RE:WORKZ (CD + DVD)
For those who love Hong Kong singer Sandy Lam's voice, Re:Workz is a treat you will not want to miss.
It is also her first mostly Cantonese album since 2005's S/L.
While the material is familiar, it is not merely a slapdash effort at warming over cold dishes.
It is clear that a lot of care and thought has gone into remaking her past works. Her clear and heart-warming pipes are front and centre here with some choice instrumentation.
Opening track Naked Secret, from Sandy '94 (1994), is a revelation. Stripped of its synth arrangements, the song gets a new lease of life and Lam has never sounded as tender as she does here.
But with the close-miking process, she ends up sounding a little too breathy on some tracks, such as Breaking Dawn, composed by Dick Lee.
The lone new number here is Avery Jane, a mid-tempo slice of lightly groovy pop about growing older and wiser.
She croons: "Can't withstand being buffeted by wind and rain, who discovers/The light after the clouds/Getting a little hurt will toughen you up."
The accompanying DVD comes with black-and-white music videos for Avery Jane as well as Naked Secret, and also gives an insight into the work process.
Video clips show a nurturing and relaxed environment as Lam works with musicians such as her music producer boyfriend Jun Kung and blind pianist Jezrael Lucero.
The classy results speak for themselves.
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