Sunday, September 09, 2007

Howsy Reviews The Controversial Namewee’s Self-titled Album – Diperakukan oleh KPDNHEP Sebagai ORI!

Continuing the quest to appeal to the masses, which includes fengtau ah-beng music lovers the layman, of course, here’s Howsy first ever music review – the controversial Wong Meng Chee a.k.a. Name Wee’s self-titled, self-composed and self-produced debut DIY EP.

Perhaps the first ever Youtube-made-it-big turned recording artiste in Malaysia (up yours, Harian Metro!), Name Wee was released on the 3rd September; but only got the chance to purchase it yesterday for only RM13.90 at a major record store chain. True to the symbiotic relationship with the concept of open-access (which includes Uncle Ho’s mahchais), the packaging of the album, even through certified ORI by the KPDNHEP, looked like a pirated open-access album. With no jewel case and the paper quality of the photo pixel-montage cover slightly better than pirated ones, Name Wee looks almost like a typical single released in the UK or US. It is an EP, and not a full album, as it contains 10 tracks consisting of only 6 original material which includes the previously online hit – Muar’s Mandarin, and the rest –live and minus one versions of the previous tracks. So nope, Negarakuku and My Friends are not there but nonetheless still pretty controversial and perhaps should even come with a ‘Parental Guidance Advisory’ label.

Paying ‘tribute’ to moms, the album started off with the track Mum Said…, reminiscent of similar sentiments with tracks previously sung by Jay Chou (Ting Mama De Hua), S.H.E. (forgotten the track name), Vic Chou of the F4 fame (also forgotten the track name) et al. The ‘cleanest’ of all tracks, track 1 proves the vocal ability of Namewee and the most pleasant to listen of all, IMHO. Now I wonder who is the girl behind the background vocals…

The track listing.

Track 2’s title explains all – One Night Stand, which is actually pretty catchy; although one might misheard it as One Nine’s Ten (1 9’s 10). This is not the first time for a track having the same title, and you would expect the reasons why one choose many flowers in the nursery (hopefully not a Banting) over erhmm, a single one. ;-) Nothing vulgar though, and it even promotes safety!

On the first encounter, Track 3 - Pity Little Brother might sound like a spin-off of Ah Niu’s innocent self-pity/why-doesn’t-she-like-me type of songs, featuring the obligatory violin tune at the intro. Wait till you hear the lyrics ‘leave all the miseries at the toilet’ and the outro split-second moan, you’ll know why ‘Little Brother’ is lamenting the lack of attention on him. Nevertheless, if your ‘antenna’ is right, you’ll get the connotation right away even before listening to the track. ;-)

Sing-along lyrics.

The ironic ‘King of Piracy’ on Track 4 lets Namewee struts his rapping skills, decorated with some cursing words here and there. Perhaps too used to his previous online-released track, there’s nothing too outstanding about this track; but the background robot-like vocal seems to be conveying subliminal messages. Check out your friendly local neighborhood to see if the irony of this track is proven, albeit at a slightly more than 1/3 of the ORI price but perhaps with 1/3 more tracks with the obligatory remix versions included, of course. ;-)

Dayum! Why the censorship on Track 5 - Muar’s Mandarin? Big chunks in certain parts somemore! What’s his beef with Cantonese-speaking KL-ites (with the strongest purchasing power), anyway?

The demo ‘Adorable Girl’ on Track 6 sounds like a campus-folk, commercial Taiwanese pop song. Probably will melt the hearts of a few girls. Luckily it is not named ‘Adorable Woman’ or Ke Ai Nu Ren; or else the EP will sound like a Jay Chou-wannabe album.

Overall, Name Wee is pretty impressive for a supposedly room-recorded DIY album. Bad publicity is still publicity. I’ll give it a ‘2.75/5’ rating. Go get the album to make sense of this review. Makes one wonder if Harian Metro actually conspires with him to make his album sells…hehe...

Citizen-revoking game, anyone?

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