Its been awhile since I wrote a review on an album. This time, I'm writing one because if I don't, I feel its a waste to many Cantopop listeners to miss out listening to this EP. Of course, I am a Joey fan, however, this review is written from a very unbiased point of view because its so good that even by not being a fan, you cannot deny that its a good release.
Opening the EP with the concert theme 空港 (a metaphor for 'Airport'), the sound of guitars and drums playing to a light rock genre surprises as rock is not a genre frequently associated to Joey. The beat attracts one to listen on and although being rockish, the song sounded refreshing and relaxing at the same time, thanks to Joey's vocals for creating a balance. 'Airport' gives a magical feeling of lightness and happiness and at the same time not missing out on heavy musical substance. Moving on to the lyrics, Wyman Wong did a great job in penning and creating the 'Airport' methaphor. An 'Airport' in the context of the song, being a place in the heart of each of us where we have the sense of belonging and existence. A place, where we hold on and look forward to whenever we are away. Thus, giving birth to the concert theme; the Hong Kong Colliseum, being Joey's 空港 this November.
Slowing things down with track 2 is 'Disfigured'. The familiarity with Joey songs return as listeners are presented with a conventional Joey Yung rated ballad. 'Disfigured' might be the favourite among listeners as it brings back the feeling of old Joey Yung ballads (which she lacks in recent years) similar to 摩登時代 (modern times), 流淚眼望流淚眼 (teary eyes watching teary eyes), 心淡 (dull heart) and 習慣失戀 (used to heartbreak) among others. Ballads can be considered to be Joey's forte as she posseses the art of homogenizing the lyrics into the potrayal of the song. Her voice speaks the lyrics which enters your heart and you could naturally experience the painfulness of the song. This is definitely a different level of singing which stretches beyond beautiful vocals.
Track 3 'Fly' presents another ballad and just as one reduces their expectation and interest to another ballad, the song surprises with its unconventional arrangement and ad libs. Ad-libs are rare in Cantonese music which makes the song sounds more special and Western. Joey presented the song and ad-libs in a more soothing, airy way in contrast to a powerful emphasis. Definitely makes you feel like floating (flying perhaps?). An excellent sidetrack to the EP.
Track 4 'Wizard of Oz' brings back happiness as Joey sings to another breakthrough melody. A rare or one could say uniquely arranged melody by Hanjin. This song showcases Joey's versatility and her ongoing improvement in singing fast beat tracks. The melody and Joey's mood put into the song makes you feel like dancing. It brings back the happiness from the previous mellow melody from 'Fly'. The song suits the atmosphere and theme for Broadway electronics Commercial this year. No wonder this Queen of Cantopop is the sweetheart of advertisers!
Bringing an end to the EP is 'Star Map'. A groovy, soul and R&B influenced music. Another song that rarely comes from Joey. A very good addition to the EP, showcasing her versatility in genres and styles. It brings a beautiful conclusion to the EP. This singer could really put on anything and never stops leaping forward to bringing her career a step further. Impossible, truly is nothing.
The end of track 5 felt like the end of track 1 of the EP. One of the reasons for recommending this EP is for its smoothmess of flow and unequivocal balance. Credits to the production team for the track arrangement. A succesful and remarkable collaboration with Joey this time around.
A suitable metaphor I would use to describe this EP is a 'plane ride'. Listening to the EP is similar to a cycle we take which forms the subheadings Departure-On Board-Crusing-Vacation-Homecoming. A sense of excitement from departure, to feelings of melancholy from leaving, followed by an enjoyable vacation and a warm welcome home. The EP forms a vicious cycle attracting listeners to repeat and repeat and repeat plays without wanting to skip any tracks. Moreover, skipping a track leaves a sense of guilt for spoiling the beauty of the flow. Good Job JY, you exceeded my expectation and impressed. Definitely seeing you at your 空港 coming November.
Recommended Tracks: 空港, 破相, 綠野仙踪
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Preview of Title Track 空港