YES, finally because it was delayed!
First off, whoever made the packaging should be shot not ONCE, but TWICE. I’m so serious here because after I get the plastic wrap off (carefully since I plan to store the whole package in that plastic bag afterward to protect its paper wrapping) and tried to study the whole package to see which way was the correct way to open it (so I don’t wreck it), the CD came flying out before I could catch it. Lucky it landed the artwork face down OR there would be major careful blowing to get the dust off. NOT to mention how it didn’t break. (PHEW!) Moving on, the second complaint about the packaging. Okay, I’m grateful and happy that someone went out of his/her way to get all creative with the clever design, BUT it was a pain to scan stuff. But I managed so no damage to the whole package. (Another PHEW!)
Now that we got that out of the way, I’m going to move onto the relevant parts like let’s say the songs. I had to listen several more times to drive away from the initial opinions since it had to do with a lot of impatience.
1. Miss You (想你想你). A cute song. However, I swear I didn’t like it even the third time around listening to it. In fact, I felt it was kind of lame with repeating ‘Xiang Ni’ too many times. Like a kid whining about something and kept nagging to drive the point. SORRY, that was way mean. But that was my feeling. Then it felt kind of weak for an opening of the album song. Maybe I was spoiled by the fact that “Happy Loving” was a strong one for an opening of the last album. SO there goes another thing. Okay, so I agree there must be fun songs in our lives to make it less depressing but I sort of couldn’t tolerate it even after three tries SO I gave up altogether.
2. Love Is Empty (愛太空). The album redeemed itself by having this song. Because I was ready to skip it altogether if I ran across another somewhat of a ‘flaky’ flavor song. I guess that was the benefit of shuffling the songs so it would be one upbeat and one more light-noted song. This song was quite bitter–like most of those really sad, depressing ones with lost love and all. But it was quite good. Her voice didn’t disappoint either. It brought out all of that bitterness quite well. And the other thing was she was able to put some vocal work in this one with the different ranges.
3. Stay With Me Till The Future (陪我到以後) – Featuring Show Luo (羅志祥). A somewhat sweet, mushy song. I swear I didn’t pay attention when Show was singing when I was listening to the first and second time around. YET I forced myself to listen hard the third time around and no wonder I missed it. Since he sang so little. Not to mention did his voice change? Just wondering since I haven’t listened to him for ages now. Anyway, back to the song, the lyrics were creative enough I guess. Yet I couldn’t tune into it. Not quite. It was somewhat catchy but didn’t really lure me in yet. Not sure if it would in the future.
4. Stick To You (黏黏黏黏). Another cute song. What did I say about cute songs now? Scroll up. But anyway, I must admit it was catchy enough since the lyrics fitted with the mixing of the music. However, still felt it was too cutesy. I could get the hang of it though. But the whole ‘ai ai ai’ repeating over and over again sort of annoyed me.
5. Rock Girl (搖滾吧姑娘). Why does this sound like a folk song more than a rock song? (At the beginning mostly.) Just wondering. And why wasn’t this song the first track instead of the other one? I swear I like this song better than some of the other upbeat songs in here. Not to mention how she sounded more natural? NOT sure. A tad silly sometimes but I didn’t mind for this case. At least it wasn’t too cutesy.
6. Don’t Cry (不哭). I actually quite liked some parts of the lyrics yet I can’t seem to get into it, mostly because of the music arrangement. And it seriously sounded like a folk song again. LOL! Was it supposed to be?
7. Romance With Myself (自行浪漫). Wow. Surprised. It was surprisingly enjoyable. This could have been the first track as well. Yet it wasn’t? (Or was ‘Xiang Ni Xiang Ni’ sounding more catchy than the title of this song?) It brought upon quite a good feeling. Sort of made me feel like in the ‘jianghu’ realm, LOL! Though it was so upbeat and irrelevant to that of the wuxia world. But a good, encouraging song overall. Sometimes, it only takes oneself to go on some trip to feel good or better, not keep whining about a loss over someone, etc. Though I have to complain again about the ‘ai ai ai’ thing repeating. What’s with people and putting that in this album? Once, okay. All the time? It’s driving me insane here.
8. The Next Page of Me (下一頁的我). OMG! My faith in Cyndi (and the people working on this album as well) resurrected just through this song. It almost made me cry. (YES, that good.) Not too bitter but quite touching. The music sounded like it was some ancient series though. (Yeah, me and my wuxia mood but it did make me think of ancient settings, etc.) Quite inspirational in a way because it contained a sense of courage to move on and strive harder for one’s dream, not getting beat down because of obstacles or just after one fall. And not to mention the whole learning to be independent and all. (I repeated it one more time during my third time around listening to the album.) Nice music arrangement indeed, very suitable for the lyrics. Talking about lyrics, it was much more complicated for this one than some of the other songs in here. Made me like it even more.
9. Forever Happiness (一直幸福). Another wow. ‘Cause seriously, I thought another one of those cutesy songs. NOT that I hate cute songs but I had about enough of those lame songs. Yet this one was different. The lyrics managed to go beyond the typical screaming out ‘ai ai ai’ all the time, LOL! Sorry, but had to put that in. Then the cute tone of it wasn’t too much either. It was just about right. The music was catchy, not too upbeat to block out the cute parts. It brought out the excitement of being in love and all those cute promises yet not too much on either end of being too trying.
10. Love ATM (愛的ATM). Cute, upbeat song. Catchy song but didn’t really think much of it. I guess I could let it slide. Not bad, but not really my favorite either.
Favorite songs? Yeah, after all that rant, I would at least make up my mind, right? First place goes to #8. No surprise ’cause only when I listened to that song did my faith restored. Second place goes to #2 (interestingly the same number, LOL). Third place is #9. Then #7. Next would be #5. And that’s it for me. The rest I pretty much don’t care for.
Overall opinion? I was a tad disappointed at first because I thought the songs would divert toward the more mature route, considering how she had declared in the past about taking that route since she wasn’t feeling like being cute anymore. Yet I became a little more understanding after the second or third time listening to the songs. Not by much, but I’m trying to be hopeful that some things will change in the future. Yes, this was definitely a step back from her previous works–at least to me, except for some songs. What I really appreciated about this album was the artistic side was still there and the pictures weren’t too sexy thus retaining its sense of expression for the music instead of the typical “beautiful photos” packaging just to lure us in.
Oh yeah, by the time it got to the third track (and my third time around listening to it), I realized that her voice has changed. At least from the past albums. OR did it happen in the last one too and I didn’t notice? Like it wasn’t so clear anymore but had this feeling like something sticky. YET was that the point for this album? (I don’t mean her pronunciation of the lyrics either but the way her voice sounded.) Then it seemed weaker too. I’m not even sure anymore. Or because of my recent mood that had affected my judgment in her vocal and music selection. Though I must clarify that the reason why I’m even being harsh on her is I have really high expectations of her based on her past work. (Even if there are tons of haters out there.) So…please surprise me again in the future with your unique vocal, Princess Cyndi.
Last rant: I’m a bit saddened that there was no MVs version though since I actually enjoyed some of the MVs more than in the last album. (NOT that I don’t like the other one so don’t jump at me. Just like the feel of the MVs for this one a tad more.)
*All images were scanned by DTLCT