Saturday, 15 January 2011

Hong Kong Music: Best of 2010

Note: I know it was a long wait but I've finally finished on my Best of 2011. You can find it here

The 2012 post is finished! Find it here

I just wanted to give my opinion on the best of Cantopop after seeing all four music award results. It's easier to do these reviews for the Hong Kong music industry as it's relatively small. This year wasn't the best of years for the Hong Kong industry with TVB's continued feud with HKRIA. The Big 4 Artistes (now Big 5) were banned from appearing on TVB, harming quite a few middling artistes and newcomers. There also has been no breakout song, whilst Eason Chan continues to dominate these sorts of charts could we actually say in 5 years time we'd remember 陀飛輪? It was also a year of EPs, I don't know what that means for the Hong Kong industry but it definitely doesn't look good.

Anyway onto my awards ceremony. Unlike Metro I won't "豬肉" (share out the (140) awards) to all the artistes but I do believe in celebrating talent so for my Top 20 songs I have not double featured any artiste. There are 7 categories, Best MV, Best Artiste Under 30 (80最佳歌手), Best Newcomer, Best Group, Best Female, Best Male and Best Song. There is no album award because it would take too long for me to review every album, I've only focused on plugged songs for my awards. So without further ado let my awards begin!

Oh and also I'll be using youtube videos on this blog for the first time!

Starting off with...


I have never been a huge fan of MV's but as I was reviewing a lot of songs on youtube I wanted to celebrate the MV's that looked interesting. Not all MVs listed here are masterpieces but are only judged by personal preference.

10th. Jason Chan - 別怕失去

Something about this song just fits well with the MV. Whilst the acting isn't great the fighting is actually quite fun to watch in slow motion and reverse! Watching Jason get slapped is quite funny.

9th. Edmond Leung - 中鋒

To be honest this MV is quite bad, so why is it featured here? Because it has a lot of cameo appearances which I love! It's so Hong Kong! 

8th. Twins - 成長

Not the best MV by any means but it does cap the career of Twins, a group which made their impact on the HK music scene. We may have different opinions on this group but they definitely supplied us with entertainment for the years they reigned. The song may be a bit boring but it sounds like a good ending to their career as a group.

7th. Ella Koon - 珊瑚島

Well just call me a sucker for nice artwork, I love the pretty drawings, they also fit with the theme of the song quite well actually.

6th. Hins Cheung - Deadline

It's a bit different to what I'd expect from Hong Kong and Hins Cheung. Ok I may be a bit biased on this one, I just wanted to feature this song because it's a change from the normal Hins Cheung (and for some reason I love the headshots). Ps. and for Hong Kong standards it's nearly an orgy!

5th. Kelvin Kwan - 一年

Whilst slightly confusing I love the cinematic nuances to this MV, I think it works well with the song. If you don't follow the cantopop scene Kelvin had a year to forget last year as he was involved in a drugs scandal. This MV almost looks like a self reflection. The song is also appropriately titled "One Year"

4th. Eason Chan - 一絲不掛

Whilst Eason is jumping on the bandwagon with the sand painting it is definitely a good idea. Eason's MVs always seem to be at the forefront of the HK music scene.

3rd. Rubberband - SimpleLoveSong

Sucker for hazy, slightly grey-scale tones and nice cinematography, it works really well with the melodic nature of the song and I love the randomness of the guy using a microphone to listen to nature.

2nd. Eason Chan - 陀飛輪

Another Eason MV! Whilst a bit random you can't deny it's one of the most interesting MV's of Hong Kong in 2010. Love the cinematography.

1st. Juno Mak - 超生培慾

At first view I was freaked out, but I then grew to like it. It was the only MV that kept me interested, the only MV to make me go woah, the only MV that I would be interested in without the music. It was so freaky, especially with that song because they are so different. I think watching the MV would be better than me trying to explain it.


I used after 80 as it's quite a common expression in Hong Kong now. I just wanted to celebrate these newer generation artistes who can climb higher in their careers. I have excluded Hins Cheung and Khalil Fong because they are quite successful already and of course Joey Yung, she's the queen of cantopop so she doesn't need to climb higher, or does she?

There are undoubtedly more artistes with talent under this category but for this year these 10 are the ones I could think of so for now this will be my list, in no particular order...

Aarif Lee

Just over a year after releasing his debut album Aarif has already found success in the entertainment industry winning Best Newcomer at Metro and Chik Chak awards as well as being awarded the Best Selling Male Newcomer title by IFPI. He has also excelled in the film scene winning the Hong Kong Film Awards Best new Performer title. Leon Lai has definitely found his new protégé.

