alan tam, the godfather of hong kong cantopop, bulging tummy notwithstanding, is going to re-record his best-selling and legendary 1984 album "the origin of love" [愛的根源], complete with orchestra and chinese instrumentation and the title of this new album is a pompous "the best sound ever reborn".

"the origin of love" is without doubt the single most successful and influential album of its time, spawning many memorable hits and breaking into charts and winning countless awards for alan tam.

certainly a good news to younger audiophiles but to purist like me, why not leave a classic as it is and leave the perfect memories intact? besides alam tam today is not alan tam of 1984, especially his aged vocal chord. look at how disastrous air supply's audiophile album is (see under music review).

i received 4 copies of my alan tam "the best sound ever reborn" today from HK, the other 3 copies are for my dealer.

when the play button is pressed on my meridian, i was greeted with a familiar tune, title track "origin of love" played with such grandeur and grace that i uttered uncontrollably, "this is great!".

indeed, alan tam sings greatly in this album. i was wrong in my preview above. his matured voice and singing skills are still able to maintain the essence of the songs while adding a degree of polish to them. at times, alan even teases the music with syncopation, which manages to add some elements of improvisation on the music. the chinese orchestra, amusingly called the headmaster orchestra ("headmaster" is a affectionate nickname of alan tam), certainly add grandness, texture and richness to the music. the fast tracks like "summer cool breeze" (ha yat hon foong) and "marianne" are injected with steroids and sound even more uptempo and have more oomph than the originals; totally cool.

unfortunately, the recording is kind of bottled up, much like what reader canto-fanatics said in his comment - "recessed and compressed". it doesn't sound bad in my system once i blast up the volume. you really need a high-resolution and highly-resolving system to make this recording sound palatable. true to canto-fanatics' word, the recording needs to be mastered by bernie grundman and the like - food for thought for producer chan fei young.

at the end, what we have is a great recap of the golden era of cantopop, delivered in a modern style and arrangement, with more polished singing from alan tam. certainly, a must-buy for every cantopop fan.

music: 10/10
sonics : 7/10

p/s i got this from HK for RM49 and it is selling in malaysia for malaysia boleh?


Anonymous said...

Great review. My thoughts exactly. What did you think of the DVD?

liam said...

RM 89?

Somebody is skimming us dry somewhere

Taylor[expat] said...


Your review cought my attention because it strikes me that you really know your music.

I must confess ,i do not know what on earth Canto- pop is,but my experience with most pop cd is just like yours.,you need to crank up the volume quite a bit to get the resolition,and for that you do need a good cd player like the meridian,so that It doesn't sound scretchy....

well done ,and look forward to more music review from you. said...

hi taylor,

Cantopop means Cantonese pop music or Hong Kong popular music. This particular album (released in 1984) is considered to be one of the most influential albums from the Golden Age of Canto-pop. The remake is beautifully done, I hope you can give it a try sometime and let us know if you like it. if you need translations of the lyrics, you can let me know. :)

taylor said...

Dear Seuijungfa,

Thank you ,you are so Kind!!!

I will have my first taste with Canto pop with this album.

majid said...


Thanks for the tip,

It has been a while since I last listen to Canto-pop[not since I broke off with my gf]but you have reignite my fire;for the music that is....

will get this one...

maggielurva 愛美姬 said...

hi anon,
have yet to get around watching the dvd. i was told it is great.

that's the sad state of affairs with local music stores here :-(

many people know their music too. maybe i can articulate my thoughts in words that can relate to the readers :-)

be warned that today's cantopop is crap :-(

i bet you are a fan of alam tam! haha

seui said...

Ahahaha Maggielurva! Was it too obvious? Nah, I was just happy with your review.

Have you heard Alan Tam's CD, "Listens"? It's a quieter album compared to "Reborn". Acoustic versions of 9 old songs that Alan Tam re-recorded in 2006. I thought sonically,it sounded better than "Reborn".