LALA “Between Us” – Album Review

Lala Berkilau

I first got to know Lala Karmela via YouTube when she was this generic girl with a guitar covering other artists love songs like Yana Yulio’s “Hasrat Cinta” and Asti’s “Satu Jam Saja.” I thought that she is a one-hit-wonder artist trying out her luck struming guitar, nice look and covering songs for soundtracks of movies that could be easily forgettable. But apparently she’s more than all that.

One day she introduced her single “Morning Star” which was an instant catch to my ears and easily likable. The single (or she insists that it was a teaser for her upcoming album) was published via Soundcloud, at exact right moment to coincide with my personal life happening (that I couldn’t get it out of my brain,) that I posted about the single (ahem, teaser) here. Apparently she has found her home in Sinjitos Records. Good for her.

Then in March she published her next single “Berkilau,” announcing that her album will be released in May, which has finally seen light of days now.

The album opens up with “Morning Star,” like said, is an instant likable electronic beat of piano loop over her crisp vocal. It is like a cool breeze in a summer day. Very refreshing. The album title “Between Us” is a decent acoustic guitar song, which has sets her free out of that one-hit-wonder stereotype. This single along can shine compared to today’s Indonesian music. “Berkilau” is a happy-go-lucky song with a surprise twist and turns during verses, refrains and bridges, then it explodes and glitters in the end part. Taking you through her world and personality. “I Don’t Know What To Wear” is a (gasp) standard number with great arrangement and production with her playful lyrics, with very girly topic. “Selamanya” is a slow jam typical Indonesian love song, but does not fall flat cheesy. “You Got Me Again” is a great closer to this album. A song with an attitude from a girls point-of-view, about love-and-hate relationship. Articulate vocals.

Being half-Philippine and half-Indonesian maybe plays a part of her great English lyrics, while her Indonesian lyrics doesn’t come cheesy neither. Still no information regarding the music director, musicians or writing companion (or whether any of the song was written by somebody else,) because I downloaded “Between Us” from iTunes Store Indonesia hence no liner notes, artworks and lyrics. Looking forward to see her live, and also buy the physical CD, it’s that worth it. Meanwhile by all means go buy “Between Us” here!

Lala Karmela, you got me again!

Good Intentions by Toad The Wet Sprockets

For me, The 90s were the golden years when it comes to good music. Musician still writing music with hearts, with true craftsmanship and was performed honestly. Unlike nowadays where music is instant, artificial and seems like produced by machines.

Toad The Wet Sprockets

Last night when I was driving home after I have an engine trouble, I played some of the best underrated band from the 90s: Toad The Wet Sprockets (TTWS.) They have been categorized as “College Rock,” a similar genre with The Gin Blossoms and R.E.M. (the latter two garnered more mainstream coverage.) Back then, there were no internet and we have to solely rely on the mainstream media for knowledge of good music, from radio play and (a new thingy back back then) music videos. Private TV channels were new. So I was lucky enough to know TTWS from Rati, my friend’s Wima‘s sister. I borrowed “Fear,” a 1991 great album from TTWS at the peak of their mainstream status.

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The Cardigans – Gran Turismo JKT

The Cardigans-Gran Turismo JKT

I am of that age that going to concerts doesn’t excite me as it was when I was younger. Back then, I tried to score meet & greets, backstage passes and complimentary tickets. This time around I managed to score complimentary ‘Tribune 2’ ticket for The Cardigans. I intended to get Festival ticket though, so this door prize ticket I got from Cardigans Night held at Tokove Kemang served as back up plan, but it turned out that I had no additional budget for entertainment, so guessed Tribune 2 will do.

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