The Sun still shines for the broken-hearted

Malaysian singer Fish Leong.
Malaysian singer Fish Leong.PHOTO: UNIVERSAL MUSIC TAIWAN

The Sun Also Rises is Malaysian singer Fish Leong's first album in seven years - since 2012's Love In Heart - and it also marks the 20th anniversary of her debut with Grown Up Overnight (1999).

What should be a milestone marker has since been overshadowed by news of her divorce from her Taiwanese businessman husband of more than nine years.

It is hard not to parse the record for clues in retrospect. Given that it plays to her forte of lovelorn ballads, there are signs everywhere - or are they red herrings?

The key track, How Am I, finds her contemplating: "How am I, who can listen to me, travel with lonely dreams/I am the shadow under the sun, replying to myself."

And Slow-To-Cool-Down - composed by singer-songwriter Ricky Hsiao and with lyrics by Daryl Yao - poignantly describes the cooling of a relationship: "It's all been said/As if everything has been said/Always sitting across from each other silently/Eyes as dark as the night."

But even the darkest night is followed by dawn and on The Sun Also Rises I, Leong is resolutely resilient: "The sun also rises/Born again tomorrow/Regardless of peaks and troughs/Everything is under its gaze."

Musically, the singer is largely on familiar ground, with opener Twilight (Wei Guang) offering something a little different with its repeating melodic line and gentle piano accompaniment. There is more advice here for the broken-hearted: "Don't, because of temporary tears/Miss a sky full of stars."

  • POP


    Fish Leong

    Universal Music 


    3 Stars

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2019, with the headline 'The Sun still shines for the broken-hearted'. Print Edition | Subscribe