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Since her Cantonese debut in 1993, Karen Mok 莫文蔚 has not only remained on the top tier of Chinese language musicians, but pushed the boundaries of what is expected of female performers. From her early covers and photo shoots where she is mid-way through eating a hot dog, wrapped in see-through cling film, shaving her head and appearing fully nude, Karen Mok has spent her career challenging standards of beauty and women’s status and capabilities in the entertainment industry, all whilst delivering songs which have become mandopop canon, such as He Doesn’t Love Me 他不愛我 (1997) If I Don’t Have You 如果沒有你(2006), and Baby 寶貝 (2010), in turn making her an icon for an independent modern day woman, and putting her in a bracket of icon that few can only dream of reaching.

On her seventeenth album Halftime 我們在中場相遇 Karen maintains the consistent high quality that she is renowned for. For this seminal release, Karen brought in an army of over twenty of the biggest names in Mandopop today, including Li Ronghao 李荣浩, Khalil Fong 方大同, JJ Lin林俊傑 and 2018 singer entrant Hua Chen-yu 華晨宇, with long-term collaborator Arai Soichiro 荒井十一 present as executive producer. She mentioned in an interview that she felt honoured that so many producers and writers wanted to work on the project, and that inviting so many artists and musicians that she has worked with over the years to collaborate with her on a record which has deep significance to her acts as an expression of her gratitude.

The album is split into two halves. The first half is compiled of songs that are meant to feel classic and are composed by her long time collaborators, whilst the second half is meant to evidence Karen’s versatility and innovative capabilities as a performer via production and lyrics being provided by new collaborators.

Tracklist:

1. Let There Be Light 如初之光
2. I Do
3. Fly 飛
4. Half in Heaven, Half on Earth 天一半, 地一半
5. No Intermission 中場沒有休息
​6. Ultimate 絕
7. Dancing in the Rain
8. Not to be Continued不待續
9. Growing Fond of You 慢慢喜歡你
10. half a Lifelong Romance (Here is Where We Meet)半生緣 (我們在這裡相遇)
​11. Heartfelt 心領神會

OVERALL RATING
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3½ stars