ANGEL VS DEVIL
On her last album Sing It Out Of Love (2011), home-grown singersongwriter Tanya Chua dealt with the death of her father in 2011 from the side effects of medication for Parkinson's disease.
This follow-up to that Golden Melody Awardwinning work finds her in a conflicted place emotionally - and that is good news for the record.
The album's title suggest two extremes. On the one hand, there are the ballads with their bruised vulnerability.
On the other hand, some of the numbers adopt a more cavalier, devil-may-care attitude.
Love Song To Myself seems defiant, but breaks down in the swirling chorus: "In this calm, blue quandary/I'm shouting and crying hysterically".
Meanwhile, A Hundred Thousand Teardrops effectively uses hyperbole: "We accumulate a hundred thousand teardrops in our lifetime/Thought that if I finished crying it all, I could exchange bitterness for a good ending."
No surprise that the lyrics are by Chua's frequent collaborator Xiaohan, who has professed that she loves to cry.
But the album is not just drenched in tears. On the laidback Pheromones, she teases, "Want to commit a crime for me?" while Easy Come Easy Go with rapper MC HotDog has a more relaxed attitude towards love.
The rock-flavoured title track marries contrasting feelings and finds her confessing: "Afraid of losing love and afraid of being loved."
There is no need for such hesitation here. With a rich range of musical styles from Chua and engaging lyric contributions from the likes of sodagreen's Wu Ching-feng, Taiwan's David Ke and Chua herself, Angel Vs Devil is easy to embrace.
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