Sunday, October 9, 2011


I have always admired Siti Nurhaliza and how she has managed to come so far in the music industry. I can't say that I am an ardent fan of hers but a few of my friends are totally crazy about her. They will feel very offended if something bad is said about their favourite singer and will go all out to defend her. The release of Siti's English album did pique my interest and it has been a while since she made an impact on the local music scene. Is the album any good and is it worth buying? Well, I believe if you can sing well, you can sing almost anything in any language. To tell the truth, the whole album is not really that bad. Actually, it's pretty impressive and I do like most of the songs especially the more upbeat ones. I'm quite sure none will ever chart on the Billboard Top 100 (you know how 'racist' the US Billboard can be towards non-American singers) but with heavy airplay/promotion/video rotation, anything is possible. Despite cruel criticisms by some people, I think Siti deserves a pat on her back. She has released an album that I believe can satisfy her fans and the general buyers. Her voice is very clear (there is no indication of Autotune being used to enhance her voice) and it is real easy to understand her pronunciation. She doesn't try to affect any accent or diction that can make her sound fake and pretentious. She is just like many other singers out there whose first language is not English. Her diction, pronunciation and accent are results of her surroundings, upbringing and various other factors (just listen to Celine Dion, Shakira, Julio Iglesias and Jamaican reggae singers). We don't have to be ashamed of what or who we are and I believe Siti is not trying to be American, British or Australian. She is simply a Malay Malaysian singer who sings in English. The music suits her singing voice and the music arrangement does not make her singing become secondary. I also find delightful traces and elements of ethnic music throughout the whole album. The artwork for the album is also a big departure from her previous albums. It's vibrant, colourful and cheerful. All in all, I would say that this is definitely not a cheap album to produce. The mastering was done in Australia and LA and the inclusion of international producers/musicians clearly indicates that she is roping in other talents as well. For the CD cover and inlays, Siti wears quite a number of designer stuff. Zara, Hermès, Cavalli, Max Mara, Etienne Aigner, Diane von Furstenberg and YSL (I'm sure everything is hers and not on loan). I wish that Siti had not totally depended on the few writers and lyricists who contributed to the album. It makes the album too one-dimensional actually. I also wish she had included a few remixes (for the clubs) and instrumentals (for me to sing karaoke of course). On a scale of 1 to 10, I give this album an 8 1/2 (and that is because there are no remixes or instrumentals).

p/s I know that I won't get anything from promoting this album but please buy the original CD, okay? It's really dirt cheap at only RM 29.90. Let's give a bit of all your love (and support) for her. Who knows you might be falling in love with her...