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Archive for January 5th, 2008

The Golden Rock Top 10 Hong Kong Singles of 2007

Like most “top 10″ lists, this list has its own bias. Since there is no real single market in Hong Kong music, I base my definition of qualified singles as songs that made it to the weekly 903 Top 20 chart from Hong Kong’s Commercial Radio 2 (Hong Kong’s most listened-to station) during the year 2007. This means songs from albums released in 2006 may get excluded because it was plugged in 2007 (Sorry, Juno Mak and Chapel of Dawn). I also only pick songs from Hong Kong-based artists, which means Mandarin artists such as Khalil Fong would be included since he’s based in a Hong Kong record company. Of course, I don’t expect everyone to agree with this list, either, as this is simply a matter of showing whatever is popular out there that also happens to agree with personal taste.

(In no particular order)

1. Denise “HOCC” Ho - Grain (木紋)

Though it’s written like your typical Karaoke-friendly ballad by Hong Kong pop’s Dad of the Year Louis Cheung, there’s something about Ho’s delivery and Carl Wong’s arrangement that makes this song stand up above the rest. And then there’s that minute-and-a-half prolonged outro, which is sadly not included in the MTV below.

2 - Khalil Fong/Fiona Sit - Foursome (四人遊)

A soulful ballad that works despite Fiona’s subpar Mandarin, this R&B Duet was the first standout track of 2007 and was one of the prime reasons I bought Fong’s album. The best part is that this isn’t even the best track of the album, but it’s probably the best Hong Kong pop duet of 2007.

3 - Zarahn - Strange Christmas City Night (怪誕城之夜)

In the liner notes, it was made clear that this song is a tribute to Tim Burton, with lyricist Wyman Wong sprinkling various references to his movies throughout. Even the song’s Chinese title is the Chinese title for A Nightmare Before Christmas. But forget the lyrics, this is what Hong Kong progressive rock ought to be.

4 - Hins Cheung - Lost in Omotesando (迷失表參道)

I know the big hit from the album is Ardently Love, but I think this hypnotic alternative genre-defying track is the best song of the album. Thanks, Hins, for not singing like you’re trying too hard on this song.

5 - Kelvin Kwan - What Am I To You? (你當我什麼)

I paid no attention to this 2006 newcomer until this super Karaoke-friendly ballad, which show that this guy might have some talent. Then again, it was really the melody (apparently written by a buddy of his) that captured me more than his singing. At least he can pull it off live.

6 - Fama - Feng Sheng Shui Qi (風生水起)

Cantonese rap with pop flavor and Chinese superstition thrown in, the silly hit rap-pop from the DJ Tommy-produced duo has an insanely addictive chorus. Even a contrived appearance by real Feng Shui expert Mak Ling Ling couldn’t sink this song.

7 - Miriam Yeung - All About Love

It’s the least Karaoke-friendly ballad by Hong Kong’s laugh queen, and it beats all the plugged songs from her previous album. All About Love sounds more like it could be by some European female-led pop group than a Hong Kong pop singer. That would be a compliment. Sadly, this live version isn’t the best way to show that.

8 - Juno Mak - Borrow a Light (借火)

Sorry, the duet track on Chapel of Dawn wasn’t as good as his first plug from his upcoming album. Vicky Fung, who wrote Poor U on Chapel of Dawn, returns for this Karaoke ballad about a romance that almost happened simply from borrowing a light for a cigarette. I don’t care whether Juno can sing this live, but I do care about the respiratory systems of those who attempt the verses at Karaoke.

I don’t have videos for these songs, but they deserve to be on the top 10 anyway:

9 - Kay Tse - The First Day (第一天)

Hong Kong pop’s Mom of the Year last single before giving birth to her first child is a light guitar-driven affair that brightens up the day of any hopeless romantic. Maybe the extra syrupy-sweetness comes from the fact that she was a newlywed at the time.

10 - Chan Fai Young/Lee Heung Kam/Shirley Kwan - 3000 Years Later (Remix) (三千年後)

A strange collaboration results in one of alternative Cantopop’s most haunting and beautiful singles of the year. The bittersweet monologue by Lee, the near-operatic chorus by Kwan, and Chan’s arrangement all come together nicely here. Too bad you need to understand Cantonese to truly appreciate it, especially that heartbreaking final line.

Well, I guess this is a video for it:

Add oil in 2008, Cantopop! Copyright © 2002-2024 Ross Chen