Sun, Sep 26, 2004 - Page 19 News List

CD Reviews

By Gavin Phipps  /  STAFF REPORTER

Power Station 動力火車

Red 就是紅

Him International 華研國際

It's been almost two years since A-Bon (尤秋興) and A-Yan (顏志琳), aka Power Station (動力火車), have given their fans much to scream about, but the pair returned to record store shelves this week with a whopper of a double album containing both new and old material.

The new CD offers something for everyone and certainly puts on a better showing than the national baseball team, for which Power Station's Hit the Sky (打開天空) was the official anthem at the Athens Olympics.

While the older material remains entertaining, it is the newer material that really stands out. With more stress on orchestration, techno loops and grinding guitar reverb, Power Station appears to have opened a new chapter in its celebrated career. Dance-oriented material like Overjoyed (眉飛色舞) and Would Rather Dance (如跳舞) are packed with techno elements, reverb and pulsating bass lines and might seem out of the ordinary, but work well and are far from duds.

The more mainstream blues/rock numbers like Happy to Separate (分手快樂), Flowing Gravel (流砂), Downpour (大雨) and Black Humor (黑色幽默) are the album's better moments, however, while numbers such as He Certainly Loves You (他一定很愛你) and Rainbow (彩虹) prove that Power Station's much lauded romantic/moody side is still there.

Will 潘瑋柏

WuHa

Universal

The long-time star of GTV's (八大電視台) soap opera Teacher (麻辣鮮師), Will (潘瑋柏) first hit the music scene last year with his debut long player, My Microphone (我的麥克風). A combination of blues, hip hop and rap, the material was not exceptional and while he managed to establish a strong fan base he certainly didn't make much of a mark at music award ceremonies.

Not that this poor showing dented his career. Along with Jay Chou (周杰倫), Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) and Mayday (五月天), Will is proving to be a pretty hot item. So hot, in fact, that music press pundits are already touting him as "the next big thing." Will's second studio venture veers away from rap and blues influences and sees him pursuing a more hip hop-related format.

He might not be as big a draw as "Mumbles" Chou (so-called because you can't hear what Jay's singing about), but Will's lyrics can be understood whether he's crooning in English, Mandarin or Cantonese and all his tunes make for a pleasant listen.

There are three distinct flavors to the 10 tunes on WuHa. There's heavy hip hop-orientated tunes, like the title track, WuHa, I Don't Understand Cantonese (我識廣東話) and Diversion (聲東擊西), and there's more mainstream pop hip hop tunes like Happy Worshipping (快樂崇拜) and the album's highlight, the bouncy and feel-good number, Say You Can do It (說到做到). And, just for good measure and no doubt to appease his teenage female fans, Will has thrown in a couple of so-so love songs that don't dent what is on the whole a good mainstream Mando pop/rap album.

Monkey Insane 潑猴

Our Generation 我們的世代

Avex Trax

Winners of last year's MTV Band Hunting competition and the Ho-Hai-Yan Rock Festival, Monkey Insane (潑猴) is a local combo that successfully merges the trappings of old-school hip hop with nu-metal and electronica. A type of Linkin Park-cum-Limp Bizkit, the six-piece combo possesses that one thing that so few local bands lack -- attitude!

Our Generation (我們的世代) is packed with sneering, snarling vocals, plenty of gnarly guitar, thumping bass lines and electronic vibes and is a tight, well-produced work of art. Whether nu-metal is your thing or you cringe at the thought of rap and metal, the long player deserves applause if only for the professional manner with which it has been put together.

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