April 10, 2012

The Jazzy Sounds Of Teresa Teng, Winnie Ho.

Winnie Ho at her finest hour yet!

We all know that Teresa Teng classics have been covered, re-made and re-sung to death, but never like this Pop Pop Music effort! Most Teresa Teng wannabes have been toeing strictly to the text book classic Chinese pop style. I think even most ardent of Teresa fans could never quite recognise most of the songs on this album initially. It's like as if Pop Pop Music had taken the basic lyrics and went far, far away with the music!

With the help of Maestro Tay Cher Siang, The Jazzy Sounds Of Teresa Teng has being turned in to bold marriage between Chinese pop music with twist of jazz genre. It all starts with Winnie singing prelude on track 1, followed by a very sorrow full version of Forget Him(a Teresa Cantonese classic). The use of a saxophone to open the track was brilliant, followed by Winnie's heart felt rendition, like as if she's lived thru the experience of love lost. My next favorite track is tittled The Girl From South Sea(sometimes also called The Girl From Nan Hai). The original tune had a longing to return to home town theme, but this Tay Cher Siang arranged version had turn the longing to happy, fond memories of a home town in full bossa carnival parade! Maestro Tay even had time to sneak in a bit of The Girl from Ipanema to re-enforce the up beat mood of the track. Brilliant stuff so far!

Now we come to track 7, called Rain Of Tears, which I think sets the record for being Pop Pop Music's hardest rocking tune so far(however, it's still considered slow rock by any other standards)! Winnie flashes shades of Anne/Nancy Wilson(think All I Wanna Do) from the 80's sister rock group Heart, here. I love the edginess and rawness of this track! Track 8 tittled I Only Care For You was one of Teresa's signature sugary sweet love ballads and Pop Pop Music had the smarts to leave a good thing alone when they see it, except for just a subtle dash of immediacy of a smoky, jazz bar performance feel here. My final favorite song is track 11, A Thousand Words, which is presented in Pop Pop Music signature strip down simplicity at it's best. This popular classic has been stripped of all it's frills except for Roger Wang's very softly yet effective guitar work backing Winnie's pristine and vulnerable voice. The balance is just right, the guitar sounds though gentle and caressing, never over whelms Winnie's sensible portrayal of the song.

It all comes to grand finale closing with Songbird, an original composition as a tribute to honour of the late Teresa Teng by Tay Cher Siang, backed by a tastefully applied warmly recorded violin recital of The Moon Speaks For My Heart(another golden tune from the chinese pop diva) , backed by basic rock beat. This track sounds so fresh yet at the same time is like getting to know an ol' friend all over again. There are a total of 12 tracks on this CD. The recording is of the usual Pop Pop Music high standards, but with the latest mastering techniques of Keith Yip, have made this CD very hifi system friendly, for audiophiles of all levels to enjoy, regardless of system status.

I feel Winnie's vocal prowess have come of age now and she's indeed at the peak of her caliber. She has always been a good vocal technician but can leave me a little cold in past, as in some her earlier 2V1G performances. I've never felt left in the cold anywhere during my listening of The Jazzy Sounds Of Teresa Teng, and therefore I give my unreserved salutation of artistic acclaim and hopefully, followed by commercial success. I know Winnie has worked hard to get to this level and deserves our support. It's a Teresa Teng that all Malaysians can be proud to share, and export to the rest of world.

By the way, please remember that you can't get this CD anywhere else for now, except at all the CD Rama outlets within Popular Book Store!

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