Archive for Rock

Bondan Prakoso & Fade 2 Black’s “Unity”

Unity
I know I promised a September post and I’m nearly breaking my promise, but hey, it’s still a few more days till September ends! I was just really devastated because KSM split up. Okay, maybe not devastated but upset all the same.

Anyway, this time, I’ll be talking about an Indonesian song that I’m really addicted to right now. It’s called “Unity”, and it’s by a group that has a freakishly long name. They’re called Bondan Prakoso & Fade 2 Black. Bondan Prakoso is a person’s name, by the way.

So I’ll start with introducing the group. They’re a rock/rap group, which is really, really rare in Indonesia. There aren’t a lot of rappers in Indonesia. I only know one, other than Fade 2 Black. (Then again, I’m not exactly an expert in Indonesian music…) Anyway, the group consists of four people: Bondan Prakoso (vocalist & bassist), Tito Budidwinanto (rapper & beatboxer), Ardaninggar Nazir (rapper) and Danial Rajab Fahreza (rapper). I know, I know, the names are hard to remember… Doesn’t really matter, because I won’t really talk about each and every one of them.

I’ll just write up a little something about Bondan Prakoso, because he’s the one who created the group. He used to be a kid singer, apparently. Never heard of him before his collaboration with Fade 2 Black, though. Anyway, he is a pretty awesome bassist. Seriously, I watched a clip of him just playing the bass part for Unity, and I never thought that watching someone play bass would be that mesmerizing. You can really tell that he’s into his music. He’s awesome.

Anyway, now I’ll finally talk about “Unity”. It’s from their second album, called, well, “Unity”. Ha. First of all, let me just say it one more time: it is made out of total AWESOME-NESS. And maybe even head-bang-worthy. I may be exaggerating right now.

Procrastinations aside, this type of song is really rare in Indonesian music. I’d say it’s more heavy than most of the Indonesian stuff that are famous. I think Indonesian bands are more into plain pop music and sometimes rock or jazz. Also, the message in the song is really rare for an Indonesian song, too. They’re usually depressing, you know. Or if it’s not depressing, it’s comedy. But Bondan Prakoso & Fade 2 Black’s songs are mostly promoting optimism, and I just love that, because I’m really into that kind of stuff. For example, their latest single, “Kita Slamanya” or “Us Forever” is about long-lasting friendship. Definitely one of my favorites.

Anyway, more about “Unity”. It’s pretty self explanatory. It’s about unity and world peace. One of the lines in the song that really struck me was the one that mentioned “Bhineka Tunggal Ika” which means different but the same, and it’s like Indonesia’s motto. Or something along those lines. Sorry, I’m Indonesian, but I’m not an expert on this kind of stuff. International education and all that.

Now, for the music aspect of it. It opens with some bass, and then guitar and drums. It’s a unique start, actually. After that, Fade 2 Black starts rapping. They actually have some English lyrics in it, even though they’re not necessarily grammatically correct. But that’s just my editor side overreacting. My most favorite part of the song is when Bondan starts singing. It is so catchy! Seriously! I want to put a ton of exclamation marks so badly, but I figured that would just make it confusing to read. It’s just a catchy tune… We believe as one in time, we will be as one in mind…

If you listen closely to the instruments, it’s really entertaining to listen to the bass. Very interesting, because I rarely ever pay attention to that kind of stuff. Brunno would probably appreciate me saying this. Haha.

There’s one part that sounds kind of like some sort of campaign-type speech, and I thought that part dragged a little. Especially if you don’t understand the lyrics. You probably won’t be interested in that part. So I just wished that part was a little shorter. The bass part saved it from being boring.

But seriously, if you listen to this song a few times, the vocal part will be stuck in your head for days. That’s what happened to me, so I’m just warning you.

Phew, it’s almost one and a half pages long. You should be happy. Very happy.

Listen to it, and tell me what you think! Let me know if you want the translation of the lyrics or something.

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Evanescence’s "Bring Me To Life"

Fallen

Here’s something weird: a few weeks ago, I suddenly remembered a single song title that I haven’t heard in ages. Then, I looked for it on listen.grooveshark.com (great website, by the way, you should check it out) and listened to it. Guess what happens next?

I became obsessed with it.

