Smart lyrics from music stalwart

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 August, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 August, 2004, 12:00am

Former Beyond guitarist Paul Wong Koon-chung has always fiercely defended his musical territory against skin-deep Canto-pop commercialism.

However, his latest album, I Am Existing, is a step backward from his last effort, Play It Loud. This time Wong has produced a rather ordinary sounding album of guitar-driven pop tunes rather than continue to push his musical boundaries.

Songs such as Carry Him and Season are catchy and easy to listen to. But given Hong Kong's current lack of musical talent, we were counting on Wong to offer us something more innovative.

Fortunately, there is a maturity in the lyrics that makes up for a lack of innovation in music. 'There are six million mutes in Hong Kong, but they are not dumb,' sings Wong on the track 6,000,000. Rarely will you hear anything as intelligent and thoughtful as that in a Canto-pop song.

Despite taking his foot off the gas somewhat, Wong still remains one of Hong Kong's most interesting musicians.