To be honest, I never expected to write this review. Up to the point that I received the email from Peipei (LIKES Communications), I had not even heard of Hong Kong/Canadian singer-songwriter Ellen Loo. And when Peipei invited me to catch Ellen’s show at the Esplanade Recital Studio, I was feeling a bit mixed. After all, I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a fan of Mandarin pop but I thought – “nothing ventured, nothing gained” – and I am so glad that I took the plunge.
Yes, I know virtually nothing about Mandarin pop but I love music and the language barrier (I attained a F9 for my Chinese ‘O’ Levels) turned out to be irrelevant as I was entertained and touched by Ellen’s obvious musical talent and ability. Dressed like a rocker chick – Ellen not only looked the part but as she and Ripples Band delivered its 90-minute set, there was an authentic indie-alternative rock vibe (with shades of pop) that impressed me throughout.
Ellen Loo is an emotive singer and an accomplished guitarist as well – as evidenced by the many solos she undertook herself. She always appeared to be having fun and yet serious about playing her best for the packed audience (this was the second show of the night). But ultimately, the amazing songwriting (influenced by pop, rock, jazz, new wave elements) really left a mark. Even though I could not name you a single song title (in Mandarin, after all), I was completely dazzled by almost each single one at the gig – every significant aspect (tunes, arrangements & instrumentations) was spot on! Certainly, eyes wide open now and hoping to find out more…
Thanks to Peipei Wee/Likes Communications for making this review possible.