November 7, 2010

Jz8, Lydia & Cher Siang.

Jz8 is Lydia & Cher Siang. Diva & Meastro in the making?

I have bought many copies of this CD, mostly because each time I played it on my system, my buddies would pinch mine right away. In fact till this day, not many Chinese speaking/reading audiophiles(this CD's majority target market) is even aware of it's existence. There seems to be a sense that perhaps Pop Pop Music wanted it to cross over so much, they may have neglected it's original core targeted audience? Even the 3 biggest socialite hifi critics in the scene today, namely the highly revered Platinum, Golden and Silver Ears trio have missed it!

By the way, I've since stop giving away my own copies and have asked those fellas interested to get their own from CD Rama instead. They may like it enough to buy for themselves, I don't know. However, I can say that Jz8 is my favorite artist from the Pop Pop stables so far. This is largely I feel, contributed by pianist Cher Siang's ingenious arrangements of some very familiar and other newer tunes on cover here.

In the last 6 months or so, this CD has been on constant rotation in my system. So it has proven to with stand repeated listening as most CD or LPs would be lucky if I still spin them after 3 months! I love almost the 11 tracks on the CD. There's not one dull track here, but if I have to, it's probably easier to mention the those that left me feeling more could have been done.

I thought the last track, I Have A Date With Spring was a little too sparse, and ML(the producer) could have possibly kept the first 3 minutes or so in tact, and let the last 45 seconds or so to erupt full on with a saxophone leading a big band for a grand finale? Well, it's just a thought anyway.

I have many favorite tunes here including Forever Smile, Because You're Happy, I am Happy Too, Unforgettable You, Ferris Wheels, Old Love Song, The Beach, Paper Aeroplane and lastly, my favorite of favourites, Fighting For Love. I felt Lydia totally nailed this one as she sings from an angle of a girl longing for un requited love. For me at least, I would've melted if she sang me this, but that would not have given the song it's sorrowful, yet poignant ending.

I found the recording quality of this CD first rate, tonal colours are naturally rendered, and the feeling is rather airy. The Doug Sax mastering really did wonders to the final mix, as Lydia's vocal is put back right in the center, just a little bit forward in presence of the sound stage, the piano is never far behind, with drum set right at the edge of stage end and double bass on the right. All easily discernible in a system that is well sorted out.

I know many people have a preference for the 2V1G kind of stripped down girl/guy guitar music over Jz8's more up beat offerings. I also know this music review is probably late as Jz8 has been garnering solid reviews overseas, but I really needed to give this CD the full test of time, and it stood out till this day, still remaining on my regular spinning list.

Well done Jz8, psst..... ML, I am still waiting for the vinyl release???

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