Bianca Wu

Bianca Wu, one of the few Hong Kong artistes who dares step away from the traditional pop/r'n'b scene, is blessed with a beautiful voice and her soulful renditions always manage to impress. At 30 years old she is at the end of the new generation but surely she should be considered for recognition.

G.E.M. Tang

Whilst I find G.E.M. slightly overrated by some for her ability I think she is a talented singer in the Cantopop industry who has a shining career ahead of her. It will be interesting to see how her career develops as talent hasn't always translated to success.

Eunix Lee

Eunix has the power in her voice but has rarely found the right song to properly enhance it. What Eunix needs to do now is to find a breakout song and get a more mainstream image as she looks as if she's moving along an alternative route though her songs are still quite pop/rock.

Hinson Chou

Hinson is probably the least famous on my list. This guy has talent, having studied at the Musician's Institute Los Angeles, but he doesn't have enough support. He still has a way to go but I believe Hinson is capable of producing great songs whether he is successful or not.

Janice Vidal

I believe Janice has a lot of talent but she doesn't know how to enhance it. For the last couple of years she has not found a compatible song nor has Amusic developed her career in the right direction as she continues to sing samey songs in the same way. Janice needs to mix it up a bit and focus on more attention grabbing songs. I'd pin her last success as 離家出走 in 2006 though saying that if she released that song now I think it wouldn't revive her career, she needs to go right back to her debut year with songs like 大哥. It's not great for an artiste of 6 years if I'm still talking about her debut days. 

Jason Chan

Jason is incredibly talented and his voice works perfectly for the slow love songs. For a very long time I earmarked him as the next big thing but the past year he seems to have slowed down, I don't know what happened but he seems to have faded slightly, lets hope 2011 will see a return from Jason Chan.

Kelvin Kwan

Kelvin's career was gradually heading for the bright lights but a shock turn of events meant that Kelvin had to return to square one. Kelvin is indeed talented so lets forget the past and just admire his ability.

Sherman Chung

Sherman is one of those singers that can work with both fast, dance beats and slow ballads, that is what makes her so lovable for me. Her deeper range allows her to stand out from other female singers. 2009 was her breakout year, her star seems to have dimmed in 2010 but hopefully she'll return in 2011.

Vincy Chan

Vincy is another Janice, I fear I keep on reminiscing about her debut days and how I replayed 感應 over and over again. She nearly made No.1 on all four charts, only reaching No.2 on CRHK with 感應, now that's quite amazing for a debut song, she has only managed to beat that once in her career. I feel that Vincy needs to start focusing, whilst her ability is evident she hasn't found the right song to take her career to the next step. The entertainment industry is a tough one and it's evident that Vincy is starting to bore the music charts as she's getting less and less recognition from the charts.


This year wasn't known for its newcomers but I actually think there are a good selection out there if you go look for them. There are a lot of females this year and a higher proportion of groups for some reason.

Top 10

Sugar Club

Sugar Club are a nice addition to the Hong Kong music scene, whilst I think they have the talent and styling to work for a long time in the industry at the moment their debut songs are a bit too cutesy for me, I would like to hear a larger range of music before I jump on the bandwagon.

Recommended Song(s): 我最愛糖

Jinny Ng

Jinny seems to have a decent voice but her songs are a bit too bland at the moment. 錯過了 tries to do something interesting but it sounds a bit forced at times, I think Jinny has potential but she needs to capture it quick.

Recommended Song(s): If you must try 錯過了

Benji and Lesley

This brother and sister act are releasing music without financial backing! That must show dedication. I'm worried about their longevity, I don't think they are going to continue with this group for too long but they have produced two nice tunes.

Recommended Song(s): 寧願得不到你, Showtime

June Tang

June was actually in a group before so I don't know whether I should have listed her here but I decided that she hasn't really done much with her group nor has she been in the industry for that long and if she's fine for Metro she's fine for me! Her music has potential but both of her plugs feel like they're missing something, they sound incomplete.

Recommended Song(s): Love Me Hate Me, 盲點

Erika Li

Erika has a more distinct sound compared to June and Jinny but she needs to define her music, at the moment I'm not sure which direction her music is heading in but her voice sounds interesting enough to carry her songs for her debut.

Recommended Song(s): 避不開

Top 5

Supper Moment

Supper Moment moves up so high because I think they do have talent as a band and I love 最後晚餐. However the leads voice waivers sometimes and is probably not as strong as Mr.'s Alan or Rubberband's "No.6" but I think this band can develop nicely if given the support.

