Ingratiate Oneself

   24 June 2005, late evening

I basically own all of Faye Wong’s albums. I’m not sure if there is any other singer in Hong Kong as talented as her. She has enjoyed mainstream success in the country, but at the same time manages to hang on to her artistic credibility—this is quite rare in the Hong Kong pop music scene. Between 1994 and 1996 she put out some of the best albums I’ve ever heard, starting with Random Thinking and ending with the absolutely brilliant Impatience.

I found myself listening to Ingratiate Oneself this week. Its kind of cool listening to an album you haven’t heard in ages—especially since I hardly listen to Chinese music anymore. Much of the album is pretty standard HK-pop fare, though you can see signs of the direction her music would take once she left Cineoply and was given a lot more creative freedom at EMI. Standout songs include the bizarre Exit and the charming I Fear. Her cover of Here’s Where the Story Ends by the Sundays is also quite cool. (It was—and perhaps still is—very popular in Hong Kong to cover English music in Cantonese, while leaving the arrangements identical. Faye Wong sang the version of Dreams by the Cranberries you may have heard in Chungking Express.)

In many ways I find listening to Chinese music very nostalgic; it was very much a part of who I was when I was in high school.

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Comments

  1. Faye wong is wicked! I listen to a lot of her songs. One of my favourite songs is Back Shadow, which is from ingratiate Oneself.

  2. I have all of the EMI releases, and compilations from all that Polyphony stuff. Most of it I love, but there are a couple tracks on each record I can’t really stand.

    I stopped listening to her CDs when I migrated my collection from CD to mp3. Many of her CDs don’t have CDDB entries and the ones that do have all those Chinese characters, which I don’t really care for, so I never imported the CDs.

    Come to think of it, did you create a piece on Faye Wong in Ms. Ecker’s Desktop Publishing class?

  3. I didn’t bother with the compilations, seeing as how they never contained anything new. The albums and EPs I’m missing are: The Like Wind EP, Reminiscence is a Red Sky EP, Her 1994 Concert CD, Mystery LP, and Separate Ways EP (which I don’t want to own—yech). Since they are so old I’ve had a hard time finding them. I remember seeing them all at shops throughout the city when I was in High School. I wish I had just bought them then.

    When I imported Faye Wong's CDs, I think many had English translated track listings in CDDB. Those that didn't, I entered manually from the Online Discography. I have a huge cache of HK-pop that I haven't imported because I can't even get the Chinese track listings.
    And I did make a Faye Wong Fan News Letter for desktop publishing, oh so many years ago.

  4. I like her as well. Though I must admit I have only had her FF song, and listened to a few in passing at Ricks.

    Due to your level of interest in her music and likely knowledge, maybe you could put something together for me to listen to? You could even make a small profit off of me; that would bring you ever closer to your Chinese Scarborough roots.

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