Heroes Denise Ho (CD)
On the first day of her sold-out Supergoo concerts, Canto-rocker Denise Ho Wan-sze, aka Hocc, released her latest studio record, Heroes.
Ho asked her older brother Harris Ho Bing-shun and jazz/pop-maker Hanjin Tan to write all the music, while acclaimed writer Wyman Wong Wai-man penned all the lyrics.
The album is a tribute to the unsung heroes of society. Like her previous release Ten Days in the Mad House, Heroes discusses social issues, but its diverse sounds put it in a higher league than its predecessor.
Alongside the usual karaoke picks, like first plug Old Testament, are funky jazz elements, and dark revolutionary sounds, such as in the recent radio-hit Diamond Sutra. Three instrumental tracks add variety to the mix.
Highlights include acoustic-guitar-laden Flammable, a refreshing and gentle track that stands in stark contrast to its fiery title; jazzy number Cocoa, which starts off calmly with a lone piano and tambourine but soon takes off when a choir joins in; the suspenseful Wild Cursive and playful, whirling Facebook.
Despite the diversity, there is nothing truly innovative, making this a rather mediocre work which doesn't do justice to Ho's vocal flair or charisma.