HIM International Music
After the invigorating pop-rock of his last album, Wake Up (2012), American-born Taiwan-based singer Anthony Neely's new album feels less vital.
Even the title, Friends, seems a little bland.
Good thing his lightly raspy voice is still engaging on tracks such as opener Everything Is Love.
I am not too enamoured of the repetitive chorus though: "It's all because of love, that's love/Can't let go, except for love, it's still love/If you don't love, are not loved/This little existence won't exist."
Better yet is Faithball, the theme song of the 2013 Taiwanese baseball movie of the same name starring Neely.
A direct translation of the Chinese title would be The Weight Of Sweat and the song makes strong use of sports imagery.
Over a catchy riff, Neely sings: "But my sweat, has weight, burnt into tomorrow's sunlight/ Everytime I fall, I get closer to the earth of dreams, take a bow and raise the bat again."
The slower songs do not leave as strong an impression. Here's hoping he hits a homerun the next time out.
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