Saturday, December 25th, 2021

Terence Lam – Virgo

It’s still the 24th somewhere, so we continue with this from Ada:


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Michael Hong:Alter Ego,” the other version of “Virgo,” is classic Cantopop, sweepingly romantic and longing. It sways like ballroom dancing, decorated with gentle brass, an upright bass and that lovely piano line. The flutter of the flutes saves Lam from a night of loneliness as he offers his hand on the last line: “will anyone pick me up?” But “Virgo” is plinky, playful piano keys, animated little squiggles that follow Lam as he runs through the same words with more optimism and less desperation. Like astrology, “Virgo” is a bit more plastic but Lam is hopeful in the fakeness. When he sings that last line again, it’s with the positivity of a good horoscope reading, a hopefulness that persists even if that someone isn’t yet within your immediate future.
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Ada M. : I was torn on which Ka Him song to submit, but I decided on “Virgo” because it’s through this song I got properly acquainted with his music. I don’t know how much he really believes in horoscopes, but the song was released on August 23rd, the start of the Virgo season, and he is a Virgo himself. The song talks about a Virgo being too critical and fussy with details, in a way I think that’s probably true about Ka Him and his passion (and perfectionism) about his music. I personally prefer the original, more animated version of the song more, but I also appreciate the more dramatic Alter Ego interpretation. There are many small details which make both versions of the song (and videos) so delightful and mesmerising, with the slightly retro synth sound taking me to a whimsical music world of his. I also find his way of singing, though probably not to everyone’s liking, particularly comforting. There is product/brand placement in his videos, but an indie artist also gotta eat right? 
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Nortey Dowuona: The posted synth programming and warmly synth organs are so slight and thin that Terence’s papery, phlegmy voice nearly breaks it, but he finds his way on it, with little synth silkworms wriggling across his arms, then creating a beautiful synth riff for his echoes to dip in and follow. Then the bridge slips in, unnoticed yet full to its neck of plush chintzy synth chords, thatTerence walks across into his apartment, then lays his head down to sleep peacefully.
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Iain Mew: The intense sweetness reminds me of the best moments of Bolppalgan4, with a similar way of switching up just enough to avoid becoming cloying. The good-time lounge keyboards do much of the background work while Lam gets a lot out of ranging from the occasional wobble to assured falsetto as the song drifts happily off into space.
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Juana Giaimo: Even though it doesn’t offer major changes throughout, “Virgo” is full of small details like that short instrumental part or when his vocals start sounding a little bit muffled towards the end. A sweet, quiet and enjoyable trip. 
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Scott Mildenhall: It’s a bit like the subject of “Miserablism” (not the real one) developed self-awareness, or at least a degree of it. “Virgo” feels very idiosyncratic, almost charmingly so, but the translated lyrics still wander towards the unendearing. Inevitably, things are lost in reanalysis, but Terence Lam’s self-pity isn’t all that compelling when read, for all the quasi-unassuming quirkiness.
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Ian Mathers: This feels like the theme song for an extremely low-key and yet incredibly gripping (to its intended audience) tv show about the love lives of very un-self-confident people, where you’re rooting for pretty much everyone and the biggest problems tend to resolve down to people being gently misunderstood. Or maybe I should say it feels like the kind of theme that makes that show seems (delete as appropriate) even a little/even more appealing.
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Reader average: [9.62] (8 votes)

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