A trace of pleasure and regret

A trace of pleasure and regret

Taiwanese trio S.H.E return after a two-year break with another agreeable helping of Mando-pop.

Having taken time out to pursue solo projects (and in two cases, get married), Hebe Tien Fu-chen, Ella Chen Chia-hwa and Selina Jen Chia-hsuan look set to go beyond helplessly romantic girly pop sung into the mirror.

The album kicks off with Cannot Wait (迫不及待), a fast-paced pop song with a twist; but title track Blossoming Again (花又開好了), wilts somewhat with its experimental sound falling flat. Harmonies are less than tight and with the musical accompaniment slightly off it ends in chaos.

But by sticking with stripped-down, sweet ballads like The Heart Is Still Passionate (心還是熱的) and Girlish Woman (像女孩的女人), the band redeem themselves and restore the faith of devoted fans of karaoke-pop.

The vocals blend well - a bit too well for Selina, whose voice seems overwhelmed by the others. Criticisms aside, in their new release, S.H.E.'s music remains contemporary and likeable.

YP Rating: 4/5



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