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The Golden Rock Top 8 Albums of the Year

I’ll have to make this clear: I don’t listen to everything that’s out there. Just because I’m a freelance critic doesn’t mean I really have a chance to check out every album ever made. This list simply means this is the best stuff I’ve heard among everything else I’ve listened to in this past year. Obviously, if it’s on here, then these CDs are recommended.

(in no particular order)

1 - Khalil Fong - This Love


A second album that proves Khalil Fong is the real deal, the talented R&B musician slowly discovers his style after playing a little too much of everything in his debut. The nickname “soulboy” is definitely fitting after listening to this album.

2 - Juno Mak - Chapel of Dawn

Proof that money may not buy you love, but it’d sure buy you a good album. With impressive production values (a Hungarian orchestra! Japanese rappers!), the dark concept album belongs on this list based on songwriting and production alone. Hong Kong music needs more albums like this.

3 - Shiina Ringo - Heisei Fuzoku


Part-cover album and part-soundtrack, Shiina Ringo’s 4th solo album is a grand piece of work. With every track arranged with a 60-piece orchestra, the album draws its influence from a myriad of musical genres. As I wrote in my review: “It’s not just an album, it’s an experience.”

4 - Pixel Toy - O-oh


In a rarity for Hong Kong musicians, Pixel Toys took two years to produce their second album, and the effort shows. Moving beyond their established electronic pop style, the People Mountain People Sea group tries a bit of ballad and a bit of Brit rock as well, and it actually works rather well. It’s one of the most fun you’ll have on your earphones in 2007 Hong Kong music.

5 - Eason Chan - Listen to Eason Chan


Only an artist who can sell out 10 concerts within an hour and a half has the power to release an album made almost entirely of dance songs. The result is a fun and energetic album that’s unlike any other Eason Chan albums. Too bad for that one ballad in the middle.

6 - Fama - Feng Sheng Shiu Qi

Filling in the gap for the now-defunct LMF is a (relatively) healthy duo of young rappers produced by LMF’s DJ Tommy. From Feng Shui to Hong Kong entertainment to the Hong Kong handover, Fama shows the places Cantonese rap can go beyond a silly gimmick.

7 - Amy Winehouse - Back to Black


A Motown songstress with messed up relationships and possibly a bad crack habit, this young modern R&B diva’s second album shows how to do retro right. Blended with modern elements, this homage to classic 60s soul pop is the discovery of the year. I hope Winehouse makes it alive to the next album: This is a talent need saving.

8 - Zarahn Tales EP1


Endy Chow’s band makes a tribute to TIm Burton disguised as an album telling a dark fairy tale. I’m looking forward to part 2 already. Leo Ku and Mark Lui: Check out track 4. That’s more like progressive rock.

Honorable Mentions:

Tsai Chin - Concert Hall Golden Voice


Denise Ho - What Really Matters


Chan Fai Yeung - The 12 Faces of Women


Kay Tse - both compilations: Don’t like the remixes, but like the new tracks.

l_p1005148401.jpg  l_p1004614289.jpg

Hacken Lee - My Cup of Tea


That’s it for this year. My goal next year: actually listen to enough to compile a complete top 10.

7 Responses to “The Golden Rock Top 8 Albums of the Year”

  1. Music Says:

    Amy Winehouse - Back to Black: great album! “Back to Black”… :))

  2. adgy Says:

    I love your blog, and I dislike asking for stuff, but is there any way we can get an RSS feed for it?

  3. quadshock Says:

    Khalil’s is definitely one of the best Chinese pop albums I’ve heard in 2007… and I’m glad you know Pixeltoy. My girlfriend bought their album and it’s very well done. I might even purchse one myself (and discard the one she burned me) to show support for true Hk music. LMF, by the way, was the first major rap group but there are many more now. Fama is good too, but for more serious or darker stuff you should check out Sang Fan, Yellow Peril, Lo J (who is sometimes good and sometimes shitty). Didn’t hear anything special in Juno’s, but Easons is pretty good too…

    Do you listen to English music, much?

  4. Ben Says:

    Thank you for your list. Been a fan of HOCC’s rock songs, so hopefully this is a return to that. Will try PixelToys, and Fama since it’s by one of the LMF guys.

    Thanks for the other recommendations Quadshock.

  5. GoldenRockProductions Says:

    Hi, adgy,

    In regards to the rss feed, I had one for the old blog, but has been a bit lazy to do it here. However, I’m working on it mentally as I type, as in I can see myself doing it in a foreseeable future.


    Thanks for your recommendations. As for Pixeltoy, I can’t decide if I like their old electronic bubble-gum style pop or their new slightly rock-ier image. I remember the lead singer saying that she was trying to do something along the lines of Roisin Murphy here, but I don’t know if she pulled it off…

    I listen to English music, but mainly whatever they play on the Hong Kong radio. That means the various pop stuff and whatever less pop stuff the DJs have taste for.

  6. rachael Says:

    i’m pretty sure i’m gettin an rss feed for the page already - i’ve been reading it through my reader!

    type the blog’s web address into a reader like google reader and it detects the actual rss feed automatically.

  7. GoldenRockProductions Says:

    Oh, thanks for the heads up, it works for my Sharpreader as well.

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