Aurora is the second album released by Angela Chang. It was another success for the singer and spawned several hit singles.
Released: December 1, 2004
1. Mama Mama
2. Aurora (歐若拉)
3. The Sun in the Palm of My Hand (手心的太陽)
4. Floating Clouds (浮雲)
5. Straight Line (直線)
6. Starting Point(起點)
7. Easter (复活节)
8. Able to Love for a Long Time (可以愛很久)
9. Can’t Guess (猜不透)
10. Nothing Keeps Me Calm (靜不下來)
11. Adoration to Happiness (快樂崇拜)
Mama Mama opens the album on an upbeat note. This is one of Angela’s catchiest songs and the whole song is full of hooks. The chorus has a great melody and is easily stuck in your head. The verses are interesting as they have Angela rapping over a funky guitar. The thing about this song is that the music has some really great ideas with the guitar and odd synths blasting about. The only part that’s weird is the bridge as it brings a different kind of sound. Still a stellar song even after all these years.
Aurora brings a completely different sound and goes a more “ethnic” route with its more traditional-styled music. I really love this song as it is just as memorable as the last song while providing a really beautiful and touching feeling. The music can sound a bit odd at times as the instruments used do sound a bit too programmed, but there are some really great moments like the chorus.
The Sun in the Palm of My Hand is the first ballad and it’s one of my favourites on the album. It’s a pretty standard ballad, especially from this era of C-Pop as it features a flute and some synths that give the song a more traditional spin. The melody itself is quite beautiful and fits perfectly with the buildup in the chorus from the strings. Angela also sounds great and her piercing vocals don’t get too overpowered by the bombastic music.
Floating Clouds is a really interesting kind of pop tune. It has some pop/rock elements, but still has a dramatic arrangement the blends a lot of instruments. The melody is decent, but the verses are better as I was expecting the chorus to be a little harder hitting. It comes off a bit too fluffy, but it is still a pretty solid song.
Straight Line is a really odd song as it tries to bring in some Arabian elements into a pop/rock song. I think it has an interesting concept that tries to bridge some cool sounds, but it just doesn’t work out. The arrangement is rather flat and the melody is just messy. I feel like this could have worked out better if the chorus lessened the guitars and brought in some more instruments.
Starting Point is a lot better and has a great charm to it. It starts off sounding like it could be a ballad, but it soon gains some energy. The chorus is especially beautiful and while the music is nice, it’s the melody that really lifts the song. It gives this floating kind of feeling and works beautifully with Angela’s voice. I love it.
I find Easter to be a strange name for this song as the song itself is quite dark. It features a gorgeous Spanish guitar and some haunting strings. The chorus is easily the highlight of the song as it continues to build up the emotion. It’s sort of a slow burner, but I feel like the song’s quality is one of the best and the end result is definitely worth it. It gets better with each listen.
Able to Love for a Long Time is a pop song but has a bit of a Mediterranean twist to it to give it some character. I think it has an interesting sound, but I feel like it’s a bit all over the place. The music is sweet, but the strings just sound too overpowering and mixed with that odd electric guitar, it just doesn’t seem to have much focus. The song isn’t particularly catchy either.
Can’t Guess is another pretty standard Mandopop ballad, but it’s also another great piece. I like the feeling that this one tries to give as the melody feels a bit sad. I don’t think the melody is as memorable as some of the other ballads on here, but the music really makes up for it as it’s really beautiful with the gorgeous strings and Chinese string instruments. It’s simple, but nice.
Nothing Keeps Me Calm is a fun pop song with some rock elements. What I love about this song is that it is so bright and positive. It’s just the type of song that is fun to sing along to. It’s catchy and has an exciting arrangement and reminds me of something that Avril Lavigne might do. Angela’s voice also works nicely in this kind of track. Great!
Adoration to Happiness is a duet with Wilber Pan and I love it. It’s really outrageous, but still insanely catchy. It’s a funky pop song with some R&B and hip-hop elements. Wilber mainly raps and his rapping is really great here, while Angela focuses on the singing parts. It’s a great combination and one of the best upbeat songs on the album. My only problem would be that their voices are both edited differently so Angela sounds farther away than Wilber.
Overall: This is another great album. I actually like it more than her debut album, which also had a slew of fantastic songs. This album does have a few weaker songs, but the majority of the songs are quality tunes and there is a variety of sounds so things don’t get too boring. The melodies are pretty top notch and I love the more traditional elements that a lot of songs have in them. There were many great songs.