Wednesday, August 27, 2003

CD Review: "Yusry" by Yusry KRU

On the last time I took some time off from the office, I decided to go to my local music store to get some new CDs for my collection. Among them was the first solo effort by Yusry Abdul Halim or who is more commonly known as Yusry from the Malaysian boyband, KRU. Yusry is the first of the trio of brothers who make up KRU who has decided to try his luck as a solo artist. This album is being released at the height of his popularity with the recent news of his marriage with an equally talented local songstress, Erra Fazira. In a way, I would think that the current attention being focused on him would help with the album sales and I do believe that this is true as I was told that his album sold well the week it was released. I’ve been listening to this album for close to a week now and thought that I might humbly document my impression of the album. Of course I am not a professional reviewer so most of the things I will write below would mainly be my own opinions of what I have heard so far.

The album opens with an interesting choice that I must admit didn’t really sound hopeful at first listen. The song “Tertewas Lagi” starts off a bit too slow for a hook song for me but then gradually builds up to a nice mid tempo song. One thing that I immediately noticed is the British retro vibe that I was getting from it from the first time I listened. I would be hard pressed to put my finger on what makes this so for me but somehow I have an image of the swinging sixties when I hear this song. Regardless, the album really begins for me with “Dekat Pada Mu” which was a really catchy tune with a chorus that left me humming it the whole day I first heard it. It has a playful melody that flows smoothly into a foot tapping rhythm that is hard to resist. I could actually imagine that this song would be an instant favorite among his fans.

I didn’t really care much with the way the next song “Jika Kau Tiada” started. Fortunately this duet with his young bride quickly moves into gear and develops into a quite enjoyable mid tempo tune. I also got a retro vibe from this song much like the first song of the album. As a couple, the two complemented each other’s vocals beautifully and I can’t help but feel that the lyrics are a reflection of how they felt towards each other. From a duet, we moved to a slightly faster tempo with “3 Minggu” with more retro vibe built in. By this time, I was a bit distracted by it that I didn’t really enjoy this song. I guess that on its own, this song is quite good with its playful beat but as part of this album it felt too repetitive.

The high point for me on this album was listening to “Terbang Tinggi”. As a heartfelt ballad, this song lets Yusry do what in my opinion he is best at. The lyrics pays poignant tribute to his two brothers who have supported him all these years as part of KRU as well as his current venture as a solo artist. As a fan who has been following his career since they first started, I could not help but be touched by the sincerity of the words from the song. If I had to pick a favorite song out of this album, this would be it followed closely with “Dekat Pada Mu”.

I have to say that I didn’t really like the next song “Warna Kehidupan” on the virtue that it was too jarring a transition from the previous song. I guess that if I was listening to an old style LP, this song would actually on the B-side and would make more sense as it starts off on a faster pace from the song preceding it. This song would definitely not be my choice to follow such a beautiful ballad on the CD as the transition is too abrupt for me. Nevertheless I have to admit that this song then sets the stage up for the next up tempo song, “Mengapa?” which I would describe as a bit cheeky. I couldn’t help but be grinning at the rambunctious energy that this song carried with it.

The next two songs “Bermimpi Lagi” and “Hari Ini” let me feeling a bit ambivalent. I neither hated nor loved these two songs which was a bit strange seeing that the other songs managed to provoke a reaction in my mind. Maybe it was because in the case of “Bermimpi Lagi” I found this ballad a bit too dragging compared to the “Terbang Lagi” and in the case of “Hari Ini” I found the lyrics a bit too confusing in terms of trying to understanding the message of the song. Fortunately, the album ends with on a high note with “Tamat” which I must say is an appropriate choice. In my opinion, this song mildly amusing to me as it was about a breakup and yet done in an up tempo beat. I guess that this song was meant for those who went through a mutual breakup rather than those being dumped. It was definitely too cheerful for a song about breaking up.

As a whole, the album was a good effort by this young artist as his debut solo venture. Aside from the distracting retro vibe that reminded me of how old I was, I really enjoyed it and would gladly recommend it to other followers of the local music scene. The whole CD zips along quite fast at less than 40 minutes of play time which I thought was a bit short for a local album but at the new ceiling price recently set by the government, I have to say that this album is a good buy. As for the artist himself, with the talent that he displayed in the production of this album, I have no doubt that we will be seeing greater things to come from Yusry in the future. May his star continue to ascend and brighten the local music scene.

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