Months ago, I promised a young acquaintance that I’ll write a review of Rosli Mansor’s second album.
I had difficulty finding the right words though.
In desperation (to live up to my promise), I decided to just put down everything else about the album, other than the music.
Here’s what I can easily tell you:
This album is yet another top-notch production from Rosli Mansor and crew.
My musical reference for his music is that he sounds most like Carlos Santana. Added to that are strains of Satriani, with a touch of Vai as well. But on top of all that musical swirls, my untrained ears seem to detect fragments of contemporary Malay rock music in Rosli’s compositions.
His choice of musical gears gives his tracks a consistent and distinctive voice too.
Ah, his playing — as I mentioned in this review, every note of his sounds like they are there for a purpose. It’s not shredding for shredding’s sake.
My favourite tracks would be the ethereal and acoustically-emo “What the Moon Said”, and the Jammin’-like-Joe (Satriani) “Tea Transfer System”.
Those two tracks really hit a sweet spot.
Here’s the hard part.
After several earlier attempts to find words for the album overall, all that came to mind was… so-so!
That really troubled me.
I was about to describe Rosli Mansor’s album as “mediocre“, when he’s clearly more technically-able and musically more accomplished musician that I am.
But today, that changed.
All because I listened to the album in sequence (I kid you not).
The funny thing was that earlier on, I’d mostly listened to the album in Shuffle mode. Somehow, doing so didn’t have that impact as listening in its original sequence. The overall flavour was more coherent in the latter mode.
Maybe it’s something about the overall pace and tonal flavours between tracks. Or maybe I’m in a calmer mood today. Might have been the positive ions in the air, after the light evening rain. Whatever.
But I realised the real change (in opinion) was that I simply let the music flow.
Never mind the right words.
Never mind that I’d offend a better musician.
Never mind that I still didn’t know what Deeper Than Purple meant.
It dawned on me that in wanting to do justice to Rosli Mansor’s music, I’d lost focus of what I should really be doing.
Forget about interpreting the music.
Forget about trying to appear clever, Ivan.
Just enjoy the tracks.
And honest-to-goodness, I did.
Mediocre, this album is not.
p.s. Preview tracks at CDbaby.com.
Here’s their earlier album launch promo video.