Seriously, this is a bad habit for me. I’d listen to one song that I either really, really love or haven’t listened to in a while, and then I can’t stop listening to it! So I guess now you know why I’m talking about this, right? Because what else am I going to talk about in this blog post? Why, that piece of music that I’m obsessing over, of course!

So. Drum roll, please, as I present to you the song…

It’s “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence.

I don’t know if you’ve heard of this band or not, but Evanescence is a Goth rock band with a female lead singer, Amy Lee. This song, which was a single from their debut album “Fallen”, was released in 2003 and features a male singer, too: Paul McCoy. I have never heard of him before this, but apparently, he’s in another rock band.

Now, here’s a teeny warning before you consider listening to it. There’s a little bit of screaming in it. But it only takes about 10 seconds of the song, so I think it’s fine. I mean, I don’t like songs with screaming in it in the first place either, but this is an awesome song.

Anyway, I’ll move on to actually talking about the music. Finally.

The intro is very eerie and mysterious. It consists of only piano and strings, and it was very quiet, so I guess this is why it sounds mysterious. The singer’s voice in the beginning is actually rather haunting, too. It gives me the chills when I’m listening to it in my room all alone at night…

Then, the guitars come, and the drums, and then it just becomes this awesome loud music. I love how the different instruments come out one by one. It’s a great buildup to the song’s climax. A great contributor to the crescendo, too.

Paul McCoy comes out first in the chorus. I think that this part is a really addicting part, because it gets stuck in my head, mainly because they repeated the chorus a few times.

This whole song is great, but my favorite part has to be the bridge. Amy Lee’s voice is really strong and powerful in this part, and I love that. And there’s a little part by Paul McCoy that sounds kind of like rap, which is interesting. I also think that the melody here is really memorable, especially the part where the lyrics says “Frozen inside, without your touch, without your love” and so on. And then, of course, comes the screaming. Actually kind of fits, I think. It’s like this part is very balanced, because there’s the melodic and vulnerable female part, and then there’s the screaming and rough male part.

I really like the drums in the end. It’s so loud. I don’t know, sometimes I just like that loudness. Like I can’t hear myself think, so that I don’t think as much as I usually do. I guess it’s sort of like my escape from reality.

Right now, I can’t really think of any flaws in the song… It won Best Hard Rock Performance in the 2004 Grammy awards, after all. But, hey, maybe you can think of something. So please listen to it, and share your thoughts in the little comment box below! And if you’re interested in this band, I’d recommend you to listen to the rest of the “Fallen” album, which I think is by far their best album to date, and especially listen to “Going Under” and “My Immortal”. These two and “Bring Me To Life” are my favorites!

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Simple Plan’s "Generation"

SP1

This time, I’ll talk about a song from a Canadian band, Simple Plan. I heard this song on TV, in a commercial for the TV series Heroes. It stuck to my head, and so I decided to buy the Simple Plan self-titled album. I’m not exactly sure why, but they remind me of bands like Linkin Park and Green Day.

“Generation” is the reason I started listening to this particular band. The song is very catchy, and it easily gets stuck in my head. It’s the kind of song that makes me jump around in my bedroom, singing along to my iPod!

The beginning is very nice, with the trumpets. The beginning builds up to the loud guitars of the chorus. Some people may not like loud punk rock songs, but I think that the drums and guitars in the chorus make the song interesting. Without it, the song will probably sound dull.

I think that the repetition in this song is very effective. It doesn’t make it boring at all, and you know, Mr. Weinhold always says that a good composition repeats itself a lot. Some examples of the repetitions in this song are the trumpets in the beginning, middle and end, and the repetition of the word ‘generation’.

Pierre, the vocalist of this band, has a very nice voice, despite the lack of interesting texture. (Yes, I’m not going to ramble about how unusual someone’s voice is. Ha!) I think that his voice fits this type of music.

I love this song, but I think that there are still some flaws in it. Overall, the song is a little bit monotonous. They barely change any of the tempo or dynamics, keeping it allegro and forte. As I said before, quoting Mr. Weinhold, ‘repetition is good’, but if you look at it at this angle, it’s way too repetitious.

This is a song that I enjoy listening to very much, and I know people have different tastes, but give it a try and tell me what you think!

Note: Wow, it’s shorter than usual. Don’t worry, I’m just having a slight writer’s block. (Yes, I’m acting as if you actually like my long blog posts.)

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