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Chang Tou Liang, Boon Chan
Saturday, Jun 21, 2014

Showbiz

Short spins: Asian pop

The Straits Times | Chang Tou Liang, Boon Chan | Saturday, Jun 21, 2014

Malaysian singer Freya Lim.

TIME DOESN'T HEAL

Freya Lim

Rock Records

**½

SPEAKING IN TONGUES

Yoga Lin

HIM International Music

***

It seems like Malaysian singer Freya Lim is trying to hold on to time.

She is still attempting to recapture the glory of her 2010 comeback album, Holding Back The Tears, which featured tracks for Taiwanese television series The Fierce Wife.

Similarly, the title track here is the ending theme song from another drama, Fabulous 30, while Ming Ming Ai Ni (Hidden Love) is from In A Good Way.

But while Tears was a beautifully cohesive record, Time is only intermittently interesting.

Apart from the two drama theme song ballads, the other track that leaves an impression is Yan Yu (Romance). The mood here is a little sexy and a little regretful: "Loving is like a charged encounter, it grows old with memory/If you discover soundless lightning, it must be someone sighing."

Unfortunately, too many tracks fall into a bland, mid-tempo morass. Rather than trying to attract attention with oversized record-sleeve packaging, why couldn't the album do it with solid material?

Time to try something new.

That is what Taiwanese singer Yoga Lin does on his EP, for which he composed the music and wrote the lyrics for the two tracks. Speaking In Tongues is also the name of his recently concluded world tour before he heads off for his compulsory military duty later this year.

The collaboration with indie band Elephant Gym is a light rock number which finds Lin contemplating departure: "I'm so close to an exit, no reason/ Don't let me stay, don't secretly hold on to me anymore."

The other song, Elephant Slide, is a sweet tribute to his mother. It seemed like an odd choice to rope in Bobby Chen Sheng with his gruff voice, but it is unexpected enough to just about work.

An intriguing offering to mull over while Lin marches off stage - at least, for a while.

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