Mellow reflections

Kit Chan, who debuted in 1993, is known for heartbreak ballads such as Heartache.
Kit Chan, who debuted in 1993, is known for heartbreak ballads such as Heartache.PHOTOS: TAIHE MUSIC GROUP

POP

A TIME FOR EVERYTHING

Kit Chan

Taihe Music Group

3.5 stars

It is her 25th anniversary as an entertainer and home-grown singer Kit Chan is in a mellow mood.

Her debut record, Do Not Destroy The Harmony, was released in 1993 and was reworked and repackaged as Heartache for the Taiwanese market the following year. It shot her to fame and she became known for heartbreak ballads such as Heartache, Sadness and Dazzle, which often shot for the high notes.

But it was clear from her previous album, The Edge Of Paradise (2016), that Chan has since moved on.

A Time For Everything takes a similar approach. It is a warm and comfortable record that luxuriates in her soothing voice and listening to it is like having afternoon tea with a good friend.

She sings of an old love on the ballad Crescent Moon, with its elegant old-school vibe: "Crescent moon, hurts so much heart is broken into two/Moonlight has drenched these years in blue." When she sings about heartbreak now, it is leavened with the passage of time.

There is more to sing about than romantic love though and she notes in The Best Age: "The theme of life is not always love."

Kit Chan, who debuted in 1993, is known for heartbreak ballads such as Heartache.

The album is suffused with the wisdom one has gleaned from growing older and learning to be comfortable in one's skin. Enjoy Loneliness is set to a breezy bossa nova arrangement as she wonders lazily: "By myself/ Spending the afternoon alone/Only quandary is coffee or wine."

It is very much a reflection of where she is at this point in life.

Chan pens the lyrics for the title track, the lone English number, and it seems to be about her coming to terms with being single again: "Now it's time to draw the line/We were never the same kind/I'm a fool to think that love would make wrongs right." Could this be the most personal song the private star has recorded?

Also included here are three covers, including one of Faye Wong's songs, Love Letters To Myself. It means the listener gets at least one song from her in Cantonese, a language she is very much at home in.

A Time For Everything was recorded in live sessions and there is an outtake of her just talking after the end of Please Find Me. It lends the music a cosy immediacy, as though you are curled up on a sofa as Chan sings directly to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2018, with the headline 'Mellow reflections'. Print Edition | Subscribe