the problem with chinese albums is they try too hard to have as many genres of sound as possible in one album... the great thing about miriam yeung's "meridian" is that it does not try to be anything at all

the year is closing and i am writing my last album review, which customarily, should be the top 10 albums of the year. the problem is, i don't have 10 in number because most of the chinese pop albums i heard on radio this year suck, i can only recommend one which has become my personal fave of 2007, despite negative feedback from some quarters in the internet.

(note: instead of nominating "the best cantopop album" and "the best mandarin pop album" separately, i will just lump this under "the best chinese album".)

the problem with today's chinese albums has always been that they try too hard to have as many genres of sound as possible in one album, at the risk of being labeled "safe" and "unadventurous". they want to be like the western artistes, so they experiment, so they have R&B, pop, ballad, rock, rap and whatnots all in one album and often times, the singer can't even deliver cos they are not so versatile as western artistes. the cantopop from HK are many times worse than the mandarin pop from taiwan in committing this sin. i ask you this - why is that teresa teng only sang chinese ballads and her music is so cherished and memorable? the beauty of chinese pop music has always been the melody. yes, the sweet melody. once you lose that element, you have lost the plot.

the beauty about miriam yeung's "meridian" is it does not try to be anything at all but just good cantopop music. yes, it doesn't have a standout song and yes, it is not exactly karaoke-friendly as her previous hit albums but to this reviewer who is so sick of the eason chans, the joey yeungs, the louis koos of cantopop, this album breathes like a cool breeze in spring time.

it has plenty of ballads but most of them are not overly commercial or have commercial motives. it takes a seasoned and mature artiste like miriam to throw away her commerial hat and attempt something totally un-mainstream and un-calculated. damn those cantopop albums, they are all made for awards, radio airplay, karaoke and commercial acceptance.

bravo to miriam for her bravery. to me, this is the meridian (high point) of miriam's career.

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