It’s been almost six months since I last ventured along Orchard Road. Funny how come it took me that long since it is after all, the premier place to go for shopping in Singapore. But then again, everything seems to be the same there with the same boutiques you get every few spaced shopping centres, or so it seemed. But those precious few months away did give me and the wife some unneccesary hassle when we spent the time there last Saturday (24th November 2007).
We were craving for some pizza after doing a spot of shopping at Paragon Shopping Centre. So we headed down to Centrepoint, since the Pizza Hut outlet there was bigger and also because I wanted to head to the Best Denki outlet in the same building. To our dismay, the Pizza Hut outlet had been replaced by another non-Halal restaurant and that Best Denki had closed down. Even the Adidas boutique had closed down! Though there is a new wing added to the building and more food outlets as a result, we didn’t stop for lunch as we both were craving for pizza. So along with Syahindah, we walked all the way back to Lucky Plaza, where there is a Pizza Hut outlet.
Throughout the afternoon, we learnt that Orchard Cineleisure had also gone through some changes with the KFC outlet gone and Adidas taking over the previous Sembawang Music Centre premises. As for The Heeren, HMV has become smaller and shops like Levis boutique has taken over its previous space. And we did not even get the opportunity to venture Takashimaya nor Wisma Atria to see the changes, as we had a wedding invitation to attend later in the evening. Personally I felt like a damn tourist who got lost that day.
Actually the main reason we were at Orchard was because of this:
Yes people!!! It’s finally out, the highly-anticipated repackaged debut album of Imran Ajmain‘s Dengan Secara Kebetulan. Those who had emailed their pre-order CDs were to collect their copies at The Lab building at *Scape Youth Centre, which we all know as the Youth Park at Somerset. Collection was only able to be made from 4pm onwards, so the extra time prior to that was spent gallivanting Orchard Road.
Well, what do I personally think of the album??? Like any repackaged albums (KRU‘s “Empayar KRUjaan” and Innuendo‘s self-titled album comes to mind), one would expect new and improved sounds to be added to the original versions. This album is no different, though it is to be noted that the songs that have been given “tweaks” are those that you seldom hear being played on air, save for “Taurus (Penawar Rindu)“, which was given an added boost with Altimet‘s punchy rapping towards the end. The more haunting hits like “Seribu Tahun“, “Ghaibmu” and “Sudah Tu Sudah” remained intact.
But of course, my personal favourite has to be the new-and-improved “Compromise“. In its original composition, it sounded too close to Justin Timberlake‘s “My Love“, with the electronica sounds in the background, which I felt kinda killed the mood to a song that is meant to be sappy. This latest version more than made up for it and is currently on repeat mode on my iPod. It’s a killer song which I first fell in love listening to it when Imran performed it at the Esplanade back in early March this year.
What is a repackaged album without new additions??? Imran has taken the trouble to include a new track “Abang“, which was recorded live acoustic, and two separate singles “Bahasa Menjunjung Bangsa” (in conjunction with the Malay Language Month) and “Tidak Lama Lagi” (his Hari Raya single found in the Fitrah – Hazir Lebaran album launched a few months ago). “Abang” is unique in that it gives advice without the need of a Nasyid singer to get the message across. One line that sticks to mind is “Jadi jangan engkau lupa lima waktu sehari…” which of course translates to please do not forget your five daily prayers. Subtle, yet effective and expressed without sounding like a typical Nasyid song. “Bahasa Menjunjung Bangsa” brings back lots of unforgettable memories for me as it reminded me of the Malay Language Camp I attended at Jalan Bahtera Camp in 1990. It was there I learnt how to sing this song and it has been given a new lease of life by Imran.
So should you spend your precious $18.00 on this album??? You bet!!! With 21 tracks and practically every one is of a high quality, it’s value for money. And anyway, you’re doing your deed to support one of your local acts. Please do not download his songs on the Net if you happen to see them. Our local acts are not like those in the West where you download their songs, but they still rake in millions. Do have a heart and be more responsible yah???
I don’t normally talk about local football nor give any of the players some added limelight in my blog but something happened over the past weekend which appalled me to no end when I read reports of the violent behaviour of one Mohd Noh Alam Shah during the RHB Singapore Cup Final at Jalan Besar Stadium between SAFFC and Tampines Rovers. For those who are unaware, this sorry excuse of a national player lost his head (what’s new about him???) and kneed his international colleague Daniel Bennett on the head when the guy was already floored. He even came back to rain more kicks and blows on the poor guy, causing him to lose his memory temporarily. Add to that, he also tried to attack a photographer on his way back to the dressing room after being sent off.
Those who watch local football on a regular basis would know, Mohd Noh is a hothead and a very physical player to play against. Citing pressure and tiredness are lame excuses to give for losing his head in that match. And to think Cristiano Ronaldo was made public enemy number one in England for “helping” Wayne Rooney get sent off, that too by running to the referee and complaining about the latter’s challenge on his colleague, when their countries met at the last World Cup. This guy should be banned from football and made to learn that it doesn’t pay to use physical aggression on a fellow professional, what more his own international colleague. His actions actually justify some lawsuit to be made on the part of Bennett and because of that I believe he is culpable of being tried in court for unlawful assault.
Yes he might have been the hero at the last ASEAN Cup by being the team’s top scorer but it should be noted that he has been sent off for violent conduct almost every season in his 11 year career as a professional footballer. You would expect a married man with kids to have that wee bit of patience no matter what he does in life, but this shocking behaviour speaks volumes of his immaturity to handle pressure.
It certainly is a shock to read this kind of behaviour being executed by a senior member of the national team. Saying sorry to his victim is not enough. He had let his team, his international colleagues, his fans and the rest of the nation who respect him, down. I have no sympathy for him and I certainly don’t buy his crap about being tired and being under intense pressure. Too many people would like to be in his shoes, play football as a living, yet he thinks he’s too big for his boots. The authorities would be wise enough to mete out the proper punishment to him and I for one am hoping he’s banned for life!!!