Saturday, March 07, 2009
LILAC SAINTS- Awake CD
(Springroll Music Pte Ltd 1999)
One of the most memorable names from the New School Rock cohorts, Lilac Saints stood out as a band always making very sublime and beautiful indie pop rock music like “Gina” and “Wasting Time” with frequent appearances on radio, and they were even nominated for Best Local Band in Perfect 10 98.7FM awards back in 1996, yet this is one band that you've always heard about but never see their albums in stores. Because at some point of time I wasn't actively seeking out CDs, I missed all the chances of getting Lilac Saints releases when they were launched and for the next many years that follows, I've never come across any of their album. One eventful day two weeks ago, I was approached by one guy wanting to trade his Lilac Saints for my spare copy of Humpback Oak CD and today I am the proud owner of the “Awake” CD! I heard that not many copies of this CD made it into the circuit for varied reasons, and the funniest thing is from the last I heard of this band, they've altogether released three different albums already. You can imagine how excited I was when I first got this one, and could barely contain my excitement to play the CD.
“Awake” however does fall short of expectation quite alot, because I had very high expectations of this band when I first heard their stuffs since the New School Rock IV days. This band from what I heard, had a very magical quality to their songs, a very laidback, casual yet sensually romantic style that sound like music played by decent cleancut friendly people, which appeared to be the case. Some people may even think that this band has some kind of “Christian” connotation which wouldn't surprise me if it turns out to be the case. Under normal circumstances the whole idea should be quite cringeworthy but Lilac Saints really know how to charm with their songs.
On “Awake”, the songs are still bright and pleasant, but it does not seem to possess the same magical sensuality of their more well known songs. If I choose to look at it as indie pop rock for what it is, “Jamaica”, “Awake”, “Daffodil”, “Wander”, “Window”, “Facade” and “Windowsill” are very catchy and well written songs on this CD. However some tracks like “Life” and “Jennifer” stuck out like sore thumbs on this otherwise quite interesting CD. Still all in all this sounds nothing like their old mojo. When I listen to the whole CD as a whole, I couldn't help feeling bored and restless. There is nothing that makes you sit up and pay attention or lulls you into a mode of relaxation. It sounds like just any other indie pop/rock. That however shouldn't stop any rabid collectors of local music from getting one of the rarest, most elusive release from one of Singapore's best bands, although this sounds nothing like what they were famous for.
--sojourner at 3:57 AM