[Album] Coco Lee – Woman in Love

Woman in Love is the third album released by Coco Lee. It was her last album under the Fancy Pie label and was released just a few months after her first English cover album, Brave Enough to Love. It fared better than her previous ones and helped heighten her popularity as a relative newcomer.

womaninlove

Released: September 16, 1995
1. My Love is Yours (我愛的是你)
2. Woman in Love (Strings Version) (被愛的女人 (弦樂版))
3. You are in My Heart (你在我心上)
4. Immortal (不朽)
5. Can’t Learn to Love You More (學不會更愛你)
6. Forget It (忘了吧)
7. Turn a Blind Eye (視若無睹)
8. Woman in Love (被愛的女人)
9. Pearl in My Hand (掌上明珠)
10. Thankful (感謝)

Opening things with My Love is Yours, we get a pretty dramatic ballad. Coco’s voice sounds really beautiful here and although she focuses on her head voice a lot, she is still able to bring the right punch to fit the percussion. The song itself starts off quite slow and gently, but it soon gains energy and power during the chorus. I actually like the melody here because there is an intensity to it. The song is a bit too outdated sounding, but it is nice.

cocoleewomaninlove2

The title track is yet another ballad. It doesn’t quite have the same intensity as the last song, but there is an almost sad quality to the melody that really helps Coco’s voice to soar. The strings version is pretty beautiful and Coco demonstrates her vocal control here. The song feels a bit more traditional in its delivery, especially considering the use of the strings help to make it more haunting. The original version of Woman in Love that comes up later on doesn’t have as many differences but the added percussion and guitar actually help it sound fuller. The final chorus is also much stronger and really pushes things.

I’m not sure what to think as You are in My Heart is the third ballad in a row. I mean, this one seems to have an almost 90’s ballad feel to it and feels like something you would hear from a movie around this time. This especially evident in the music with its classic strings, light R&B beat and sparkling synths. It’s a pretty song, although a bit generic.

Immortal continues the ballad spree, but it has a more dramatic sound to it. I like how it uses some really dramatic instruments to create this overwhelmingly intense feeling that is only pushed forward by Coco’s passionate performance. My only gripe is that it feels like it is continually building to something, but the final chorus doesn’t quite hit the mark.

cocoleewomaninlove1

I’m excited to finally get an upbeat song with Can’t Learn to Love You More. This one has a funky guitar riff and brings a bit of rock into it. I like that it has a brighter sound to it, but it isn’t particularly catchy. I feel like one of the biggest problems is that Coco is singing in her head voice throughout the whole song so it just lacks any punch in its vocal delivery. It would’ve been more interesting had it been in chest or mixed voice.

Forget It brings us a heavier pop tune that depends on a pumping bassline and light rock influence. I feel like the melody to this song is something very similar to what would be heard in the 90’s. It’s a pretty cool song and even though I wish it had a bit more power to it, it is still a catchy tune.

Returning to the ballad route, Turn a Blind Eye is a classic pop ballad. I feel as though this one comes off as your standard Mandopop ballad, but that’s not a bad thing. The melody is pretty catchy and it feels like the type that would be easy to sing along to. I don’t think it is particularly impressive, but I like its lighter and more straightforward appeal.

cocoleewomaninlove

Pearl in My Hand is a reggae song, which initially made me worried due to Coco’s last attempt at reggae on her first album…Luckily, this song is better than that one. I don’t think it’s that interesting and Coco tries to sing in a higher pitch, which is odd. It’s easily the weakest song on the album as the chorus is pretty flat and quite forgettable. Not terrible, just lackluster.

Of course things end on a slower note. Thankful is a pretty ballad and while it doesn’t sound particularly interesting at first, the melody has some really nice quirks to it. It takes a bit of time to really get moving, but I really like how calm and laid back it sounds. I feel like this is a good way to end things.


Overall: This is easily Coco’s strongest of her Fancy Pie albums. There were still a few weaker tunes, but the general delivery was much stronger. The ballads were pretty decent overall and it’s easy to see why Coco would excel at them since she has such a good voice. The upbeat songs were hit or miss though. My biggest gripe would probably be the over-reliance on her head voice, which just felt too weak on certain songs that called for some power.

