[Album] Cyndi Wang; Cyndi Loves You

Cyndi Loves You is the second album released by Cyndi Wang. This was another successful album by the rising star and contains some of her most well-known upbeat pop tunes.

cyndilovesyou
Released: March 26, 2004
1. Love You (愛你)
2. Moonlight (月光)
3. See You Tomorrow (明天見)
4. Rhythm of Love (戀愛節奏)
5. Sugar Jar (糖罐子)
6. Love Set (愛的套餐)
7. First Person I Loved (第一次愛的人)
8. Hold You and Cry (抱著妳哭)
9. Kindred Spirit (心心相印)
10. Feather (羽毛)

Love You is a cover of a song by Korean girl group, Papaya. It’s a cute tune with some reggae elements to it. The original (and other covers) is already great, so this song is a solid starter. It’s one of her biggest hits and it shows. It’s catchy, simple and works really well with Cyndi’s sweet voice. It’s the type of song that is easy to sing along to. Moonlight is another cover, but this time of a song by the Village Singers (later covered by Shimatani Hitomi). I quite like Shimatani’s cover, so this is another nice version although it replaces the latin sound for something more laid back. It starts off with a gentle acoustic vibe and Cyndi sounds great here. As the song goes on, it gains some other instruments that give a fuller sound, but it still retains that more traditional style to it. It’s a really charming tune. See You Tomorrow is the album’s first ballad and it’s a sadder one. I love how the song starts with the piano and rain and sets a nice atmosphere. It sort of builds up from there before bringing in the strings for the chorus. It’s not the catchiest melody for a ballad from her, but it does get the job done and it works nicely with the music. Cyndi also gives a pretty decent vocal performance and one I wasn’t expecting from her. Rhythm of Love is pretty cool with its R&B elements. It does sound like something from 2000 and not 2004, but there are some fun parts to it like the verses. I don’t think Cyndi’s sweet voice really works here though and it lacks a bit of impact. It’s a decent song and the chorus is catchy, just not as strong as the first three tracks. Sugar Jar is a midtempo pop/R&B and I think this works much better with Cyndi’s voice. Unfortunately, at this point, this is the most boring song on the album. It isn’t bad, but the melody just isn’t as memorable and it sort of lulls about. I think it would have been better if there was a more drastic transition into the chorus. Love Set opens with some super odd background vocals, but soon transitions into a fun and bright pop tune. This is a cover of a Korean song by Hyun Zoo, but I’m not that familiar with the original, however this tune definitely has qualities of an early 00’s K-Pop song. It is catchy, although it does come off a bit more outdated than some of the other songs. First Person I Loved is a cover of M2M’s “The Day You Went Away”, which is originally a great pop tune. Cyndi does this song justice although there are times where her singing is a bit off for the song’s atmosphere. It’s a catchy ballad and has a stunning melody that works beautifully with its melancholic atmosphere. I think my only major problem is the editing, which makes things have a bit of a disconnect between the vocals and music. Back to the Mandopop ballad sound, Hold You and Cry just starts off very boring. The verses have nothing particularly interesting and I’m lulled to sleep. The chorus is a bit better as the melody has some power to it, but the overall delivery is on the dull side. It’s so weird because I usually like songs like this, but verses are actually a negative aspect to the song. Kindred Spirit starts off in a way that makes it sound like its setting up for something and it is as around a minute in, a dance beat comes stumbling in. I’m not quite sure if I like this song though. I was expecting something a little more exciting as the beat is quite light and the delivery is a little flat. The only thing keeping the song afloat is the melody and even doesn’t have anything helping to push it forward. Feather is light R&B/pop ballad, but it does what the last ballad did, which was use a boring verse to set up a slightly more interesting chorus. It just makes the song feel so slow and harder to get through. The chorus also lacks a bit of a strong melody as it sounds more like Cyndi is fitting in as many words as she can into it. Just meh.

Overall: I wasn’t really expecting a lot from this album and its delivery was actually a bit lacking. There were very few songs that stood out to me. Sure, there were a few decent tunes and one tune I would revisit, but the rest were forgettable and made little impact. They weren’t terrible to say the least, just dull and did little to enhance the album’s sound. I think I actually preferred her debut album, which had higher highs.

