So, I have patiently waited for a new song by my all-time favourite artist, Lee Hom, for the longest time.
He normally releases a new album every year. And when he does, I would ring home incessantly and nag at mum to procure it ASAP in Singapore so that she can pop it into the post for me. I then check my mail with anticipation everyday for the next week until Mr English Postman finally delivers the much coveted package. Whatever the day of the year that may be, I have always felt like an excited little girl on Christmas day.
The songs from his new disc would then serve to keep me entertained through long-haul flights, boring train journeys, lonely bus trips, and painful revision nights for the next 12 months. Last year, he released a compilation album with only 2 new songs to keep things fresh for me for the rest of the year. Needless to say, I have savoured every millisecond of each song a million times over, and am now craving for new tunes to feed my addiction to his music.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, Lee Hom has released a new song. One that I wish I could say I love, but unfortunately cannot. I do not mean to dismiss the fact that he has put immense effort into writing it, or even to say that it sounds bad. I just feel disappointed because I simply could not hear his soul in this new song. The music is typical of what he coins as the “chinked-out” style, but I have to admit that it does not stand out as one of his best works- it sounds so similar to a couple of his previous works that they all kind of just blend and blur into one. The lyrics make little sense to me too, and they are a jumble of words that I find difficult to even read! I sense an attempt to promote world peace by encouraging harmonious living in the song, but the link between that message and the 12 Chinese zodiacs is so tenuous that it almost qualifies for “trying too hard.” As for the music video, it is vibrant and colourful and Lee Hom looks as sauve as he always does. However, the dance choreography is childish and embarrassing, and the scene sets look unabashedly fake. I cringed as I watched it.
I hate writing bad reviews, even more so when it is on the work of someone I have loved and admired for years! I have tried to listen to the song a few more times, hoping that I will think differently the more I hear it. I keep trying to convince myself that it cannot be that bad coming from Lee Hom. But I guess where there are hits, there must be misses. Surely work and life and music must not be always awesome, always smooth-sailing, always perfect for Lee Hom. He is a normal human being after all. I just hope that he does have more new songs to share in a new album, because this one really isn’t going to keep me going till next December.