Faye Wong [Fable] (Seventeenth Album)

February 12, 2009

The Cambrian Era
New Flatmate
Chanel
Asura
Flowers of Paradise
If You Were False
I Don’t Love Those Who Don’t Love Me
You Like It, I Love It
Farewell Firefly
Book of Laughter & Forgetting
Firefly
Love Letter To Myself

The album starts off with the mellow The Cambrian Era. This is a really nice song, but its one of those songs that you won’t listen to often. I love how slow an atmospheric the arrangement is, it definitely gives you this old almost ancient feeling and reflects the title to a T. Faye’s vocals are great, as usual, she brought a lot of emotion and feeling to this track even though she wasn’t really doing much, her precise vocals just absorb you. A rather nice start to the album.

The next track on the album is New Flatmate. I don’t really know how to describe this song, its not bad, but its not good either. The arrangement has a bit of synth in it and it just sounds like that buzzing noise you hear when you hear nothing at all. I didn’t really like it. Faye’s vocals are fine, but they go completely over your head. I mean I listened to this song twice and retained nothing, its like you hear a whole bunch of noise, but you can make out Faye singing, but its like you don’t really care. The song ends and you can’t remember it at all.

The next track on the album is the rather mystic Chanel. This isn’t normally a song I would go for, but I find it strangely appealing. The arrangement is rather alien, but it creates such a mood that in its own way keeps you very much so absorbed. Faye’s vocals matched and were as usual, good.

The next track slows things down a bit with Asura. This can be a rather boring song, I became aware of that sooner rather than later. However, Faye’s gorgeous and somewhat haunting vocal performance backed up by the mysterious sounding and slow churning arrangement certainly made up for it. The breathless vocals were an added bonus.

The next track on the album is Flowers of Paradise. This is a rather interesting song and I’m not sure if I like it or not, but I guess I like it more than I dislike it. The arrangement sounds so desolate, but it certainly absorbs you. Faye’s vocals carry that slow and sure quality that she’s been singing with so far and it certainly compliments the song and fits the mood and atmosphere of it. Its a hate it or love it track, really.

The next track on the album is the appealingly bland If You Were False. I listened to this song twice and I still don’t get it, but I still find that I like it. The arrangement was pretty quiet or it could be because it doesn’t really stand-out at all, so it just sounds like Faye is singing over nothing. Faye’s vocals were nice for the slow and low tones she used. I mean she doesn’t really do anything, but I guess that was the intention. This song is not one I would normally go for, because its a bit boring and goes completely over my head, but I guess this is one of those cases where I just do. The flow is nice and calm as well.

The next track on the album is the down-tempo I Don’t Love Those Who Don’t Love Me. Ah, this song goes right through me, but its nice. The arrangement is quiet and soothing and Faye gives a good, though rather sorrowful vocal performance. It doesn’t stand-out at all, but the flow is one I like and of course its Faye singing it.

The next track on the album lifts the pace a tad with You Like It, I Love It. Oh, Faye why are you so good at making me like songs I wouldn’t normally like? This song doesn’t really do much of anything and the arrangement just like in the previous track is slow and soothing and flows right through me. Faye’s vocals are lovely and I like her tone changes towards the end. This was all right.

The next track on the album is the sci-fi esque Farewell Firefly. I’ve never really liked this song by Faye, it always came across as just too dark and so unlike her. I however find myself oddly drawn to the dark and post-apocalyptic atmosphere of this track and Fayes dragged out, though good vocal performance. I always think this song is going to be sad, because of the title, but it comes across as very bittersweet.

The next track on the album is Book of Laughter & Forgetting. This song is sung in Mandarin and what a complicated language, I couldn’t sing a long at all, which was a bit of a let down. The piano arrangement is gorgeous, but terribly sad as are Faye’s wonderful vocals. Also, I forgot to note that Farewell Firefly is sung in Mandarin as well.

The second to last track on the album is Firefly. This is the Cantonese version of Farewell Firefly and I must say I like this a lot more.

The last track on the album is Love Letter To Myself. Ah, I love this song. Faye has a lot of songs, but out of the hundreds of songs she has, this is my favorite one, even beating out Eyes On Me and No Regrets. This is the Cantonese version of Book of Laughter & Forgetting and I must say its a lot better, because it may not be as slow arrangement wise, but it is a lot more emotionally felt. This is such a great and rather depressing song, but a good song to the close the album on. It definitely leaves you in a ponderous mood.

-GRADE: A
Rating: *** stars

Faye Wong’s seventeenth album Fable is a really good album. What I like the most about this album is the variety, even though the transition from songs like Cambrian Era to Love Letter From My Heart is pretty jarring. The arrangements are interesting and flexible and Faye’s vocals are just some of her best. Fable there’s not much to say about this album but the obvious, its good. The only thing I really didn’t like about this album was the the Mandarin versions of Farewell Firefly and Book of Laughter & Forgetting, because though they were good, they seemed so filler-like, especially since their Cantonese counterparts sounded better.

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