It's been almost 1 and a half year since Gary Chaw 曹格 released his last album. A month ago, he released his latest album Back In Control (曹之在我). Lucky for us Malaysians, Sony Music Malaysia decided to distribute the album. So after Jay Chou and Lee Hom, Gary is another composer/singer that is under the Sony Music Malaysia label in this region.
Gary Chaw was back last week for a short press conference on his latest album Back In Control (曹之在我). Thanks to Sony Music Malaysia and Kel Li, Tian Chad and I got to attend the press con. The press con started off with MYFM DJ Royce Tan doing a brief introduction and then continued by showing us the MV of 爺爺 (Grandpa). It's a song written by Gary for his grandpa that he was not able to be by his grandpa's side when his grandpa passed on. The tune is very touching and if you watch the MV and has the same experience you might feel like crying too.
After the MV screening, it's time for Gary Chaw to come on the stage. Royce stated to ask Gary about the experience of making the MV for 爺爺 (Grandpa). Gary said,"I didn't think too much of it at first. The production team hired an 80 year old actor to pretend to be my grandpa. When the shooting starts, the "grandpa" start to pat on my head and say "乖，乖 (guai, guai)", and my tears started to flow out non-stop. This lasted for a few minutes only than the director shouted "Cut". When I looked up, I saw that the director is crying too. He has the same experience of never got the chance to say goodbye to his dad that has passed on."
Being a Sabahan, Gary told us that he should come back to Malaysia more often because now he is not used to the weather here and got a running nose once he got back here. Yes, we're all looking forward to that. It's good if you'll held a concert here in Malaysia too, Gary. ;)
Gary signing his autograph on the backdrop
There are ten songs in his latest album Back In Control (曹之在我). Going for a newer direction, breaking away from his previous albums. Most noticeable is of course the song he wrote for his grandpa, 爺爺. A very touching ballad that is written to remembers one's elder that has passed on.
"丑角 (Comic Relief)" is a love ballad that talks about how one is only a comic relief to the one he loves and is happy to be just able to do that even though the one he loves doesn't love him back. A very Gary Chaw's style of ballad that one can find in "背叛(Betrayed)" and "無辜(Innocent)".
For some easy listening and a Jazzy feel, I will opt for "喔愛 (Oh! Love)". It's not the normal heavy sadness song that one normally found in Gary Chaw. This song is about how one is openly admitting his love to his loved one and are happy about it.
One would have thought that it's a 中国风 (Classical Chinese meet modern music style) kind of song when listening to the opening of "驚天動地 (Earthshaking)". I was surprised that it turned out to be a rock song. Not those overy powerful rock song like heavy metal rock but still able to pull up a punch. Nicely done in the music arrangement here.
I can find the playfulness of Gary Chaw in the song "WHY WHY" by singing in different tone and attitude in each different phrase. It reminds me of his previous song "咖哩熱狗 (Curry Hotdog)". It's one fun and catchy song to listen to. I found myself singing the chorus just after listening to this song for 2 times.
悲歌王 (Sad Songs King) as the name suggest is not a happy song lol. Well, it's not too sad either. Another typical Gary Chaw's ballad. For those that was attracted by his style of ballad when they first know him will like it. As for me, it's a bit too cliche.
I feel very relax when I was listening "大女人 (Strong Woman)", the arrangement of this song is more to the relaxing side as if one is lying on a beach thinking about the woman he loves that is a strong and modern woman 大女人 and he himself is a 小男人 (the man behind the woman).
香檳時光 (Champagne Time) is another Jazz piece in the album but it's more towards the big band kind of Jazz. Well, Frank Sinatra happens to be one of Gary's favourite singer. I can imagine the MV being Gary on the stage singing with a band behind him in a lounge.
I don't know why I kept thinking of "Loving You" by Minnie Riperton when I am listening to 我也愛你 (I Love You Too). I was like waiting for the la la la la to come up but half way through the song I noticed the different already. Instead of continuing slow and easy like "Loving You" there will be the climax that goes into loud and high notes.
"片尾曲 (Ending Theme Song)" is another typical Gary Chaw's style ballad song. Oh well, this why fans love him anyway. It's his personality in his music.
Gary Chaw 曹格 - Back In Control (曹之在我)
01 爺爺 (Grandpa)
02 丑角 (Comic Relief)
03 喔愛 (Oh! Love)
04 驚天動地 (Earthshaking)
05 WHY WHY
06 悲歌王 (Sad Songs King)
07 大女人 (Strong Woman)
08 香檳時光 (Champagne Time)
09 我也愛你 (I Love You Too)
10 片尾曲 (Ending Theme Song)
My favourites are 爺爺, 丑角, 喔愛, 驚天動地, WHY WHY, 大女人, and 香檳時光. If you like Gary Chaw's music, this album is a must buy. Those that don't listen to his music can start by buying this album.
The talented Gary Chaw 曹格
Me, Gary Chaw, and Tian Chad.