I follow Cantonese Christian music productions, and after spending some time during my last Hong Kong trip to visit Christian bookstores listening to CDs and purchasing some of them, I can offer my not-so-expert opinion on the best of the 2006. Without further ado, I give out these two awards:
1. Best 2006 Cantonese Christian Worship Album: “全城跪拜您” by 火焰音樂使團
Out of the few 2006 Cantonese Christian worship album s with original songs (I excluded the many 2006 CDs which contained old songs that were re-recorded), the best 2006 Cantonese Christian worship album is produced by a little-known minsitry called 歌德音樂教室 whose team 火焰音樂使團 released an album in December 2006 entitled “全城跪拜您”.
There are many gems in this album. Although the music arrangement was kind of boring, and the vocal mixing is not very good, the skill levels of the instruments are respectable, and I was impressed by the vocal quality of the two live tracks, something usually lacking in Cantonese Christian worship albums. Most important of all, there are at least 4-5 songs that are so worshipful and so singable and are theological substantial that are suitable for congregational use. The best song in the album is called “主我尋求您” which is based on Psalm 73 (we’re going to sing this song in my church next Sunday), and my favorite line goes: 在人海狂濤之中/我覓尋到主耶穌/是祂把我藏到/神隱密處之中/祂領我跨過/人生每個傷痛/如今竟經歷到/原來人生可以這麼的美好/. I’ve already had some great personal worship time with this song. There’s also a great uptempo song called “超於一切” that’s to be used for Easter. I was also mesmerized by the songs “聖靈降臨” and “十架的愛”. I hope people will discover this album and put the great writings in this album to good use to glorify God.
Honorable Mention: “再救一人．唯這份愛” by OneWay Music Productions
2. Best 2006 Cantonese Christian Gospel Album: “Pathetique” by 文雅言
Agnes Man‘s debut album had one great song (“放心”) but the rest of the album was forgettable. For her sophomore effort released in January 2006, she wrote on the back of the CD that she desired to sing songs that have to do with where people actually live and not use Christian jargons. She really achieved that. My most favorite song on the album is called “您這麼愛我”, which is talking how we think we don’t measure up to God because of our failings and yet He still loves us. Most of the song hit me really hard. One of my friends cried really hard listening to that song while she was driving but she couldn’t hold back her tears, and I thank God that He blessed her with a safe car drive.
Vocally, it was obvious that Agnes improved a lot over her first album, although she’s still uneven in spots. The song arrangements are definitely much better due to a good producer/arranger. It’s great she continues to write all her songs so I hope she’ll produce more works in the near future!
Honorable Mention: “I Am Not Alone” by 陳立業