Album Review: William Hung "Inspiration"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You must be wondering why
1. I'm reviewing this 2004 album
2. Why I even have a copy

Well I saw it on sale for P25. (50 cents in USD) which is a 2-disc set including a 40 minute video with interviews, studio footage and surprises (as the label says). If you split the price into the 2 CDs, it's like 25 cents per CD. That's cheap ! So I figured what the hell. I'll take it.

Ok... from hereon then, I may be harsh, but that's how I see it.

I remember watching William Hung audition on Season 3 of American Idol and the judges' laughter which later transformed into respect for his positive outlook was a unique spectacle in American Idol history then.

Track 1, entitled "Words of Gratitude" is immediately a preface of William thanking the people for buying his CD. I took it more of a "no return, no refund" disclaimer and visualizing an evil image of William saying "I got your money sucker."

Track 2 moves to the Ricky Martin song, "She Bangs" as it was his signature song in the auditions.

Being a musical arranger, I cringe at the several instances of lack of timing. The off-key notes make my eyes squint in disbelief. I could imagine the studio engineer dropping all his mastery skills and just humbly accept that the songs were meant to be recorded this way. No attempt was made to digitally alter William's voice. It was recorded like that on purpose. I guess they want to capture William as he is and not as some celebrity-created persona which would be a twisted reality of William's actual talent.

I can't help but be disturbed by the mispronounciations of certain words (like pronouncing "singer" as "sing ger") but that's just me.

I Believe I Can Fly - William Hung

William chose some pretty difficult high-pitched songs. I was just looking at the song list and after seeing songs like "I Believe I Can Fly" and "Hotel California", I just had to exclaim to myself "Goodluck man". And I was right. A pitchy rendition of "I Believe I Can Fly" is an understatement. His pitch was all over the place. The last part had me hysterical as William tried to sustain some long notes without breathing and in the end obviously lost breath.

You know those times when you know you can't sing a high pitch yet attempt to do so in hopes of reaching it ? Well, William does that several times... and fails.

William kinda redeems himself in the upbeat tracks "YMCA" and "Shake Your Bon-bon". The backup singers render pretty decent vocals. As for William, well, the upbeat tempo and popularity of the 2 songs overshadows the remaining vocals owned by Hung.

Okey so right about now, you think I'm a bad guy for thrashing William Hung's album.
William's album did contain some redeeming factor and in fact much respect for the guy.

When you watch the 40 minute documentary, you'll find out the goodness in William, spreading a positive outlook no matter how many may laugh or ridicule him. For him, he enjoys singing and performing. So why would someone tell him otherwise ? A lot of interviews from his schoolmates at Berkley paint a better picture of William giving nothing but praises to the Chinese-American student.

In the end, you'll gain respect for this happy singer.

And then when you listen to the CD again, you'll laugh at it in a more positive note being less critical at the imperfections. You just have to accept the fact that this album doesn't intend to compete with any other great singers. It's just there to showcase William Hung and who he is. Have a sense of humor and you'll appreciate the album giving you a good laugh.

That's William Hung for you... an inspiration.

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  1. I dunno how you managed to get to the end of the song Sweetie. Dumugo tenga ko!

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