01. Where Do We Go (English Version)
02. Where Do We Go (Chinese Version)
As a wise person once said, it is the responsibility of creative types to feel the joys and sorrows of life most deeply, so that they may transpose those emotions into material better understood by others. Likewise, Lara Veronin's latest single "Where Do We Go" is a reflection of the personal changes she's experienced over the past four years since her last album release. Since we last saw her, Lara's transformation has been subtle yet full of accomplishments and small milestones. Growing as a host, actress, producer and entrepreneur, Veronin's journey was not without its internal struggles, such as the loss of her mother and fervent efforts to let her individuality as an artist be known. Veronin describes 'Where Do We Go' as a song about her loss of direction, posing questions with no answer; thus is the predicament that she finds herself in currently.
The single showcases this particular state of limbo perfectly; posing a question with no answer that asserts the abstract and indistinct nature of life and ones' choices. Belonging to the air-pop genre, the twanging feedback of a slide guitar characterises the song, its elastic nature bringing life to Lara's words. Accompanied by stable, subdued electronic beats which imply to me a sense of reflection and clearmindedness, the twangs act like elastic bands, stretching to test the different directions laid out in front of oneself, threatened by the thought of losing stability and balance. The lyrics, melody and arrangement come together to produce a powerful imagery evoking shades of green and blue. Lara's lyrics skilfully use natural imagery that have been traditionally used as signals, like smoke, pathways and sand to give the song an organic edge, while the cool, lucid electric guitar brings to mind shades of electric blue.
Lara's voice is one of reason, the method to the madness that quietly, serenely cuts through the heavy mesh of sounds, like a nymph beckoning listeners to follow in her steps. Although reserved rather than emotional and passionate, her persistence in using a more reserved tone lends her perspective credibility, like the thread holding all the burgeoning elements of the song together. Soft and close to ones' ear, Lara's voice also give the lyrics depth. While the lyrics may be misconstrued as leading listeners on a wild goose chase, luring them in while not providing an answer, the warmth and earnestness of her voice seep into the cold grooves of the song, dissipating a sense of accompaniment rather than wily misdirection.
The only downside to this song are that it is almost too clear what the listener is intended to find. The arrangement is rather repetitive, like a ball rattling around in a pinball machine, and while this loss of direction is exactly what we are meant to understand, it would be nice for Lara to complete the story by positing her own spin on how to deal with or leave this directionless state. But perhaps that is what the rest of her album is for? One will just have to wait and find out where she goes with it (pun intended).
Review by: CP
Editor's note: Very excited to be working with Asian Pop Weekly's new contributor CP who has recently joined the APW team! This is his debut on the site, and also his first review ever! Welcome CP, and here's to many more album reviews!
2016 was a year of major change for Khalil Fong. After leaving his old record label, he embarked on his own cultural entrepreneurial journey by launching his own independent label - Fu Music.
This makes Journey to the West (JTW 西遊記 ) a very special double album! Not only does it celebrate his 11th year in the music industry, it is also the inaugural album for his newfound independent record label. Many of us may be disappointed to hear this but it might be the last full album of music we get to hear from Khalil for a while. As mentioned on his Facebook page :
“For the time being this will be the last full album of original works. I am in the process of evolving and re-shaping. There is an abundance of creative diverse ideas in the pipeline from both myself, my team and affiliates and I look forward to seeing these realized to their full potential.”
It is uncertain what he means exactly by “evolving and reshaping” but we can probably expect to see him come out with other forms of creative work in the near future. Regardless, of what the future holds, Khalil fans should definitely listen to this album and cherish it for the time-being!