Album of the Month: Beast In the Dark

This week’s Song of the Week is Roger Yang’s (Yang Pei An) “Nothing But the End”. The song is from his album released last winter Beast In the Dark. This album also wins as the Album of the Month. The entire album is filled with some great songs and epic ballads. And while there is a lot of more ballad type music, each song is different and does not have one standard sound which would make the album bland.

I’m not really certain offhand if I had heard of Roger Yang before this album. What have I been missing? I love his voice. He can also really get the emotion of a song across quite well which makes me love him even more. I highly recommend checking out this album in its entirety.

Roger Yang
Beast In the Dark
Roger Yang (Yang Pei An)
Released 7 January 2014
Buy on Amazon MP3 :: Google Play :: iTunes :: YesAsia
Note: The tracklists show the same songs, but the orders vary on the physical CD and digital CD.

01. Beast In the Dark 沈睡的野獸

This song you would think would be dark with gothic undertones just because of the title. It isn’t. It’s a pretty straightforward ballad that I absolutely love.

02. Lonely Lovers 戀人無雙

I really love how the chorus is done for this song. In a way it is a bit like the opening song, but the singing style is different. If anything, the singing is actually faster for a ballad and then it slows down a bit for the chorus (you’re not getting a long string here, just shorter phrases) and there’s is this plaintive quality to Yang’s voice. And that high note before the final verse…yowza! It ends up being nearly like a growl/scream and packs quite the punch.

03. 50 Steps 說好各走五十步

This song starts with a bit of a funky sound. It is also much softer than the first two songs which both showcase Yang’s voice soaring. There is more restraint in this song somehow. He also uses more of his falsetto in this than what you see in the first two songs.

04. or 07. The Appearance 模樣

Roger Yang rocks out in this song! His voice suits the ballads on this CD and he can do rock equally as well. With that one high pitched note earlier in “Lonely Lovers” he showcases some rock sensibility that is fully unleashed in this song.

05. or 08. The Cocoon of Life 乾脆一點

This song comes stylistically between Yang’s rock and ballads. It’s more of an uptempo song that has me bopping my head to the beat.

06. or 05. The Shortest Love 最短的愛情

After a break from ballads, we return to them with this song which sounds like there is a mix of more traditional instruments blended in. The song itself sounds like it could belong to an epic drama or would fit right at home with other tracks from say Sound of the Desert.

07. or 06. Dream Racer (Asia Series 2013 Theme) 夢在前方(2013亞洲職棒大賽ASIA SERIES主題曲)

Since this is a theme song for the Asia Series, this obviously is not a ballad, but another catchy upbeat track. I really do like the beat of this song. The verses are a bit softer than the chorus.

08. or 04. Nothing But the End

I think it’s a tie between “Lonely Lovers” and this song as being my favorite off the entire album. There’s just something about this song. I love it. The opening actually reminds me a bit of a rock song that I love. The song starts softly and builds to the chorus. I try hard to sing along, but I only get a few words right. Of course, I get all the English correct. I think that this might be the song with the most English in it. It’s just amazingly awesome with that wailing guitar. Yang keeps the rock growl out of his voice and lets the guitar do the wailing for him.

09. Faith 信仰

Another rock song! I do like this song, but this is a song where Yang’s vocals are actually almost overpowered by the instruments. So, my one complaint is that the music is too loud. Yang easily projected enough in the other songs, but his voice gets lost in here except when we get the background vocals mixing with his own which helps bring the vocals to the forefront for awhile. If not for this one wee problem, this song would get two thumbs up. This song has a great instrumental break that really showcases the guitar and when we return to the singing, Yang lets out this piercing shout.

10. Memories in Common 共同的記憶

We of course close this album with a ballad. I can’t describe the exact reason why, but I absolutely love the way Yang sings the chorus for this song. It’s a nice strong finish for this collection of songs.

 

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