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Original Title:
Ruguo Ai

China / Hong Kong 2005

Peter Kam, Leon Ko

Perhaps Love - OST

Review: "Perhaps Love" revolves around a love triangle and blurrs the line between a musical, which is shot within the film, and (movie-)reality very well. Of course such a movie is in strong need of a good soundtrack and with Peter Kam ("Isabella") the producers absolutely got the right man for the job. The songs are all pretty complex, diverse and interestingly enough they don't seem very Chinese in style. Actually, we have the feeling to listen to a western musical. The only thing that destroys this illusion is that the the songs are sung in Mandarin-Chinese. However, if you listen carefully you will still find some Chinese musical influences every now and then. Anyway, all in all this soundtrack should be appealing to any audience.
My initial reluctance towards this OST, because of the circus-like musical touch, faded away soon after listening to the soundtrack for a few times, since this one offers so much more than your standard OST. Furthermore, composer Peter Kam manages that his work will grow to your heart more and more with every time you listen to it.

The first track "Life's Montage", sung by Ji Jin-hee, is the "worst" track of the CD, yet can enchant you with its joyful character, especially when the woman's chorus supports Ji, as they are really charming with their erotic voices. A very prancing piano and a whole orchestra along with lots of glockenspiel-sounds and cymbals that underline the cheerful style of the track accompany the singers, even though there is a short intermezzo in the middle that gives you some time to breath thanks to its more slow pacing.
"Who are You?" starts with the motif of the former track until Takeshi Kaneshiro supported by a harp, wind instruments, soft string sounds and a glockenspiel, proves his singing talent. This piece is a bit more sad, but nonetheless is also pretty frisky. Moreover, Zhou Xun's great voice adds a lot to this song. The duet between Kaneshiro and Zhou surely makes this one of the best tracks of the soundtrack.

"A Beautiful Story" strongly reminds you of the music played at a circus, yet eventually wins you over with a nice melody and a good beat that keeps changing, as well as with a multitude of well inserted instruments. Ji Jin-hee carries this track with his voice quite well, and the men- and child chorus in the background bestow a somewhat epic character upon the track.
The next one is my favorite track of the CD right after "Fate". In "You Do Love Me" Jacky Cheung's clear and lamenting voice sings a wonderfully tragic melody, that is accompanied by high bell sounds until the strings hit in and his voice becomes louder. Here, we get to hear the full range of Cheung's powerful voice. You certainly will recognize that Cheung has a background as a singer, as the careful listener will realize that there are clear differences in quality between his singing and the rest of the singers of the musicals, even though this isn't supposed to lessen the all in all great efforts of the other performers.

"The World out There" is a wonderful warm and dreamy song, that goes right to your heart thanks to Zhou Xun's fantastic singing. Concerning its nature it is a small breach in style, as it sounds more of a "good-morning" ballad with the acoustic guitar, the violine and the soft drums in the background. Nevertheless, I like it a lot more than Jacky Cheung's theme song "Perhaps Love" that is similar in style, but doesn't have as much heart.
"Men are born Jealous" again sounds somewhat circus-like, yet has a great beat and strongly builds on Jacky Cheung's powerful voice. Moreover, it also picks up familiar motifs of "You Do Love Me". All in all this is a great piece, that stands out because of its power, but eventually drifts into more tranquil realms towards the end.
One of the more inferior tracks, even though not bad at all, is "Crossroads" which has a seducing woman's chorus in the foreground and becomes quite appealing with its tango-like rhythm. This song is somewhat pert, and with its nature it also reminds us of Chicago's 30s.

In "What If" Takeshi Kaneshiro sings a great mourning ballad with a soft voice and only accompanied by an acoustic guitar. Even though Takeshi Kaneshiro may not be a born singer he still manages to convince us of his talent during this song the best. Especially his sometimes shaky voice gives this song something special. Definitely one of my favorite tracks of the CD.
Let's get to the real masterpiece: "Fate". This piece is orchestra-focused and convinces with its astonishingly complex and diverse motifs. It starts rather calm, yet already hints that this is a very epic piece, because of a constant beat of a drum. The song then gets continued by Ji Jin-hee's mourning voice which gives this piece a very soft tone, only supported by a piano. Then, Jacky Cheung starts to sing his tunes, until eventually Cheung and Ji engage in a grandiose duet, in which every one sings his own motif - yet it all adds up to a great musical symbiosis. After this, the track becomes a bit more threatening and Cheung makes the full range of his powerful voice be felt again. A fantastic 2-minutes part, only carried by a vigorous orchestra, eventually leads to Cheung singing an enchanting soft tune reminding us of "You Do Love Me" and "Men are born Jealous", supported by quiet and sad bell sounds. Everything is just perfect about this song and it releases us from a fantatastic rollercoaster ride of emotions, at which end you'll get goose bumps for sure.

The CD should have ended with "Fate" (but there are versions of this soundtrack that differ in track listing anyway), because even though "Perhaps Love" isn't bad at all with its cozy melody, it still has to succumb to the sheer ingeniousness of the former track. However, as a bonus track and on its own, Cheung's song surely has something likeable about it.
With its complex melodies the OST to "Perhaps Love" always offers something new to discover. The performers do a great job, Zhou Xun and Jacky Cheung more than anyone else. "Fate" is one of my all-time favorites, as this song especially underlines the epic nature of the love story, thanks to a very powerful orchestra, which is used to its fullest potential. The score may be lacking when it comes to its running time, which is one of the few reasons why it doesn't get full marks. Still, as you find yourself listening to this soundtrack over and over again, this is only a small flaw. A magnificent soundtrack that deserves to be recommended to any music-fan!

Copyright 2007 AsianMovieWeb

Track listing

01. Life's Montage - Ji
02. Who Are You? -
      Takeshi Kaneshiro +
      Zhou Xun
03. A Beautiful Story - Ji
      Jin-hee + Takeshi
04. You Do Love Me
      - Jacky Cheung
05. The World Out There -
      Zhou Xun
06. Men Are Born Jealous -
      Jacky Cheung
07. Crossroad - Takeshi
      Kaneshiro + Zhou Xun
08. What If - Takeshi
09. Fate - Jacky Cheung +
      Ji Jin-hee
10. Perhaps Love - Jacky

Running Time = 36:33

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