I knew this was released last week, but, since no one has posted a review for this CD (shameful), I will try my best... :)
Bottom Line: If you remotely like Alan Tam, then, you should not hestitate to pick up this CD "A Real Man" (real bad translation, please forgive me). I think it is one of his better CD, definitely way better than his last one "Peace". In fact, I think it is as good as "Refreshing Waves" (which, IMO, is one of his best CDs).
Okay, here is a detail description, review of each song. Please keep in mind that I am a *huge* Alan Tam fan, so, it is a bit biased (but, I will try to be objective, okay?).
Track 1: "Real Lies" For some reason, I really really like this song. It is not a "lum" song, but, it is not fast either. It has a very very nice beat to it, with a mini-rap by Shirley Kwan. The composition, is excellent, and the more I listen to it, the better it sounds. Great stuff.
Track 2: "Give me back real love" One of the few "lum" songs in this CD, and it is really good. It might sound a lot like his older "lum" songs, but, I am sure you all know how good his older "lum" songs are, so, this one is really really melodious. The singing is practically flawless, and convey the meaning the song to a "T".
Track 3: "Dazzle Flagrance" Ouch, my translation is really terrible, so bear with me. I didn't know what to think of this song when I first heard it. I liked it the first time, didn't like it the second time, and gradually liked it the 3rd, 4th... times... It is light, has a nice beat (but not as good as track 1), has some nice sax piece and Alan sung the song like he was drunk (hence the "dazzle" part, so, it fits the song well). I think this song will appeal to hard core Alan fans, but, not to cursory listeners... Oh yeah, Alan also did a little rap in this one, but, it didn't sound like him anyway.
Track 4: "Is You Is You" Finally, a song that I translated perfectly! :) The other "lum" song on this CD. I liked it better than track 2 because the lyrics is actually meaningful. One of his better "lum" songs, I almost like it better than "Fave Love" from Refreshing Waves... The singing is remarkable as well.
Track 5: "Can't Forget, Can't Stop, Can't run Away" One word, weird. The opening is weird, the singing is a bit laid back (I guess it is the mood or something). I didn't like it at first, but, it surprisingly grew on me because after about 45 seconds, the song sounds much better (I didn't like the opening at all).
Track 6: "Laughingly Looking at a Life" The title, the song, everything about this reminds me of the title song in his "Laughing looking at Life" CD back in 1993 (which wasn't a good song at all, but you might disagree). I guess if you like a lot of guitar in his song (like his previous album "Peace"), you might like this. It is okay at best. Didn't like his technique as well. Definitely one of his weaker songs on this song, but, it is tolerable...
Track 7: "Love within Love Movie (story) within movie (story)" Another "lum" song, it is not as good as the other two, but, the music is *awesome*. It reminds me of the excellent movie sound track from the movie "Somewhere in time" (starring Christopher Reeves). The composition and everything is great, but, I wish it is just music though... The lyrics kinda get in the way... :) Don't get me wrong, his singing is superb here as well...
Track 8: Born Free, heh heh, no translation necessary. This song is sung with a Japanese, but, I don't know his English name. Anyway, it is a nicely tempoed fast song. I didn't really like it, but, it isn't bad or anything, just not what I expect from Alan. It did remind me of his very very old disco hit "Love you till crazy" (Oi dao nei fa cong), of course, his singing is much improved from that *old* song...
Track 9: "Big Talk Street" This is another weird one. It is a very very light song, I like the beat and tempo, but, I suspect that not a lot of people will like this. Some of the lyrics is stupid, but, at least it is not another love song...
Track 10: Can't really translate this one, but, it is another song that reflects the deeper meaning of life. I guess Alan is getting old, so, he sings more "life" songs than "love" songs! :) It is yet another light song, and I like it more than track 9, and the lyrics are not as stupid. I really like his interpretation of this song for some reason, maybe it struck a nerve or something. You might not like it at first, but, I will guarantee that it will grow on you.
Well, overall, I will give this a CD a 8.5/9 out of 10. I think track 1, 2, 4, 7 are automatic wynners, and track 3, 5, 6, 8, 10 will definitely grow on you if you give it some time. In short, there is no song that is unbearable and all of them are quite melodious. I hope you enjoy this review and all comments, suggestions, discussions are welcomed (all flames ignored).