Deeper Than Purple, Rosli Mansor’s second rock instrumental album offering, garnered two positive newspaper reviews. Now, we like to share two listeners’ take and thoughts on the album and the launch.
Click on the image above to read the review by Ivan Chew on the launch and his take on some of the songs, and the album review by Haji Muhammad Baharudin just right after this line.
Deeper than Purple is BETTER than his GOOD debut album, Dragged. Whatever it is – the mix, the EQ, etc. – this album makes me feel proud to be a Singaporean as it announces that Singapore has a guitar-player-composer who can do as good a job as the countless recorded and published music available out there. This album is a testimony of how the guitar can “emote” to express “feelings”. All of the songs – the compositions tell different stories – and the melodies are actually very good.
Raise the Flag – I know the original title of this 34-seconds digression. Perhaps it’s a prelude to the next song.
Last Man Standing – Very tastefully done; showcases almost all of Rosli’s guitar-playing techniques and sounds which he can and passes on to his receptive pupils. The backing guitars and drums are excellent too but I wish the bassist could spur and/or challenge Rosli’s guitar prowess.
My Heart Has Spoken – A lesson on ‘controlled feedback’ during the intro. Listen to the other (backing) guitars and the bass lines on this one. Again, the drums are great.
Deeper than Purple – No different from his debut album, Rosli plays all the guitars in this album i.e. the accompaniment and the double harmonized guitar leads. It’s another excellent advert of what he has to offer as a music-guitar teacher and composer and/or for music-lovers to savour.
Rachel’s Dance – I was there at the album launch and this was one of the songs Rosli and the band performed. Listen to the other guitar tracks and/or accompaniment and you’ll realize that Rosli is a proper ‘artiste-composer’ rather than the typical copycat-too-many-notes unschooled shredder. The bass lines and (again) the drumming are excellent.
Towmy’s Secrets – I wonder if Rosli wrote the bassist’s lines on this one. Perhaps he left it to the bassist to play to suit his own interpretation and/or feel of this song.
Sorry I’m Late – Not every guitarist can play the blues convincingly, and Rosli proves that as a composer (doing the blues), he can actually pick and choose such that each and every note matters. The organ lines played by the guest keyboardist is great as it wasn’t intrusive in terms of its accompaniment and complemented the Rosli’s guitar melody. Very touching, indeed.
Mocking Monsters – This is to me Rosli both mocking and complementing the 60’s tempo styles. A showcase of his versatility as a musician.
Venice – The Love Story – This song is difficult not to like – it’s so cool – as in you can hum and tap your feet as you listen. Excellent understated melody that complemented the drumming. This is Rosli sounding/feeling closely like Santana.
What the Moon Said – To all guitarists out there, ask yourselves this question, “Which current popular guitarists out there uses the e-bow nowadays”? This is my personal favorite (as in I know I can’t play this one). The envious evil in me asks, “Did Rosli recorded this in one take”? We can only tell when Rosli does this one live! This is so hauntingly good.
Portrait of Fading Faces – This is a showcase of Rosli’s ‘feedback’, ‘wah-wah’ and ‘whammy bar’ guitar-techniques. This song is scary i.e. it would be damn difficult for another guitarist to play this. The song showcases the ability of the guitar to express ‘feelings’ and/or to tell a story. Yes, Rosli played all the guitars in this album.
Tea incident – Transfer system – Khairil (Yamin) did well to emulate the nuances of the notes when he played this song with Rosli during the launch. You must watch and listen to it being performed live. This song rocks and is perhaps scary for the wannabe/established guitarists who witnessed this song performed live at the launch.
Broken Thursday – You just know there’s indeed a story behind each and every song. Excellent drumming! Nice melody – it reminds you of all the old songs you (and Rosli) like and are heavily influenced by them.
You are what you eat i.e. a musician’s ‘sounds-compositions’ is all of the music he/she grew up listening, liking and learning from. Rosli was ‘fed’ with GOOD music/vibes. Go buy Deeper Than Purple – you won’t be disappointed. If you are a Singaporean MUSIC LOVER (regardless of the instrument you favor) – this one is a MUST BUY.
— Reviewed by Haji Muhammad Baharudin