Music from my travels...

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5 May 2008, 19:57

This may a rather random post with various songs and artists but I feel I must share the soundtrack of my trip to Malaysia. To be honest, the tracks listened to while sipping Tiger beers on the beaches of Kuantan and Port Dickson among others mainly consisted of two albums - Colbie Caillat’s Coco (which got an obscene amount of plays) and Bob Marley’s greatest hits (which got an equally obscene amount). Colbie Caillat I seriously recommend that you check her out for some really summery, easy-going music (now that the season is almost upon us). What was surprising is the success she’s had over in Asia (you would always here one of her songs played quite frequently on the radio/MTV Asia) and the relative lack of success she’s had in the UK by comparison. I can’t quite put my finger on why this may be the case but I can only think of how saturated the market is here with sub-par singer songwriters that when someone comes out with a genuinely good album, it’s easy to get unnoticed and swept under the rug.

So anywho, I guess I better share at least one of the Bob Marley tracks that was played in frequent rotation. He’s a pretty easy recommendation to make if you want something to play in the background when it’s a glowing day on the beach. I’ve noticed that it just gets everyone in the mood to enjoy the atmosphere, relax, and have a good time with those around you. It makes for an almost cathartic experience. Tracks that were on constant repeat included: “Three Little Birds”, “One Love/People Get Ready”, “Buffalo Soldier”, “Could You Be Loved”, “Jamming”, “Waiting In Vein” …and of course, possibly my favourite of them all, "Is This Love".

While walking around on my travels, I often heard the faint sound of steel pans playing here and there which got stuck in my head. It’s a situation which I’m sure many people have been in where you recognise a melody that, even at just a few notes long, you’re sure you’ve heard before but irritatingly you can’t put your finger on where. Well I somehow managed to have an epiphany which led me to the unlikely source of the soundtrack to the 1993 film “True Romance” and the song "You're So Cool" by Hans Zimmer which, I think you’d agree plays quite a fitting tune for a summery vacation.

Finally, I want to share a track that I only had the pleasure of discovering some six or seven years ago while on a previous excursion to Malaysia . It’s a really good example of how different audiences from across the globe get exposed to different tracks that, I can only assume, the record labels believe would do better in certain territories over others. Jennifer Paige is someone you may remember who had success with the hit single “Crush”. She quickly dropped off the radar in UK, however was still being promoted in other continents which led me to the discovery of this track “Stranded” - a brilliant cover from the artist Plumb. Despite being released so long ago, and despite it’s lack of success in comparison to “Crush”, I still find this a glorious pop song that I would have regretted not hearing due to the simple fact it wasn’t promoted in my region. It’s an interesting example of how much music we are conditioned to by record labels who decide what they think would perform better in different territories, and what we may be missing out on if we don’t have the opportunity to come across it by our own means.

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