May 23, 2009

Mungkanghan -S/T (review)

Mungkanghan's album starts off on a promising note – a funky instrumental bassline topped off with woodwind and tribal percussions, a fresh, eclectic blend of everything hip and, at the same time, down-to-earth. But as the album progressed, the music began sounding repetitive and rehashed. Eventually, I came to the realization that what this band has created is praiseworthy ethnic music but, like nearly all ethnic albums I've heard in recent times, simply doesn't bring anything new to a game where everything's pretty much already old and worn out.

What really did this album in is the offkey vocals. I've never seen these guys live, unfortunately, and as far as I know, studio recording can make even the tiniest mistake as audible as, let's say, an ugly car crash. But, as much as I hate to be this frank, the vocals made the album, which was already sounding a little off-sync to begin with, almost unbearable to listen to.

This is a relatively young band and I'm sure there's a lot of improvement in their future. For one thing, I've heard even the most tonedeaf singers eventually progress into being able to hold a note perfectly. But for the meantime, this album just doesn't cut it for me. Being ethnic music isn't an excuse for breaking the basic nuances of good music.

Mungkanghan on Myspace

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