That new unity song we're apparently so proud of?
At the risk of sounding bloody unpatriotic - I hate it. I really think it sucks.
When I first heard hitz.fm pimping it to death, I was hoping that it would amount to something worthwhile.
Collaboration of big names. Singers and non-singers. 120 people. Nobody was paid.
A patriotic song that promotes racial unity.
I was curious loh. But I wasn’t expecting the sky. And when the song finally hit the airwaves, in the first 5 seconds I was like “THIS is it? This is the thing that everybody’s so damn proud of which took a month to create?”
When the song finally ended, all I could muster was a “huh?”
The lyrics didn’t make sense. How does it relate to hope and unity? “The song has shadows in its lyrics”. Ooo-kay. Maybe the makna tersirat was buried too deep for me to get it. Maybe I’m just too shallow to appreciate poetry. Maybe the song was not meant for thick people like me to appreciate. Har I don't know lah. But I just wasn't feeling it, dawg.
The melody was uninspiring and bland. The chord progressions just didn’t work for me, it sounded off. Yeah so you have Jaclyn tarik-ing all her notes and sounding like all gospel-like but… so what? It felt, plastic. Like it was just cut and pasted in there to make it sound bigger that it really is. It feels one dimensional and fake. Like they tried a little too hard or too much to make everything gel together but it just didn’t stick.
It didn’t move me loh. I wasn’t inspired. I wasn’t touched. No tears in my eyes. No soaring in my heart.
Most of all. There were no goosebumps. You know a song is great and emotionally gets to you when you get goosebumps. The last song which gave me goosebumps was when David Cook tarik-ed that one note on Chris Cornell's version of Billie Jean.
Do you remember We Are the World? THAT gave me goosebumps. THAT is a perfect example of one heckuva excellent collaboration and seamless integration of the unique styles of some of the biggest names back then. We are the world! We are the children! We are the ones who make a brighter day. So let's start giving!
So simple! So meaningful!
Even the newer cover version of What’s Going On for the Artists Against AIDS was good. It didn’t quite give me goosebumps, but the song reached out to me. It made sense. Mother, mother, there's just too many of you crying.... It's a song I would listen to it over and over again.
Okay before I’m being accused of worshipping our penjajah too much, let’s give a local example. I really, really hate to admit to this but I thought that very old patriotic song, Inilah Basiran Kita, was very moving. Do you remember this? That guy singing with his loud booming voice, backed by the beating of the drums.
Inilah barisan kita,
Yang ikhlas berjuang.
Siap sedia berkorban,
Untuk ibu pertiwi!
Sebelum kita berjaya,
Jangan harap kami pulang!
Inilah sumpah pendekar kita,
Menuju medan bakti!
Andai kata kami gugur semua,
Taburlah bunga di atas pusara.
Kami mohon doa,
Semboyan telah berbunyi,
Menuju medan bakti!
Everytime the song is played it compels me to stop whatever I’m doing, stand straight up and salute our warriors who are going to die defending our tanahair. So simple. So real. So effective.
But this new song feels a bit, messy, disorganised and disjointed. Let’s throw in everything we know which symbolizes unity and muhibbah into a song and make it BIG. How to go wrong, right?
Races which symbolizes our nation. Check.
Multiple languages. Check.
Jaclyn Victor. Check.
Rap verse. Check.
Haih. I don’t know lah. I really really wanted to like the song. I tried, but I just couldn’t.
More than anything, it actually sounds a little self-indulgent.
Well, maybe it’s just me lah. Everybody else seems so proud of it.