B

[Album] Coco Lee – Promise Me

Promise Me is the second album released by Coco Lee.

promiseme
Released: December, 1994
1. I’m Still Your Lover (Unplugged) (我依然是你的情人)
2. Sincere Intentions (真心真意)
3. Promise Me (答應我)
4. Love, Never Comes Back Again (愛,再也不回來)
5. Don’t Let Me Really Fall in Love with You (別讓我真愛上你)
6. Let Me Love (讓我愛吧)
7. Unfaithful (變心)
8. Love Come So Easy
9. Fly (飛)
10. You are Not My Only One (你不是我的唯一)
11. Let the World Be More Beautiful (Merry Christmas) (讓世界更美麗)

In a way to connect this album to her first one, the album opens with an unplugged version of a song from her first album. I’m Still Your Lover (Unplugged) basically has Coco attempting the song acapella at the start and we really get a sense of her vocal abilities. It’s a short rendition, but it’s a nice way to open things up and it’s nice they picked the best song from her first album.

Sincere Intentions comes off as a total 90’s pop ballad to me with its explosive music and soaring melody. The song does come a bit too generic and I feel like there isn’t that much that really makes it stand out from her other songs. It’s not particularly catchy, but the thing that the song does do well is show off Coco’s strong vocals. It’s not bad and I do like it, but I’ve heard better.

The title track, Promise Me, is a change of pace as we are given something a bit more laid back with a nice touch of acoustic guitar. I do like how the song builds up into the chorus. It’s not that catchy, but the melody is definitely more memorable than the last song’s melody. It’s a decent tune, but once again, not a stand out in Coco’s discography.

Love, Never Comes Back Again is a nice ballad, but with Chinese flair in terms of the synths used. It does bring something a bit different in the music compared to the other ballads, but at the same, the whole feeling of the song is a bit outdated and the structure is very similar to other songs on here. I want to like this song more, but it just doesn’t quite change throughout its four minutes. I wish the final chorus was more dramatic, but Coco flutters on her head voice a lot, so it doesn’t quite have the same impact.

Don’t Let Me Really Fall in Love with You starts off sounding like another of your classic 90’s pop ballads. However, once the chorus comes popping in, the tune totally turns to the Mandopop side of things. It has a powerful backing, but the melody isn’t as powerful and floats on top of the heavy percussion. Fortunately, the good thing about this song is that the melody totally has the nostalgia factor to it. It’s much more memorable than the other songs up to this point.

Let Me Love just comes out of nowhere and I love it. This is the first upbeat dance song and it totally has that 90’s house vibe to it that keeps it exciting. I know Coco can do some great upbeat tunes and this is a great example. The melody is catchy and the music is explosive and has a lot of energy. My only gripe is that Coco sings a lot of it in her head voice, so I feel like it would have been more powerful if she used her mixed voice more.

Unfaithful starts off with a more traditional Chinese sound, but then switches to something more pop/rock. It’s a decent tune and I do like the change in sound, but I wish it played up the traditional vibe a bit more as it would have been a nice surprise. The song sort of ends up forgettable anyways.

Love Come So Easy has a bit of a Mediterranean sound going on and has a more relaxed style. These kinds of songs just aren’t my cup of tea and while the song does have its charms, it just comes off a bit boring for me. It’s more background music, although I do like the guitar throughout the song.

Fly is another pop ballad and I feel like it brings a bit of oldschool charm to its melody. Unfortunately, the music is just generic and it doesn’t really help allow the melody to stand out. It literally feels like someone copy and pasted another songs background music and pasted it here. Coco does sound quite nice though.

You are Not My Only One is yet another pop ballad, although the music of this one is a bit jazzier. Unfortunately by this point, these ballads are doing nothing for me. The melodies aren’t bad, but the music is just so generic that it’s a bit difficult to get through them. It suffers from the same fate as the last song.

Let the World Be More Beautiful (Merry Christmas) is a nice change just because it adds something different. This one, like the title says, has a bit of a Christmas vibe to it due to the music and inclusion of child choir. The biggest change though is that halfway through the song, the song just changes and becomes some upbeat pop tune. It’s not catchy, but at least it isn’t a ballad.


