SINGAPORE - Malaysian singer Jess Lee has been dubbed the "Iron Lung Queen" for her impressive vocal prowess.
But on her fourth album, About Jess, she seems intent on reining in the aural fireworks, which isn't such a bad thing after the emotional wringers on records such as Love Storm (2016) and Heaven/Cliff (2014).
For example, Fan Pai Qing Ren (Antagonist Lover), which sounds like the title of a bitter love ballad, turns out to be anything but. Over a breezy synth pop melody by Taiwanese singer-songwriter Hsiao Yu, Singaporean lyricist Xiaohan plays with the idea of opposites and Lee gives the song a light, bouncy touch as she sings: "Your kiss hides a bite mark/The colder I am, the hotter you burn".
There seems to be a change in attitude that is encapsulated in the upbeat Jiao Kuai Le Lai Zhao Wo (Ask Happiness To Look For Me) with the lyrics: "Instinct is calling me/I won't stand in its way/Ask happiness to look for me."
Even on the love ballads such as Yi Yang De Shi (Still The Same), the winner of the seventh season of the televised singing competition One Million Star in 2010 appears to be pulling her punches.
The more light-hearted fare in this album has opened a broader music path for the 30-year-old singer.
Rating: 3 out 5 stars