Thu, Dec 29, 2005 - Page 14 News List

Best CDs of 2005

By Gavin Phipps  /  STAFF REPORTER

Won Fu (旺福)

The Records of Won Fu (旺福誌)

Forward

The third album by fun-loving four-piece Won Fu ((旺福) in as many years proved to be band's best piece of vinyl to date. The tunes were tight and packed with an eclectic mix of uplifting jangle/bubble-gum-pop hooks and riffs and, of course, large amounts of tongue-in-cheek wit and retro chic.

Like previous releases, the band mixed it up with a wide range of genres and styles on its The Records of Won Fu (旺福誌) and, as has become the norm, threw plenty of contrasting and pleasing musical curve balls.

Be it the bouncy pseudo-country number Ringo, which became the backing track for Agogo's MP3 TV commercial and the gnarly punk-oriented guitar riffs and drum and bass of The Aspirations of Ah-Lang (阿郎的心聲) the album took listeners on a hurdy-gurdy ride that saw the combo poking rhythmical fun at and waxing lyrical about a crazy assortment of subject matter.

With not one dud on the entire album The Records of Won Fu endorsed Won Fu's status as the nation's most singularly distinctive combo and should have put the band in a good position to take top honors in the Best Band category at the 2006 Golden Melody Awards.

Various

TK's Rock Collection (台客搖滾百萬驚險輯)

Rock

Released to coincide with the Taike Rock Concert (台客搖滾演唱會), Rock Records' TK's Rock Collection (台客搖滾百萬驚險輯) featured tunes by all the artists involved in the event that was billed as a celebration of taike chic but was more of a musically confused evening in celebration of a rather ambiguous adjective.

The 28 track double CD featured numbers by Wu Bai (伍佰), potty-mouthed rocker Chang Chen-yue (張震嶽), folk rock combo Baboo, pub crooner and self confessed boozer and ladies man Bobby Chen (陳昇), madcap all-rounder Joy Topper (豬頭皮) and one-time pop star Lim Giong (林強).

None of the material was new, but it did offer listeners an interesting selection of taike tunes. Some of the album's better numbers included Wu Bai's hugely popular The World's First (世界第一等), Chang Chen-yue's 2005 single Malasun (馬拉桑), Lim Giong's top-selling hit Move Forward (向前走) and Joy Toppers' side-splittingly funny self parody I'm Mad (我是神經病).

Sadly, some great taike moments were omitted and the biggest gaffe was Rock's omission of Baboo's brilliantly haunting Xiaonien Anna (少年安啦).

Coco Lee (李玟)

Exposed

Epic

There's always one isn't there and while 2004's blooper of the year went to popular entertainer Chang Fei (張菲) this year's blooper prize goes to Coco Lee (李玟) who in 2005 unveiled her new adult-oriented image on the album Exposed. The one-time queen of Mando-pop had transformed herself into a mild dance/hip-hop act.

While it had its drawbacks and is not without its many faults, the sound and production of Exposed was much more mature. To ensure that everyone knew she'd grown up the album sleeve was awash with titillating photos of the singer and her "assets." And if this wasn't enough to grab people's attention, then the lyrics certainly did.

Every song involved the topic of sex and featured some classic lyrical moments. Lee weaved her sexual poetry over a fantastic backdrop of mild electronica and slow hip-hop loops, but when the one-time Mando-pop princess sang "lay back and just relax/don't mind the candle wax/with nails upon your back/I'll just do it like that/lust sitting on your face/tongue kisses my inner place/and as I start to shake/a sensual escape," you simply had to laugh.

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