desTiny – Tiana Xiao

Artist: Tiana Xiao
Release Date: May 21, 2008
Label: Imperial Records
Personal Rating: 3/5

1. aquarium
2. Destiny
4. 3・2・1…
5. Painting
6. Echo
9. Sweet Obsession
10. Happy Tears
11. Undo Hurt
12. Milestone ~to believe~
(note: I’m too lazy to put up the links to the single releases on the tracklist so if you want to see what I wrote for the reviews, just check out the Tiana Xiao category link to the right!)

Seems like Tiana’s highly anticipated debut album begins with aquarium, which apparently sounds very awkward at the start of the song. As the song progresses, her vocals develop to a point that it only sounds “okay.” (Not as strongly sung as it was in her older releases.) The only good part of the song would probably be how she added some emotion during the chorus. This was probably not the right track the start the album with.

Next comes Destiny, which takes on more of the aggressive mood. For the most part, her vocals sound much better than it sounded in aquarium. I loved how there was a beautiful instrumentation that was played at the beginning (which first puts the listener into the atmosphere of the song before her vocals come in). Still, there’s still a simple chorus and she still sounds a little strained when her vocals hit the high pitched chorus. Sounds decent for an album title track.

Although I did not give KIZUNA as much credit as it deserved for standing out in the single review, I was quite relieved when this song appeared to be the third track fo the album because I thought that the first two were pretty dull. So far, KIZUNA seems to be th song that stands out in the album. (So far.)

3・ 2・1… sounds dance oriented with all of the synths and guitar playing as its instrumentation. There may have been times when Tiana’s vocals sounded a bit dull, the chorus did not sound as simple as they were with the first few songs. The style of the arrangement was also a good thing to hear.

Painting has an interesting arrangement and works well with her vocals. Now it seems that the chorus had warped back to simplicity mode and now just sounded plain boring. But for the most part, I will give a good impression on this track mainly because of the arrangement and how beautiful it somehow sounded.

Echo turns out to be one of my favorite tracks on the album. I loved the dance beats that had been applied into the song and how her vocals came out strong. (Why weren’t the vocals in the other songs just as strong if she can really sing here?) Her English also gives the song a nice charm.

The light hearted PARADOX is up and had vocals that sounded just as pleasing as they did in Echo. But regardless, there’s still a down side on the song – the fact that the chorus does not stand out from the verses. I liked the cheerful atmosphere that was put in to it but the song did not show much effort.

TEMPTATION was completely different, yet it had a totally aggressive arrangment and style, Tiana delievers an even more powerful performance as she sings at a lower pitch with both the catchy chorus and verses.

Then there’s Sweet Obsession, her debut song. My opinion with this track has not changed much since I first reviewed it but I thought that it somehow lost its flavor after listening to it after a few times due to its simplistic arrangement. Regardless, I still think that her vocals still sounded strong.

Happy Tears is contrasted to the arrangement of the song as the arrangement sounded rather gloomy and sorrowful. The best part of the song is probably how the arrangement develops and builds up to the climate of the song and how Tiana’s vocals works well with it. Plus, the vocal performance during the verses and the chorus turned out to be very strong. Another one of my favorite songs on the album.

Undo Hurt
was probably the most awkward song on the album. The whole song is sung in English but the ironic thing is how the lyrics were strong but her sweet vocals does not meet up with it. (It’s like a girly girl in a sword fight.) Her vocals also sound a bit awkward during some parts.

Finally, Milestone turns out to be the last track on the album. The emphasis put into the song was one of the strong elements of the song. The smooth instrumentation and powerful vocals made this the best track to end the album.

Regardless of the weak vocal performance for the majority of the tracks on the album, I still thought that Tiana somehow released a solid album. Still sounded a bit shaky but I could definitely tell that she has potential.

Personal Rating: 3/5


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