by Sara Liu
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Released by Origin Music International on November 27, 2012
Born to a Hakka family from Shenzhen, Guangdong, Sara Liu (刘惜君) released her first album, the self-titled Sara, in 2007 under AO Music, when she was 19 years old. In 2009, Sara competed in the Super Girl <快乐女声> singing competition, and was a top 10 finalist. Although Sara failed to be placed in the final top three, her sweet and angelic swinging voice won her a contract with Origin Music International, and released her first chart-topping album, Dawn <拂晓>, in 2011.
As a huge fan of Teresa Teng (鄧麗君), Sara performed a lot of her old classics during the Super Girl competition. Sara’s second album with Origin Music International, Xi Jun <惜·君>, is a rendition of many old Chinese classics, specifically Teresa Teng’s classics. The title of the album, Xi Jun, is not only composed of Sara’s Chinese name (Liu Xijun), but it also means “Cherish Teresa,” referring to the Teresa Teng theme throughout the album.
I have a very conflicting relationship with Sara’s album. I am not a huge fan of Teresa Teng, but some of the songs that Teresa made famous, including “Star” <星> and “Walking Down the Road of Life” <漫步人生路>, are my all-time favorites when it comes Cantopop, and I’m very happy that Sara covered them. They are also my favorite renditions by Sara.
Sara is a very gifted singer, with an extremely clear, soothing, and gentle voice. The vocals in the album are top-notch, and Sara’s singing style is also quite similar to Teresa’s.
That is just the good part.
Now the bad part – I’m not a fan of jazz, at all. When I picked up the album, I knew that the album would carry a very heavy jazz and contemporary flavor, and I was hesitant. But my love for old Chinese classics made me turn my headphones on, and to my surprise, I managed to listen the album the whole way through.
If I was to rate this album in a pure consumer’s point of view (as in, a consumer who dislikes jazz), I would have given this a 1 out of 5 when it comes to replayability. However, as a music reviewer, I just had to give this album a 4 out of 5; 2 points for Sara’s steady singing and impressive vocal range, and another 2 for the brilliant musical arrangements and accompaniments that would make the eyes of classical musicians tear with joy.
Nonetheless, I quite enjoyed listening to “Cordate Telosma” <夜来香>. Who knew that an electric guitar could go so well with 1930’s Swing music!
Sara’s Rendition of “I Only Care About You” <我只在乎你>
This review is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.
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