Often referred to as the "Sarah Brightman of the Far East,"
. I didn't know who was Sarah Brightman. I thought Elaine is so wonderful that the Sarah Brightman couldn't be too bad. I googled this name, ach, I once saw this face on the cover of "the phantom of opera" CD, but never listened. Okay then I visited her homepage and was fond of the exotic song "harem". I bought this CD and another CD of hers: "The Best of Sarah Brightman: 1990-2000". I really like the music but I am unhappy with the copyright protection of the "harem" album. I tried to record it into my hard disk, under windows or under linux, it didn't work. I guess I don't have the proper tool. There's her song "who want's to live forever", what I want to say is "who wants to carry a CD forever." Such easy-listening music should go into my CF card or MMC card and the CD should go into my closet. A CD is not that expensive I think most people would buy a copyrighted one if they like it; For those who really want to make commerical profit from the pirated CD, they always have professional equipments and professional hackers, any copyright-protection techique is just a joke for them. ( Don't believe? Just do a research of how many people are using legal copies of Microsoft windows in China. I guess this number could be so small that you can even count with your fingers.) So actually the copyright protection of Music CD only brings inconvenience to legal customers. I asked a linux crazy to hack it for me, he didn't even want to give such CDs a look. He told me: "Because of this stupid copyright protection I have stopped buying any pop CD for two years. You know it's not a real music CD, it doesn't meet Phillips-XXXX industrial standard. You should really return it and get your money back...." Okay, I'll learn from him, and won't buy any copyright protected CD anymore. ( Normally I only buy HugoCD's CDs, which never have any stupid features like that. ) Now for Ms. Sarah Brightman. After listened to her two CDs, I cannot understand why people associate her with Elaine Chang. Their voices and styles are too different. Elaine's voice is naturally slim and exquisite and I felt Ms Brightman often pretends to sing like a little girl, which I don't feel totally comfortable. Ms Brightman is no doubtly gifted, she has no problem with any style. But the question lies here, I cannot quite see herself from her songs. I like her soaring, energetic songs. But feel very chilly when she sings a little girl. Well it's only my personal preference. Anyway I am pretty happy with the songs on the two CDs. They are entertaining enough. My favourite on "harem" is "Stranger in Paradise". Very Russian, even the music brings Russia's icy wind to my face, so fresh and clean, not loud at all. All the other tracks in the CD are way too loud. I don't like it. I don't like the lyrics of "what a wonderful world". "I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom for me and you. And I think to myself what a wonderful world....." It's totally okay to be sentimental, but the way one expresses his/her sentimentalness really matters. The most terrible thing is that in fact one doesn't feel anything at all, but just pretends he/she has an amazing bunch of feelings. This lyrics reminds me a Chinese poet called Wang1 Guo2 Zhen1. Finally I don't like the music engineering of the "harem". I was astonished by its poor recording/mixing quality. Everything is simply loud, flat and squeezed and there is no positioning and room at all. It's poor even as a pop CD. I thought maybe my CD player was wrong, borrowed another and a Sennheiser headjack 500D. The same poor output. Germany is famous for her high quality hi-fi equipment and engineers. It's a shame that this CD is engineered in Germany. Ms Brightman's fabulous voice definitely deserves better engineering. Maybe just because of the copyright protection? Or maybe my ears are spoilt by HugoCD ? Okay just some personal preference. I really like the performance of Prague Symphony Orchestra even though they are suger coated by Mr.Peterson. They make me play this CD again and again. Regards, Ellen [ March 06, 2004: Message edited by: Ellen Zhao ]