B-

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[Album] Cyndi Wang – Begin…

Cyndi debuted in 2003 and exploded onto the scene. While she had some experience from local dramas, her singing career was backed by the Taiwan division of Japanese label, avex. Her career soon took off and her acting also became popular. Despite constant comparisons to Jolin Tsai at the start of her career, Cyndi soon crafted her own image based around bubblegum pop. Begin… is her debut album.

begin
Released: February 24, 2003
1. Tears of Cinderella (灰姑娘的眼淚)
2. Beauty
3. When You (當你)
4. On My Way
5. I Thought (我以為)
6. Baby Baby Tell Me
7. Non-Soulmate (非soul-mate)
8. As Time Goes By
9. This… (這…)
10. Behind the Happiness (幸福背後)

While the title sounds like a ballad and the opening comes off as one, Tears of Cinderella is a dark dance/pop tune. The song’s music focuses a lot on weird synths combined with a haunting strings background. It’s actually a really interesting combination and in this case, it works surprisingly well. While the song has become a bit outdated, it’s just a catchy tune. The chorus is really fast-paced and has a nice beat to it, while the verses help to bring a bit of contrast with their calmer sound. A good starter and still one of my favourite Cyndi songs. Beauty does a good job of continuing this upbeat sound. This time, we have something a little more along the lines of hip-hop. The beat is really pounding and this is the type of beat I’m not quite fond of, especially when placed on the forefront. I quite enjoy the verses because they work well with the music, but it feels like the beat just does not match the more melodic chorus. Not bad, but not great. When You is the first ballad of the album and it’s pretty much what you would expect a 00’s C-Pop ballad would sound like. The gentle guitar and piano tied with the slight R&B beat is a pretty common occurrence at this time (and still happens today). Luckily, I love my generic Mandopop ballads and what this song does well is the melody. The verses are decent, but largely forgettable. It’s the chorus that shines with that bounciness as it gives this part a bit more energy. Not one of the best ones I’ve heard, but it’s decent. On My Way is a cover of a Korean ballad (by J). However, J is a much more interesting vocalist than Cyndi, which really shows when Cyndi tries to pull this song off. The music is very dramatic with its heavy guitar and percussion. While Cyndi is fine during the verses, she just gets a bit lost in the chorus. Her voice is too sweet for how passionate the music is and she just doesn’t give the right kind of emotion here. It’s a good thing the song itself is so nice. I Thought brings us back to the ballad route. It starts off pretty gentle with the keyboard mixed with touches of sparkling synths. The chorus brings us a light R&B beat and adds a little power to the song. While the melody is nice, the overall song is a bit of a snoozefest. Things do get a bit more interesting around the end, but the whole delivery is flat and there really is nothing that stands out about this one. Baby Baby Tell Me is a cover of an Uhm Jung Hwa song. It’s quite lighthearted and has a nice beat to it. However, there is just something lacking about everything. The background vocals in the chorus mixed with the melody just come off a bit lacking. I think some of it is partly because Cyndi’s voice just isn’t that strong and she doesn’t elevate the song very much. Another weak song. Non-soulmate is much more interesting. Here, we get back to the more upbeat dance style. What I enjoy most is that this song has a little bit more edge to it. The verses are rather sensual and work well to build up to that strong chorus. Cyndi’s voice actually sounds much better here and she works that funky melody really well. This is just a very catchy song. As Time Goes By is another cover of a Korean song, this time being Tasha (Yoon Mirae). It’s your standard laid back R&B tune that was popular in Korean in the early 00’s. The song itself isn’t bad, but it’s definitely the type of song that is largely dependent on the singer. Unfortunately, in this case Cyndi just doesn’t have the chops to really let it reach a higher level. Her runs are quite sloppy and her voice just doesn’t have the technique to properly hit those high notes, so everything comes off a bit weak. Once again saved by a good song. This… is the fourth Korean cover. This time, she covers Dana’s Diamond. I absolutely adore the original, so I was pleasantly surprised with this. Luckily, Cyndi’s voice works much better in this style. The song itself is an upbeat pop tune that is rather similar to the first track. It’s fast-paced and hides a lot of Cyndi’s vocal weaknesses, while helping to showcase her better parts such as her lower register. It’s not as strong as the original, but it’s a solid tune. Behind the Happiness ends things on a gentler note. Here we have a calming acoustic ballad. This song works so nicely with Cyndi’s voice. She isn’t struggling to hit the high notes and her sweet voice matches the music perfectly. While it does lose a bit of steam as the song progresses, I do like that it changes things up a bit on the ballad routee. Definitely one of the stronger songs and a good ending.

Overall: I wasn’t terribly impressed with this album. I was hoping for a few more stand out tunes, but there were really only two or three. In all honesty though, this is pretty much the level I expected as this is her debut album. There were a few solid tunes, but there were also a few duds. A large part of the album was made up of covers, which I found odd because quite a few of them just didn’t work with Cyndi’s voice and just seemed like they were thrown in for the sake of having some stronger songs.

B