Posted: 15 Jan 2012 10:26 PM PST
I have been a fan of Stephen Rahman Hughes since I first saw him as Hang Tuah in Puteri Gunung Ledang - The Musical (Season 1) way back in 2006....not only because he has a handsome face, but his voice can melt any girl's heart (Yes, even mine...heh!)
The most recent performance of his that I attended was April last year, where he performed with Ramin Karimloo and Simon Bailey for "West End Stars in Concert". SUPER amazing, and everyone was so swoon-worthy...*sighs*
Okay, back to reality a bit...LOL! SO...during that concert, Stephen sang a BM song that he says is going to be in his new album (YAYYY!) and the song is SOOO pretty! LOVED it to bits and made me anxious for his album to be out...I mean, with HIS voice and songs similar to that one which he performed, I figured it's going to be a KILLER album!
Well, the album is FINALLY out =) A self-titled album, Stephen's album consists of 8 songs...all in Bahasa Malaysia. Bit of a dampener considering he's more British than Malaysian (even though he IS half-Malaysian!), but it's quite nice to see that he's trying his hardest to please his Malaysian fans. I couldn't find a copy until I read his fan FB page stating which stores carry his album and I got there JUST in time to get the last copy of the album at the store...hehe! So, what's my 'verdict'?
I guess I am on the fence with his album.....while I do admit that the songs do kind of cater to his range, I very much prefer him singing slow, ballad-y songs compared to uptempo or even mid-tempo songs. Unfortunately, the album cuts right in the middle with the number of slow and uptempo songs....and I'm not too sure who arranged the sequence of the songs, but there is the typical 'fast song followed by slow song' formula which is a little irksome, if you ask me.
The highlight for me is definitely the song that he sang in the concert - "Bertemu Di Syurga". For lack of a better word, it is very 'pretty'....with the piano intro, strings and big chorus, it's a lovely song that one dedicates to their loved ones =) Still, I find it a little bit 'overproduced' in the sense that there are too many things going on as the background music. I so much preferred the way they arranged the music during the concert...gives a much better flow to the song. Watch the song performed here (I recorded it with my phone, so excuse the bad quality!):
However, there are some other songs which I find grew on me with a few more listens...need I say more that they are ballads as well? =P "Hati Berbisik" is a lovely duet with Jaclyn Victor, though I have to say that Jac's voice is featured so little here! Still, the song is cool =) "Cinta Masih Ada" is another song that grows on you...it's a song about sacrifices that people make for their loved ones, and above it all, there. is. love. And my second most favourite song is "Ku Lepas". Another pretty song with a big chorus and soft ending...but I think what spoke to me most were the lyrics, where it talks about letting go for the best of both parties. =')
My only 'complaint' with this is the emo-Malay Rock song that is "Ekspresi". I don't know what it is, but I didn't like it one bit...even after a few listens. LOL! It JUST doesn't fit with Stephen's voice and I guess I am biased, but the jiwang rock thing is just....weird. I find it a bit wasteful to put this up in the album, but I guess the rocker fans might enjoy it. *shrugs* So yup, there is my two cents' worth. I like it, but I can't say I'm absolutely thrilled with this album....let's hope he comes up with another one soon where he sings material that really gel with his voice and style =)
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