Overall: Coco’s first album wasn’t that strong, but I was hoping for something a bit stronger with this. I mean there is one really good song on here, but the majority of the album included these old school ballads that started to all blend into one. I wish there was a bit more variety, specifically more upbeat tunes as my main problem was that the music was really copy and paste for a lot of the songs. Also, the production of the songs was also off. There was some potential, but that mostly laid in Coco being such an expression vocalist.

C

[Album] Coco Lee – Love From Now On

Coco Lee was discovered on a singing show in the early 90’s and she eventually went on to release quite a few albums. Her peak was definitely in the late 90’s and she had a slew of huge hits that are still well-known today. She is also the only person of Chinese ethnicity to perform at the Oscars. Love From Now On was her debut album

lovefromnowon
Released: June, 1994
1. I’m Still Your Lover (我依然是你的情人)
2. To Get Here (就到這里)
3. Cannot Give You Gentleness (不能給你溫柔)
4. Weekend in Taipei (周末的台北)
5. Difficult to Part, Difficult to Leave (難分難離)
6. Previous Life (前世今生)
7. Rose Garden (玫瑰園)
8. Love From Now On (愛就要趁現在)
9. Missing Your Thinking, Your Feeling (想你的心想你的情)
10. Tonight (今晚)

I’m Still Your Lover opens the album with a gorgeous piano ballad. The production is very 1990’s, which I actually like due to the overuse of synths as a foundation. The best part of the song though is that Coco is such a adept singer. She knows how to control her voice really well. This goes over really well with the gorgeous melody. Definitely a solid starter, especially when things start to escalate during the second half.

To Get Here is completely different from what I would think. We get this really old dance tune with some New Jack Swing to it. I’m not a big fan of the verses as they are a bit boring, but I do like the energy in the chorus where things step it up with some cool brass instruments brought in. It’s not the most catchy, but it’s a fun listen.

Cannot Give You Gentleness brings us back to the nostalgic ballad sound. I do love the electric guitars that tend to pop up in 90’s C-Pop ballads. However, this song is definitely much weaker than the first. I don’t think the melody is as charming or as catchy. I do like that Coco tries to belt it out a bit at the end with the choir singing in the back, but the melody just isn’t as strong.

Weekend in Taipei is not good at all. I do like it has a stronger reggae sound (with some added saxophone), but it’s just really horribly done. First, Coco starts by trying to speak in a Jamaican accent. Second, the melody isn’t very catchy and I do not like how Coco sings. No.

Difficult to Part, Difficult to Leave thankfully brings us back to what Coco does best, ballads. This time, we are given a nice duet with…I’m not sure who, but it is a male singer. Both of their voices compliment each other, but I’m not a huge fan of the song. The music is nice, but the melody doesn’t really capture my attention as well as I would hope. A bit boring.

Previous Life is another ballad. The music is pretty much the same as the other ballads on the album, with its focus on the keyboard. Although this time, we have a more strings. I think this one is probably the strongest since the first song. The melody is much better and the music has a bit more variety to it.

The third ballad in a row, Rose Garden is the definitely one of the strongest songs. I really like how the verses are quite dark and while the chorus isn’t as catchy as I would like, I love the more traditional spin on the music. When the strings sweep in, it really steps the song up to another level. Really beautiful. Finally, we are given an upbeat song.

The title track, Love From Now On, is probably the catchier song on the album. The music is great with its oldschool dance beat and touches of brass. The best part is that the melody is just really catchy. That and the fact that Coco does a bit of rapping as well, which adds a fun touch. Great song!

Missing Your Thinking, Your Feeling is of course a ballad. The music is very similar to the other ballads on the album. It’s a decent song and the melody is quite nice, although I do think it sort of blends in to the other songs at this point.

Tonight ends the album on a ballad, but this time it’s a gentle acoustic one. Coco really sounds great here, although she does sound a bit shrill at the end. The song is really relaxing and I was pleasantly surprised with it. The melody is quite nice too.


Overall: This was a decent debut album for Coco. There were plenty of ballads that showcased her voice and there were also some fun (and one horrible) upbeat tune. However, I wish there was more variation with the ballads. After a while, quite a few of them just sounded the same, but none were able to live up to the melody of the first song.

C+