Recommended Song(s): 最後晚餐

Phil Lam

I like Phil's swooning voice which carries his music very well but I think his Achilles heel may be his focus on Mandarin tracks. He has the ability to be successful but whether he'll make it is another story. I'm not sure if Sony Hong Kong have the ability to make him a star in Hong Kong.

Recommended Song(s): 寫詩

C Allstar
C Allstar are the breakout group I think this year. I don't really know what makes them work so well as a group but I think their wide ranging music has helped them reach a wider audience. I think they encompass the "fun" group dynamic and have really been helped by the rise of Rubberband and Mr. as groups/bands have seen a huge growth recently.

Recommended Song(s): 天梯, 全情關注

Khloe Chu

I think Khloe has found a good market for her music, a slightly grittier pop/rock sound which at the moment is still in its infancy in the mainstream cantopop scene. I originally wasn't a fan of Khloe but after listening to her tracks again I began to like her music and her voice, she definitely has her own sound.

Recommended Song(s): 愛的一種說法, 投影

Shiga Lin

Yes she may be a model but I don't like her because of her looks! I actually find her music very radio friendly and nice to listen to. I'm not sure how she will develop from her debut as she'll need to reinvent herself, I think, to reach a wider audience but at the moment Shiga is my favourite newcomer of 2010.

Recommended Song(s): 愛太好看, 灰伯爵的忌廉遐想, I Don't Wanna Be Lonely

I bet most cantopop fans will have noticed a hot contender missing from my list! That is Amusic's newcomer JW. Whilst JW has talent I don't like the direction she is being shoved into. Her music doesn't distinguish her as a relevant artiste especially as she is using the similarities of her voice to Janice's to make a name for herself. As Miss Chan Chan said "learn from them and you'll survive, be like them and you'll die" (watch The Voice and you'll know who I'm talking about). I hope JW and Leon Lai learn from this. Here's a recommended song from JW 掛念好友. Don't bother listening to her duet with Janice because listening to two voices so similar is not only boring but weird. You listen to a duet to hear how the two voices work together despite their differences, in her duet it sounds like a mother is singing to her daughter - you can hear that Janice is a more accomplished and interesting singer.

Oh and whilst I'm at it - a recommended song by Jason Chung - 明明 -, another newcomer missing from my list .


Big Four

Four famous Hong Kong stars grouped together to make Big Four - easy! I don't imagine them continuing this group, maybe doing the odd song here and there. Big Four produced some nice songs this year, they deserve some recognition.

Recommended Song(s): 愛莫能助, Big Four


For some reason Fama clicked with me this year, I've not been a fan of them since their debut but I started liking them this year, maybe it's their lyrics.

Recommended Song(s): I Believe U Can Fly, 偉大航道


I think this year was HotCha's best year. They had a selection of decent songs, whilst HotCha are kind of being forgotten with the sudden influx of groups they still stand as the only well known girl group (I'm not counting Twins anymore as I treat them as disbanded).

Recommended Song(s): 不愛也是一種愛, 兩個人心動, 大場面


Rubberband and the group at No.1 have really cleared a path for bands to grow in Hong Kong. Bands are now the cool thing and many bands are starting to appear. I love Rubberband's sound as it's distinctly cantopop.

Recommended Song(s): SimpleLoveSong, 天連地


Mr. will probably always be my favourite Hong Kong band, I remember loving basically all the songs in their debut album. I hope Mr. come back with equally fantastic songs in 2011. Besides their collaboration with Alan Tam I have yet to find a song by them I dislike.

Recommended Song(s): 最重要, Tonight Tonignt, 黑色狂迷


Stephy Tang

I personally think it has been a great year for Stephy, I doubt she'll ever win the major awards with her music but to me this year she has produced some very catchy dance beats and a nice ballad along with that too. I hope Stephy continues along this route because before this year I had taken very little notice of her.

Recommended Song(s): No One Knows, 一眨眼, 花小姐

Denise Ho

Denise has weirdly slipped off the radar this year, she has been really quiet for some reason. I hope she goes into 2011 with a bang because she deserves it.

Recommended Song(s): 詩與胡說, 鋼鐵是怎樣煉成的

Miriam Yeung

Miriam's continues to strengthen her career in the music industry even after her marriage. She's loved by everybody and her music reflects that I think.

Recommended Song(s): 斗零踭, 我係我, 初見 (duet with Raymond Lam)

Kay Tse

Kay's year has been really impressive, returning to her best I think. Personally I found Kay to have lost some of her touch when she became super famous with 囍帖街, but when I heard 活著 I knew Kay was back. It was just distinctive of Kay, for me 2009 and part of 2008 was Kay's less successful years in terms of music.

