Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Top 10 Lukthung songs of 2008

I haven't heard every Lukthung song this year but i've heard a lot, some songs might be off 2007 released albums but i heard them this year! For fairness each artist has only been allowed the 1 song in the top 10 (otherwise Tai Orratai would have had about half of the songs there!) So having taken all that into account, in my opinion the best 10 songs are :

1) mai lhor tae ruk jing - Arid Waamak

2) mar jark din - Tai Orratai
3) mar la woey - Kraetae
4) boh lhuer yhung hai whung laew - Jintara Poonlap
5) poo sao tai barn - Karaked
6) jeb nee puer ter - Fon Tanasoontorn
7) bao nuk rean yai - Dear Sasitorn
8) ber kai yao fao ror - Pu Sriwilai
9) ter tao nun - Film Narinthip
10) mue dai sima - Newkoi Kannika

Monday, 29 December 2008

Top 10 Lukthung CDs of 2008

Its that time of year again, i.e. the end, where thoughts turns to reviewing what came in the year before. Later on in this series we will list our top 10 lukthung songs of 2008 and finally the top 10 artists of the year but first of all what were the best 10 CDs. On this blog we reviewed dozens of CDs and procured many more so what was best in our opinion?

1) Tai Orratai - mar jark din
Tai Orratai's 5th album was released at the end of 2007 but we didn't receive it to the first week of 2008. A superb collection of songs starting with the title track, a few slight mis-hits with faster tracks but when Tai sticks to her slow sorrowful tracks she is unbeatable! I played this album so much this year that if they had such a thing as pay-per-play i would have been bankrupt by April.

2) Bew Kalayanee - buntuek pleng ruk
Bew Kalaynee is really starting to build a good career now, we like how she is adding rock power and attitude to good solid lukthung tunes. This album was her best yet.

3) Jintara Poonlap - yoo karng ter samuer
Jintara's second CD for RS was much better than the first with well written and well performed songs in a variety of styles.

4) Various - Dao roong luk thung Thailand : hua jai tai fhun
A compilation album, this time from a reality show. They are always a mixed bag but hopefully you find some pearls. Arid Waamak's song "Mai lhor tae ruk jing" was one of those, brilliant. Some of the other songs are pretty good too.

5) Vit Hyper - koh vit
OK he didn't give us "Wittalai lhai jai" again but tried his best to repeat the formula on this album which was much better rounded and balanced than the last one.

6) Dear Sasitorn - hua jai nuk soo
Best debutant of the year, a superb collection of well-sung and inventive tracks on the rockier side of lukthung. Excellent roots music.

7) Karaked - yark pen khon tee don ai huk
Karaked was one of the first lukthung singers i ever got into and delivered the goods on this latest album, smooth and competent. And gorgeous.

8) Noo Meter - kwam ruk kwam wung kwam fhun
A terrific series of songs early on this album, track after track of radio friendly rock balladish-lukthung. Brilliant.

9) Bua Bunchitar - fhun khong poh kum khor khong mae
A very good debut, maybe a little too dominated by 1-2 really good songs and a few that were... lets be charitable and say fillers. But very promising all the same.

10) Ajareeya Bussaba - hua jai... mee ngarn kao
Ajareeya's comeback, a blistered fusion of styles and energy. Beyond brilliant, it came late in the year otherwise would probably be higher up the top 10.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

MV : "Pen huang der jar" by Tai Orratai ต่าย อรทัย

My favourite artist these days is Tai Orratai so of course when her new album came out i had to get it on CD and VCD! The VCD came this week and this is one of the songs off the album. It has a Chinesey feel to it both musically and visually. As for the album its good but not quite as good as her last one, but then again that was perfect. Might just need to give her new songs time to bed in so to speak. I'll review Tai's album in full next year some time so i won't give away much. Her position as my Queen is secure for the time being lets just say that.

Who is the chick in this MV by the way, very cute (though to be quite honest overacts massively). She has appeared in a couple of other videos i have seen, including one on the last Tai CD.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

MV : "Jarng mun ter" by Kratae กระแต

This is off Kratae's third album which was released a month or so ago. The album is quite nice though i feel it lacks some of the passion and energy of Kratae's previous 2 albums. Maybe too many late nights, are those bags under your eyes Kratae?

Anyway its a nice if basic up-tempo song. The dance routines are smooth and serviceable. Professional if not that exciting, like the song. Hey it sounds like i am really down on Kratae, i still love her just that she wasn't quite as awesome as usual this time, just pretty good instead of great. You can't win them all... unless you are a banker.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

CD : Nui Suweenar นุ้ย สุวีณา - nui sung fan

Nui Suweenar made her debut last year on another record label and her debut was not bad though only had 1 song that really stood out. Her second album is on RS and she looks mighty fine on the cover, love the bandana! So she looks good but does she sound good?

Yes! The first song is the title track and is a superb fast track with some nice guitar and a well sung chorus. She fits in many words into the fast chorus without any mangling of any syllables, a sign of vocal skill. "Bundit kreed yang" which follows is a laid back slow song. Nui again sounds good on the song though strains with some of the notes slightly. Following is the harmonica led "Ma tee lhung wung taeng". She sounds better on it, the key suits her voice better. Her vocals are clear and have a nice tone. The song has a nice basic melody.

