fixer. There's really no sincerity to it and it's like he just sang the song to get the job done. This song kind of reminded us of "真相". MV is also bad with some fire stunts and him singing in the middle of nowhere.

8) 真相: As mentioned above, in Hubert's album, we didn't like the song and the music video is even worse. We can't even take it seriously or watch the whole thing without laughing once. It looks like it was filmed in some TVB hallway and rooftop or something and has no production value whatsoever! The guy sitting with the shades and an evil smile looks more like a joke, and is just holding the two balls in his hand. The guys with white masks and hoodies on are just hilarious. We think that are trying to look intimidating but it is not working at all! They are just standing beside Alfred and Hubert the whole time. The end of it is just too funny when the white gloves are slowly covering Alfred and Hubert's eyes. We were like what??? SPARE US FROM YOUR MVS, VOICE ENTERTAINMENT, if they are gonna be poor quality and you're just doing it for the sake of an MV.

9) 阿樂: Obviously, this song was trying to lift the mood of the album or of Alfred's recent songs. We enjoyed the mood of it but the lyrics were kind of awkward and random. like what's with :"便宜買隻鐵戒指"? But we really don't have much comment on this song otherwise.

10) 理想·生活: The song is feels plain and doesn't really have us wanting to loop it over and over again. it is just one of those "Oh." songs that we listen to and forget the tune soon. At the beginning of the song, there is a guitar playing but that eventually leaves and the end is with piano, so that part is weird.

11) 郵輪 (國語): I think for most Mandarin versions of the songs, we prefer the original Cantonese ones because these are just done because of the requirement

Overall: First things first, what's with the album title "Watermark"? What is that supposed to mean? Alfred always has weird names though, like his older album called "Colour by Numbers", "Grandit"? Like we get grandit (a conjugation of grandir (to grow) in French) but why the grand-it ending? which is only used for the pronouns he/she? We both know and have learned French and believe that Grandir would've been more fitting but it's been years so whatever lol. We thought this album had a few good and memorable songs, but the others songs were a bit of a letdown. They were either boring, unfitting or didn't have much meaning to them. Hopefully Voice Ent. ups their game for songwriting based on Alfred's album.

Jinny Ng  眼淚的秘密 thoughts:


1) 我們都受傷: Here is another example of when we didn't really enjoy the song at the beginning, but becasue of Angel In-the-Making, we got used to the song and perhaps got brainwashed LOL. 

2) 眼淚的秘密: We think that this song is good, but we don't think that it deserved so many awards that it got. It's alright... but isn't it a tad late to put on the album almost a year later??

3)愛: We feel that this is gonna be another of those Jinny songs that is gonna turn really popular, especially since it will be a song for A Time of Love 2. Also, it's already got a Mandarin translation. Speaking about the song, it reminds us slightly of 越難越愛. While we are looking forward to the sequel, PLEASE DON'T KEEP REPLAYING THIS. 

4)美好的時光: This was just a mediocre song and we don't have too much comment on it. Seriously do not know why she is so popular. We both agree that her voice isn't that special or strong. 

5)捨得分手: How does this already have a mandarin version online? or is this one just mandarin? So confused... Okayyy. Never mind. This is only mandarin and is written by her. It's rather forced because Hk people just aren't great at mandarin and it sounds kinda like canto so there's that factor. But it's a calming melody and we really like her attempt at composing and writing the lyrics. 

6)易放難收: We're getting sooo lost right now! All the songs sound the same and really have no meaning. They are nothing like the old songs where the moment the music starts, you recognize it! This song was really weird. Especially this one note, 遊. It sounds very off and her voice sounds very strained at some parts even though this has already been edited. 

7) 誘心人: Another future TVB theme for "為食神探". The only thing that we can really comment on is that it's nice to see Jinny try out this jazzy style of music. But this will be a hard one to sing live.

8) 找個離開你的理由: This one as plain as it sounds is one of the better ones in our opinion because we personally like the melody despite the fact that the arrangement of the lyrics don't go with it 100% of the time. Hopefully this stays as a solid song in out minds and doesn't turn into a theme song! Fingers crossed!

9) 和你的約定 - 國語: It's a good song but from what we've heard of it, it's very flat. The tune isn't too dynamic and again, the mandarin just gets on our bad side sometimes. Just stick to cantonese!

10)愛 - 國語: This is one of her better mandarin songs and of course it has to be better because it's gonna be super famous. Her pronunciation is probably the best in here.

11) 眼淚的秘密 - 國語: This is just another one of those mandarin renditions that aren't as good as the canto one. Obviously they're targeting the mainland audience with all these mandarin songs.

Overall: This is an alright album. It does sound more cohesive than Alfred's album but after all, Jinny isn't a great singer. Her songs are ok and with the brainwashing, it's really easy to start humming them so that's a positive? Hopefully she sounds good live with these songs too! A lot of netizens are commenting on how even if her songs are brainwashing, it's ok because they're actually ok songs. While we do agree to some extent, why do these songs have to become famous through brainwashing? If they are great songs, they will get recognized.

