Credit: Gmember for the top picture
A little late, I know, considering rock god Sek Loso’s comeback album came out last November, but I was so busy moving, and my friend and fellow translator/reviewer Ann Norman wrote such a lovely review of Sek Loso’s “I’m Back” that I never got to share, so I wanted to finally give everyone a chance to read it~ 🙂
Sek Loso’s new release, aptly titled “I’m Back,” is the first since his hospitalization for drug addiction and a subsequent year-plus-long bout with severe depression, specifically bipolar disorder. His fans and well-wishers can be relieved that the sidelined rockstar has returned with a solid album. I’m not the best one to review it. I know of Sek Loso mainly because of the mutual respect between him and Aed Carabao (Sek calls P’Aed a hero). I am a huge Aed Carabao fan, but even I have to admit that, these days, the younger man outsings our hero. Sek Loso has a rich deep voice with an eerie vibrato. He reminds me of Lady Gaga somehow, being an enormously skilled performer channeling mysterious wild energies. I recently saw a YouTube in which Sek pulls off a flawless and oddly erotic cover of “Booa Loey” while simultaneously smoking a cigarette, playing guitar, and strolling through the crowd, greeting fans.
It’s been a while since my last album review, though to be fair, there hasn’t been much in the way of full releases lately that aren’t just compilations of older songs or multiple artists. But rock band Ebola has finally released their EP “Still Alive,” aptly titled since it’s been a couple years since the band has released anything, and a 5-track half-album is better than nothing! 🙂
Ebola is one of Thailand’s pretty well-established rock bands, having been around since the late 90s, and I respect them for their dedication and the music they produce, though for me their songs have always been hit-or-miss. It seemed like with every album there was always one or two songs that I absolutely loved to death, but then the rest of the album was full of slow rock ballads with sappy sad and pessimistic lyrics that were just bland to me. But because of those handful of songs that are just too awesome for words, I’m always willing to give their new releases a listen.
It’s been five years since No More Tear released their debut album in 2008, it’s about time they were finally granted a new album. Look At the Sky was a highly anticipated release for the band~ But man, how much they’ve changed over those five years. Not only have they lost a member, bringing their band of 5 down to a group of 4, but their style of both looks and music is drastically different. What I liked most about No More Tear when they first debuted was their spunky punk rock sound, brazen screw-social-norms lyrics, and brightly-colored outfits and hairstyles. Whether by choice or by the decision of their record label, GMM Grammy, No More Tear has definitely tamed themselves down. I was disappointed to see the change in their newer singles leading up to this album, but as a fan of the band, I wanted to give their new album a chance.
Thanks again to Ann Norman for returning to share another album review of Carabao’s มนต์เพลงคาราบาว / Mon Pleng Carabao (The Spell of Carabao’s Songs), their 30th anniversary cover album, for everyone! :3
“Check out this fresh album of Carabao covers titled “Mon Pleang Carabao” [The Spell of Carabao Songs]. The old song by that title, released almost thirty years ago, proclaimed the Carabao mission statement––to produce mesmerizing music with a message—something that sticks with you long after the dance party is over. And the song invited the fans to “Come together to sing, make music.” Afterall, “Music isn’t a competition/There is truth and dreams in music.”
Entitled simply “บทที่ 7 / Bot Tee Jet (Volume 7),” Punch’s latest release marks her 7th album in the 7 years she’s been singing professionally.
I’ve always liked Punch, really, I have, but to be honest, over the years her albums have pretty much flopped with me. Personally, I don’t like sad songs. I do admire them if there’s really strong emotion behind them, but otherwise I’m not a sad person, I don’t believe in getting upset or depressed over breakups or love romances, and I think the world would be a happier place if people just listened to more optimistic music. With Punch, it seems like the kick-off single for every one of her albums has been a really great, solid, uplifting song that gives me such high hopes for the album, then when the album finally does come out, every other song on it is slow, somber, and depressing. Every time. And every time, I cross my fingers and decide to check out her new albums anyway.
Thank you to friend and fellow song translator, Ann Norman, for sharing her review of Ad Carabao’s new solo album “วันวานไม่มีเขา วันนี้ไม่มีเรา (Wun Wahn Mai Mee Kao, Wun Nee Mai Mee Rao)!”
“There is one perfect, shining song on this album, the title song, “Wan Waan Mai Mee Kow, Wan Nee Mai Mee Row.” [If Yesterday There Wasn’t Her, Today There Wouldn’t be Us] . Khun Aed explains that he was inspired to write this for his mother and for all mothers; that all mothers are saints to their children. This emotional tribute is delivered so earnestly, just the singing voice brings tears to the eyes, but, as always, the lyrics are more amazing than the tune. I don’t know about all mothers, but my mother was a saint, and so apparently was Aed’s mother. (Since her death, he is often seen wearing a T-shirt with her picture). According to this song, mothers teach us to “fly against the wind.” Another line that reduces me to tears: “Just seeing her, young men and women can fly off to the distant shore of their dreams.” Oh, and the song doubles as a tribute to the band Carabao and their community of fans. “Kow” in the title can mean “him/her” OR “horns” as in the hand signal: m/. So the main meaning of the title is “If yesterday there wasn’t her [our mothers], today there wouldn’t be us.” But the second meaning is “If yesterday there wasn’t the buffalo horns [ m/ ], today their wouldn’t be us [the community of fans].” That’s kind of cool!
Let’s kick off the album review section, shall we? 😀
There hasn’t been many new releases recently; everything’s just been best-of or compilation albums except for Kangsom the Star’s debut, so I guess he gets to be the first on the chopping block! 😛 Which is good, cause it’ll get me out of my comfort zone music-wise. I’ll admit, I’m not a big fan of the Star (after season 4, at least), or any of Thailand’s gratuitous singing contest shows. I just feel like there’s TOO MANY of them, the seasons happen too often, and lately now EVERYONE on the show gets a recording contract, so it defeats the purpose of a contest to begin with. I feel like there’s so many solo artists running around with “The Star” tacked on to the end of their names, I can’t keep them straight. (Seriously, you wouldn’t believe how often I’ve mixed up Gun the Star and Kangsom). So much so that it makes me not want to listen to any of them because I lump them all together as being just mediocre. But, for the purpose of this review and the lack of any other new releases, I checked out Kangsom the Star’s debut album “24.7” and gave it a shot, and I was actually pleasantly surprised to find it’s a pretty solid album.