Recommended Song(s): 活著, 藝妓回憶錄, 載我走, 雨過天陰, 脆弱

Joey Yung

The Queen continues to reign! Joey is undoubtedly the Queen of Cantopop and all that hate her just need to clean their ears out and listen to her live because she is undoubtedly the best there is in the industry at the moment. Every year Joey delivers and this year she does the same with another selection of fantastic songs.

Recommended Song(s): 信今生愛過, 破相, 空港, 綠野仙踪, 桃色冒險


Raymond Lam

I debated to myself who should fill the 5th spot in the end I went with Raymond over Kelvin Kwan, why? Because I think Raymond has given us a number of good songs this year. Though I still think he hasn't found his breakout song I definitely think Raymond deserves to be considered as a singer in his own right.

Recommended Song(s): Come 2 Me, 我們很好, 直到你不找我, 一直都在 (duet with Charlene Choi)

Leo Ku

Leo Ku bombed the charts this year with 10 songs! WHAT! I don't even know where some of those songs came from. Anyway Leo continues to deliver classic Cantopop songs and that's why he features on this list.

Recommended Song(s): 時代, 義海豪情

Khalil Fong

I've only heard one song from Khalil this year but his talent continues to amaze me. He has written many of my favourite songs this year and his own is also one of my favourites so I think placing him 3rd is utterly deserved.

Recommended Song(s): 玩樂

Hins Cheung

Hins Cheung continues to lead the pack chasing after Eason Chan's dominance of the male awards. Generally it has been Hins and Leo but Hins has outperformed the others this year I think giving us every facet of his ability this year.

Recommended Song(s): P.S. I Love You, 春秋, Deadline

Eason Chan

Whilst I don't always agree that Eason Chan is the best in the industry this year I really do think he outperformed the rest of the guys. He released three songs that could all feature in my top songs of this year and he continued to reign supreme in the charts despite the non backing from TVB. But I just wonder how long will Eason last?

Recommended Song(s): 無人之境, 一絲不掛, 陀飛輪


My favourite songs this year for some reason include songs that aren't the artiste's main hits, I guess I like more melodic rhythms and smoother sounds. I have also excluded songs by newcomers as I dedicated an individual listing for them already - some may have featured in this list but I wanted to spread some recognition to other artiste's works.

20th. Kary Ng ft. Hardpack - 絕配

Kary is becoming one of my favourite artistes, I love her music and her voice is beautiful. I love how this song grows, there are more and more layers as you listen to it.

19th. Rubberband - SimpleLoveSong

It's a very soothing song from Rubberband, I don't know if this is a compliment but you almost want to just close your eyes and go to sleep. But the thing about this song is it makes you warm inside and smile even though it gets a little repetitive.

18th. Aarif Lee - 歲月輕狂

The song is so beautiful, it's sweet and heart-wrenching. Aarif puts in a fantastic vocal to round off the whole song. You can at once guess this is a soundtrack song as it feels like it's telling a story and sounds perfect for a film, the song is weirdly cinematic.

17th. Juno Mak - 超生培慾

This song is quite catchy actually, I hope everybody stops being nasty to Juno, lets focus on his music and this year his music is very nice.

16th. Jade Kwan - 以身試愛

What makes this song stand out is its crazy chorus, how does anyone manage to make those note jumps? I've always loved Jade and it's great to see she is getting recognition from this song but I hope Jade makes it easier for herself next time because those jumps are just way too crazy.

15th. Ivana Wong - 開籠雀

This is such a fun song, Ivana manages to make this song bright and enjoyable. On first listen this song may not place amongst Ivana's best but she really delivered with this song. An interesting tune and a lovely vocal.

14th. Jason Chan - 別怕失去

I don't understand why Jason saw a dip in his career this year because this song is as good as any of his other previous hit songs. Another great love song from Jason Chan, I love the track.

13th. Leo Ku - 時代

This song is another classic sounding Cantopop track. Leo's vocals always hit the right mark, he's just the classic Cantopop guy to me and obviously this track has some very 80/90s Cantopop guitar riffs in it. I'm a little distracted by how Leo sounds like he's behind the beat sometimes but I guess that is what the song asks for.

12th. Raymond Lam and Charlene Choi - 一直都在

A great duet, I love the beat it just hits you and everything sounds very melancholy. Raymond has had a very good year this year but I still feel he needs to produce a smash hit and I think his best songs need to not be part of a TV series.

11th. Stephy Tang - 一眨眼

I like this song because it's emotional and Stephy's voice fits well with the whole feel of the song. It may be a little slow but it's a really emotional song I think.

