Gillian sings of sorrow and lost love
HONG Kong singer Gillian Chung's first Mandarin solo album is anything but joyful.
In fact, the 32-year-old singer - known for being one half of Cantopop girl band Twins and for her involvement in the 2008 Edison Chen sex-photo scandal - is downright melancholic and reflective here.
The 11-track offering is packed with soulful ballads, with only one or two songs deviating from the heavy tone, such as Wind Direction.
Thankfully, her upbeat duet with Chinese singer-producer Anson Hu, Together With You, is an infectious, almost childlike, tune that saved the album from being all doom and gloom.
That said, I'm a big fan of her ballads, because she sings with enough depth, sincerity and conviction to convey the meaning behind each song.
One of my favourites is I Give Everything To You, sung with Taiwanese singer Kenji Wu. A swelling emotive tune, it makes you feel both nostalgic and bittersweet over lost loves.
At one point, Chung croons: "Even though the love has reached its conclusion, with pain, sadness and bitterness, at least we had loved once with all our hearts."
This line is particularly prophetic, given that she just split from her Korean-American boyfriend Tyler Kwon last month.
So, how did she fare in this debut Mandarin offering, given her largely Cantopop background?
She passes with flying colours. Her pronunciation, though a little awkward, comes across as endearing and sincere.
Listening to her sans her usual singing partner Charlene Choi may seem a little unfamiliar at first.
But Chung holds her own, trust me on that.