The tempo is back up on "Lhob fon tee sork tuek" which has a nice dance beat and up a bit more tempo for "Khon dum jai dee". Nui's vocals really work well here. The song drives along determinedly. But what we need now is a bit of passion and drama. Aha "Khon koi khon klai" is next, a slow song with a bit of emotion in it. Superb song sung really well, powerful chorus. After the title track the best song on the album.

"Oak huk hai lhob tai" is a faster and more country-ish song with a jolly little beat and accordion. "Sao ta kom arom khem" is a fast song driven by some super fast guitar chords, sounding not unlike the opener of an Ajareeya song. Nui tackles the song well. "Kum kuen khon sode" has some fast guitar work but more rock influenced. The song drives along well in a rock-pop meets lukthung way. Finally "Bin lah ha koo" starts off with some violin and reminds me of an Irish song at the start. Its OK but nothing more than OK.

Overall a very good album with just a couple weaker songs but those songs are still not that bad. I'm so happy her album is great too, i feel such a fraud fancying a singer who is rubbish. She isn't.

Best songs : Nui sung fan, Khon koi khon klai, Kum kuen khon sode

Rating : 9/10

Click here to get this CD

MV : "Aow-wa-sarn" by Noy Stamp น้อย-แสตมป์

Kluay and Noy Stamp both release solo albums as well as together. I got Kluay's a few months ago and its pretty good though oddly i didn't play it that much. I'm not sure why, it might be just because i had got a lot of other albums at the same time. Time is the one resource we can never increase.

Anyway Noy's album i got a few weeks ago and it also very good. I like this hard rock song off it especially.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

MV : "Narm nai tar" by Bew Kalayanee บิว กัลยาณี

Bew was the third lukthung artist i ever bought anything by (the other two being Jintara and Mai Saowapar - whatever happened to her?) It was Bew's debut album too which was OK though you suspected Bew wasn't really the person on the cover but rather someone RS was trying to create and it jarred a bit.

Subsequent albums seem to be much more Bew and not manufactured (i could be totally wrong of course but her current image seems much more natural and comfortable) as she develops a cool rocky hard edge to her lukthung. Especially her third album which is among the year's best and includes this song.

"Narm nai tar", my current favourite over the last couple of weeks. It starts off with some nice contemporary piano and then into Bew's lovely vocals, which are smooth yet gutsy. The song probably has some cross-over appeal. The video is maybe a bit basic, just being a performance video, but the song is #7 on the album so they obviously ran out of budget. I don't mind though, i prefer to see Bew anyway and not some contrived storyline. Lovely woman, lovely song.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Introducing a new style to this blog - less mechanical and more conversational

It happens in the life of every blog, the owner wonders if he is doing the right thing. Often it happens after 1-2 posts (and if you have a Blog that's not been updated since 2005 why not kill it so someone else can use the name!) The "midlife crisis" of this blog was reached recently. It had become a bit of a mechanical grind to update the blog.

I had a schedule worked out, 2 MVs back to back then a CD review, 2 more MVs then some CD artwork then 2 more MVs et cetera. Fine, it kept the blog updated every day but was... boring. So instead i am going to break from the old mechanical style and writing short posts that either contain a MV and some pics or a slightly longer post with a review. Instead all posts will try and maintain a bit of a conversation... and may also include MV/pics/review or whatever. The daily update grind will also be dropped though i'll try and maintain 3-4 postings a week.

It may make the blog more readable, not that i think anyone does read it. Its very low on the Google rankings anyway, even though its the only english language resource for lukthung that actually updated (or seems so anyway - not that i am bitter of course). So maybe more conversation will bring in the punters?

So welcome to version 2.0 of this blog.

MV : "Tang cai maa tua" by Dalhar Tunyaporn ดาหลา ธัญญาพร

Not heard of this singer before but its a nice song.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

CD : Ajareeya Bussaba อาจารียา บุษา - hua jai... mee ngarn kao

Ajareeya's comeback (and 5th album), eagerly awaited by myself and i am sure many people and it does not disappoint. The album starts off with some blistering fast tracks including the rollicking title track with it's pounding percussion and piercing vocals and sheer energy. An amazing way to start the album as is the following "Taeng ngarn kun hur". A good fast song with some interesting musical touches. "Bon jao mae" has more, with plenty of traditional instrumentation and a modern fast beat. This album is very adventurous musically, as if cut free of U2 Ajareeya is free to explore a more interesting sound.

"Aab ruk nai hua" is a slow song which comes in 2 versions, and a nice pop song if a bit too basic compared to these other songs but certainly by no means bad. "Jum jon tai" is really something though, sounding like Sunita Leetikul (another favourite of mine) with it's laid back bluesy soul feel. A terrific song and miles away from anything Ajareeya did before. "Jer tae ngoo" returns us to fast songs, before Ajareeya's forte though on this album she has come a long way and is equally comfortable on slower songs too.

So great fast songs and greater slow songs. This is the best Ajareeya album by far and maybe the best album all year. She looks great too, but unlike a lot of artists can back it up on record. Essential.

Rating : 9.5/10

Click here to get this CD

Monday, 1 December 2008

New Releases (01/12/08)

  • Poj Suwannapun - kwam fhun lae kwam ruk
  • Noy Stamp - theep song (below)
  • Oil Araya - kid tueng jung
  • Poifai Malaiporn - mun tong torn
  • Prame Preeyagorn - made in din klone
  • Air Suchawadee - sao hiser
  • Sathika Supunsa - nhoo nar baan nork
  • KrataiKaaw Daoroong - oak huk kor koom