Saturday, March 07, 2009
WATCHMEN- Love MCD(Odyssey Music Pte Ltd 1994)
--sojourner at 4:01 AM
Here I am doing reviews on the Watchmen, and coincidentially a film of the same name came out recently (inspired by the cult comics). Well, Kevin did admit that the name for his band likewise was inspired by the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons creation and I wouldn't be surprised if he turns up the first in line to catch the premier (he watched it and you can read his reviews here at http://www.powerofpop.com.) Now, this CD in my hand is the “Love” EP from the Watchmen released apropos on Valentine's Day in 1994 (like their debut album “Democracy”released in 1993 in the same manner, haha), as a dedication to his wife Angela who is one very lucky lady to have met Kevin because frankly speaking how many women in Singapore (or the whole wide world) have proficiently written love songs penned for them (even turning into a radiohit for that matter), and a whole CD dedicated to her and only? Or I may be reading it wrong, this EP is a celebration of love. I can sense that the “Love” EP is not just about love between people, but it embraces and encompasses a passion, a universal love, a compassion, and ultimately, an absolute love that goes along Kevin's personal faith. Quite a mouthful eh? To complete the whole package, long time collaborator Eric Khoo was roped in to give this release a very tasteful touch to it.
On “Love”, assuming that at this juncture Kevin is the sole member of the Watchmen moniker, here features ex-Watchmen Tony Makarome, as well as veterans like Ben Harrison and Patrick Chng. There are altogether five songs on this MCD (wait there's a sixth one hidden and it's there for you to discover). “All I Know” is a very memorable starter of this disc, with compelling melody that keep your attention aroused that stood out strongly from a lot of other contenders doing romantic America/Beatles with very climatic chorus parts. There is an alternate version, titled “All I Know (Ivory Cut)” which is performed solely on piano by Kevin Matthews. Now here comes the way for something more upbeat. “I Love Singapore”, which later appears as The Crowd song with prominent feature in the film “Mee Pok Man” is one bouncy energetic rock n' roll number that is endearing in its tongue-in-cheek high brow punk sartire. Well, sometimes love, like love for Singapore can be ambiguous.“4 Love” sounds like something from a Timothy Schmit songbook, with its very sensually romantic arrangement and its loungey vibe. Track number five is the '94 version of “My One & Only”, the Watchmen signature number with a new synthwork, a fuller sound and a gospel touch that adorns the song in all the right places.
The “Love” EP over the years has become very rare and a collector's item for Singapore music lovers. I count myself lucky to have bought it when it was launched and now I even have Kevin's autograph on the liner. It is also rare indeed to see a band that dared to come forward and put forth a release dedicated to love in a period of time where rock n' roll becomes the haven for all that is nihilistic and hedonistic, where indifference, cruelty, and perversion and everything anti-thethical to love is celebrated as the new cool.