TOP 10

10th. Kelvin Kwan - 一年

As I've mentioned before this song comes right after Kelvin Kwan's scandal. I just feel the emotion in this song, the orchestral track matches this perfectly, I almost feel a bit teary after listening to this. I also love how it climaxes and then returns right back to a quiet hum, beautiful.

9th. G.E.M. Tang - Get Over You

I love the chorus ~"I wanna get over you, tell me what I have to do...How do I get over you"~ it is definitely my favourite G.E.M. song, she really solidifies her place in the elite of the cantopop scene with this song, it's a mix of a newer cantopop sound with a more international beat.

8th. Hins Cheung - 春秋

Whilst Deadline and 茶想曲 showed off a different Hins, 春秋 is what Hins does best and what I love about Hins the most. Hins' voice is shown to its' full extent here and the result is such a big track that shouldn't have been demoted to 3rd plug. This is Hins at his best I think.

7th. Denise Ho - 鋼鐵是怎樣煉成的

This song was under the radar throughout 2010, in fact Denise was under everybody's radar but I don't understand because Denise put in another great year of music. This song is a classic Denise sound, you seem to like it more with every listen.

6th. Eason Chan - 無人之境

This song resonates with me more than Eason's two bigger plugs 一絲不掛 and 陀飛輪 because I actually think this song has the best melody out of the three, a great vocal range to listen to and is on the whole more interesting. It's also quite emotional a song.

5th. Khalil Fong - 玩樂

You just want to start moving listening to this song, love the jazzy beats. I think Hong Kong needs somebody like Khalil (even though he sings in Mandarin).

4th. Miriam Yeung - 斗零踭

OMG this song stays in my head because of that intro music! I just love it! It's so well written and fits perfectly with the song. I think Miriam's performance fits perfectly with the lyrics as well, a confident and slightly cheeky vocal.

3rd. Joey Yung - 桃色冒險

I love it, band + Joey = LOVE! lol. It's fun and still has Joey's stamp on it. Ok I'm a Joey fan, may be a bit biased but still Joey generally delivers every time. Whilst I'm on Joey I just want to say I like 破相 it's a great song and Joey provides the best live performance of this song but I chose 桃色冒險 over it because I think 破相 sounds a bit weird at times.

2nd. Mr. - 黑色狂迷

I have loved Mr. ever since their debut, 2010 was a relatively quieter year for them compared to last year but this song just stayed with me from the start till the end of the year. Everything just fits together, everything about it is dark, I'm relating back to the song name here if you don't understand, well actually it's black but describing a song as black doesn't make sense to me.

1st. Kay Tse - 脆弱

Why do I love this song so much? It's difficult to pinpoint but Kay's voice is mesmerising here, the music is soothing, the song builds to a climax nicely and the whole track just comes together nicely. It's difficult to chose a No.1 song because you start picking it apart when it is supposedly your favourite, I'm not saying this song will be my favourite in a few years or even months time but for now I love it.

And you thought I'd leave you with that! As a dedicated Joey fan I had to show you Joey's live performance of 破相! The emotion she puts into this song makes this song a definite live song rather than a CD song.


  1. Hey there! I was on Google and somehow stumbled onto ur blog! I enjoyed reading your review too. ^__^ You mentioned a lot of my faves in your review haha. ^_^

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed my post.

  3. Hi! I just found your blog today when I was trying to look for my Chinese songs. This really helped! Thanks so much for spending so much time and effort on this! (:

  4. hope you do one for 2011 soon.

  5. I would love to do one for 2011 but it's not looking too likely. I've had a lot of work this year so haven't been following the music scene as thoroughly but I'll see whether I manage to catch up this Christmas holidays.

  6. Hi guys I'm slowly trying to compile a list for 2011. I've already listened to all the plugs but it's trying to make a favourites list which is difficult. Hopefully the list will be posted by the end of this month.

  7. Yeah I would love to see you do one for 2011 songs. I don't think it's too late to do one now. Take your time though!

  8. OK I have delayed the posting of a 2011 one for a long time because of my studies but I should be able to post my list in the Easter break, after 9th April :)

  9. Hi guys I just wanted to update you guys with what's happening. The 2011 post is currently in draft but I'm still not entirely happy with it, however I have been inundated with work so I'm not sure when I will be posting but watch this space.

  10. can make one for year 2012? =)

    1. I will try my best to do one for 2012 at the end of the year. I haven't been posting lately but I made one for 2011. :)

  11. Hi, I just love all those albums you have listed here. Specially the ella koon its really amazing.

    Hong Kong music