Fred Cheng 當狗愛上貓  thoughts:



1) 當狗愛上貓: We liked this song but then again, it wasn't much and he has better songs. To us, it doesn't have much meaning. It was pretty popular but we really don't understand how people decide they like songs nowadays. For us, its the key message and lyrics, then the melody and arrangement, and finally the execution and voice created by the singer.


2) 揚帆: This song was good and powerful. It's considered a really good theme song since the theme songs nowadays are pretty bad and meaningless. It really represents the drama Captain of Destiny, so good job Fred!


3)  忘了嗎 : If you remember, back in May, 2015, we did a review on this song. Click here if you would like to view the post! It's pretty touching and likable. 


4)  炮火:We have actually done this song's review as well, so if you want detailed thoughts and opinions of 炮火, check it out! Once again, it was a really good song, probably one of Fred's most outstanding so far. We really enjoyed it!


5)  愛同行: This is also a decent theme song. It's pretty soothing and relaxing to listen to, and it's warm, which adds to the "family" feel. It is rare to see Fred sing this type of song since he either goes for rock or slow songs, instead of these soft, happier ones.


6)  白天的夜晚: It's alright but this is a slow song and it's gonna be hard to make it up on the charts. It sounds like an old song and we feel like the topic of lost time has been touched A LOT by HK singers. He himself has got a few songs like that, Alfred's got some, C Allstar does for sure, the list goes on.


7)  創傷後遺症: Really like this song as we understand the lyrics and he really brings the emotion of the song out. If this song gets popular it's because the message is so universal and everybody will meet someone once in their lifetime where they will never be able to let go and sometimes absent-mindedly arrive at their doorstep, realizing everything is over. We commend Voice Ent. for putting this together.

8)  驚: It's definitely something new but eh. We don't really like it for some reason. PERSONAL PREFERENCE! But it's just alright.

9)  熊貓 (國語): WHY IS THIS SONG EVEN HERE??????? Shouldn't this belong in "熊貓的故事(The Story of A Panda)" album made in 2014 and if it's the Mandarin version of 熊貓?? I guess they couldn't find any Mandarin songs for Fred, so they put this one in since it wasn't in any album yet. But, wow Voice Entertainment...

Overall: This is a good album. Partially because of better songs and partially because Fred has a strong, emotional voice. However, we are finding there is no story with any of the albums from the Voice Entertainment and that is a big problem for us. We think that an album is not only a representation and compilation of one's works, but also a story that is expressed to share their emotions and experiences. So it really bugs us that we see songs like the COD theme put beside 忘了嗎. Like that is a huge gap and you have to fill it!

So all in all, this was one looong post! But hopefully you guys enjoyed seeing our thoughts on these many songs! Although there are some bad songs here and there, we still believe in HK pop and hopefully it will continue to grow. If you liked this album review, please let us know! And of course the floor is open for you to comment on anything you found when listening to these songs!

-CeeJay :)



2 comments:

gummy bear said...

Love your review! I agree with your comments, and I may be biased, but I don't think Hubert's CD does him justice. All the songs are either covers or theme songs except for (無力下去) and the one he wrote (讓我放開) and I think the song he did with Kate (棋逢敵手) should have been included, or at least he try a solo version of it because his voice is more prominent in there than in the one with Alfred (真相). I've always wondered why of these 4, he's promoted the least and given the least original songs, it seems, even though I think he is the most capable of the 4 in terms of vocal ability. It's a pity that he has a much smaller fanbase than the other 3.

I haven't heard all of the songs in Alfred's Watermark, but I thought his album had the most different types of songs of the 4, but like you said, none of the CDs really have a strong story/theme. Alfred's CD just seemed to be like a happy song and then *bang* a(n attempted) sad song; it looks like it lacks much flow.

Jinny can be a capable singer, but like you said, it's pointless for her to be popular if it's all due to brainwashing. She needs to work on her live performances, and hopefully she'll be recognized for talent one day.

I also found it odd that Fred's mandarin song (熊貓) was included in this even though the the CD came out last year.

Also, do you know where Jinny came from? Like how she became a singer? Because we know the 3 males came from competitions...

Please continue the reviews! They are very insightful and fun to read!

CeeJay said...

Hello gummy bear! Thank you so much for reading our review!! It always makes our day when we know somebody is out there reading our blog!!

We agree that Hubert has the best vocal ability but too bad Voice ent. is doing him no justice as you said. Hopefully he gets more recognition :(

As for Alfred, we are biased on him and like him the least haha. And we know where Jinny came from. She was a very young girl who was discovered singing karaoke with some friends. She went through some training and then released some music. She has not completed her education, pretty sure she made it to Form 4 in HK, so about Grade 10 in the US and Canada. Apparently she was suicidal for one of her ex-bfs too? She's got quite some news and quite a background but don't quote us on this. We are only sure about the karaoke part and the schooling.

Thank you so much again! Your comment is really appreciated and please help spread the word about us. :)

CeeJay

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