Loud release: Continue...Ideal Life

Continue...Ideal Life by Lala Hsu

I haven't had the chance to hear Lala Hsu sing in a live setting, but after listening to Continue...Ideal Life, a collection of recordings from her sold-out concert earlier this year in Taipei, I believe the experience would be an aural treat.

In the looks-obsessed, idol-worshipping world of Mandopop, this 28-year-old Taiwanese singer-songwriter is an anomaly.

Despite being diminutive - she's just 1.56m - and slightly pudgy, Hsu doesn't let her appearance hold her back from building a growing fanbase.

Her lyrical, heartfelt originals, such as Riding A White Horse, Not Difficult, and Lonely Oasis, sound better live.

Hsu's delivery is not overly technical; she focuses more on conveying emotions rather than hitting every note perfectly.

She also pays tribute to fellow female musicians Tanya Chua and Cheer Chen, covering their biggest hits like Chua's introspective number Night Blindness and Chen's folksy ditty The Meaning of Travel.

Format: CD, digital download