Saturday, April 10, 2010


I hardly got time to watch TV programmes nowadays, however I did catch Liu Jia Chang’s episode on Kang Ki earlier on. (刘家昌上康熙来了)

In it he was asked to name the most mellifluous singing voice that managed to mesmerise him thus far. Surprisingly, he did not name any of his famous students who are all who who’s in the Chinese Pop scene i.e. Fei Yu Qing, Feng Fei Fei or Zhen Ni. Instead, he named Faye Wong. I so agree with his opinion!

Undisputedly, Faye really has a good singing voice.

When mentioned Faye Wong, many would probably highlight the more postmodern style which she mainly adopt nowadays. However, before she started doing all that, she did gone through the traditional style period before.

Strangely, while she executed many songs exceptionally well using traditional singing style, she did not get a lot of attention for it. She received much more fame later for being quirky – the Cranberries’ yodeling and later The Cardigans’ clear and lazing attitudinal straightforward voice.  

Not that yodeling or singing in a clear voice is much easier, you need to be able to sing in the first place before you are able to translate them with ease. I like it how she did not just wholesale-ly copied those styles and stick with it, she added her own signature touch to it and rightfully created an unique mix which she is known for it now.

In that particular episode of 康熙来了, he elaborated why Faye is a talented singer using the example of the song 千言万语. Liu related that when he had recorded the song with Teresa Teng (the original singer of the song), he would had prefer Teresa to pause slightly at the verse 随浮云-掠过 to translate an emotion. Somehow, Teresa did not manage to do it and he did not insist.

Years later, he managed catch Faye singing the song on TV. He had a shock that Faye paused slightly at where he had intended. He exclaimed “ I did not teach her that, how did she know that she need to pause at the part?”. He added that people who can sing would have similar consensus on how to translate emotions in a song and Faye is one of those people.

Not sure which version he was referring to, Faye sang that song in her concert as well. However, the one which I attached above has a much more similar arrangement with Teresa’s version. You all listen if she had indeed paused.

I think it was a very slight pause, nothing too intentional. In any case, I do think Faye’s cover of the song is a very good one. Technical skills apart, there is this additional emotion factor which I think she had done better than Teresa.

Here is Teresa’s version, recorded in 1978 for comparison. It is a classic in its own rights. I do think it is different style of enacting a song. During then, adding too much emotions into a song would not have been a trend.

In any case, Teresa added more emotions in her songs during the later part of her career after her stint in Japan. She was influenced by Enka music.

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