First, I'd like to make known that I understand very little mandarin, and my experiences with music in the language has more to do with matters that tugs my heartstrings.

For me on a personal note, this has gotta be Lily Chen's best album by far. I've got quite a few, if not all of her albums. I've got the lucky break to meet her in person at one of the KLIAV Shows and she's a looker too, in typical china men preference for fair unblemished skin toned, slender yet subtly curvy and finally that killer shampoo advertisement quality long, shinny black hair stereo type! After that fateful day, many of my hifi friends became a true fans of Lily.

Now back to this album, which songs are based on works of the lovely poetry writer Li Qing Zhou, a lady whom lived in the times of Song Dynasty China. While some of the tunes here were previously covered by the "great" Teresa Teng, I felt that it will always be risky to be directly compared to Teresa. In this case, it did Lily no favours either.

What really struck me was the rest of the presumably still yet covered songs which the arrangement of fusing Chinese and Western classical instruments to form a fusion of rich classical style timbre and pop influenced harmonies. Most songs deals with the subject to love, requited or otherwise, and a sentiment of mom's presence plus the longing of that tranquil fishing village. Remember, this was the Song Dynasty China, not today. This album touches the heart strings superbly, reminiscent of the gentler days of ol' China folks.

While Lily's singing is technically pitch perfect, but over time, I felt she has a tendency to slip in to a rather mechanical rendition of songs. NOT this time though. I guess she just managed to get in to the material as much as I got in to her renditions of it. Recording wise, it's standard Rain Forest Studio DSD clarity, good portrayal of the classical instrument's warm tonal qualities, with sometimes sibilance accompanying vocal.

Just like the Jennifer Warnes Famous Blue Raincoat, which takes from the poetry of Leonard Cohen, I find them both comparable in style and execution, with the Jennifer Warnes work having a more polished presentation overall.

Well, may be I do like poetry in song after all?

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