CHEKDET – Bagai Rollercoaster CD

Bagai Rollercoaster CD
(Cronicles Records)

The only “Chekdet” I know is the one they call as MahaFiraun, but apparently this is not Dr. M’s solo album. Chekdet is a Malaysian singer-songwriter, folkie and busker who could have been that guy I saw “entertaining” diners at Jalan Alor on some nights, or maybe not.

One thing for sure, instead of singing Bob Marley, The Eagles, Deep Purple and Eric Clapton’s evergreens to hunched-up, annoyed people who just wanna eat their chicken fish, Chekdet wrote his own tunes and roped in talented friends to play along, thus sparing us from that lonely bard in a bedroom vibes.

The recording is crispy, prolly too clean. but the playing is very good indeed. The problem for me here is not about the production, it’s done well and good, but the songs, while some are commendable, others are truly in need of a forceful kick up the arse.

Firstly, some songs are stuck in that tired pop-rock mould, which could make me feel old beyond my years (ehemm). Then the ballad-style tunes which seems nice enough. lacked raw honesty, or even a flash of wit. Lastly, Chekdet’s singing sounds rather pretentious at times, a basic no-no when it comes to being a consummated, rough-hewn “folkie” (according to my personal preference lah) – a factor which made me cringe at Pete Teo’s performances while feeling rather elated when it comes to faves such as Nik Bin Jidan, Meor and Azmyl Yunor.

That said, two songs stand up close to be constantly re-played; the first track called as Mister Semak, which is seemingly made by listening intently to the excellence that is Iwan Fals & SWAMI’s classic Bento and second, the bluesy, laid-back title track Bagai Rollercoaster.

All in, this is a commendable first effort from Chekdet BUT the search for a local singer-songwriter which would rises to level-up with my personal heroes such as Fals, early Doel Sumbang and Gombloh; is till an ongoing quest. This is not it.

Chekdet – Mister Semak

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Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆


note: The CD is available at The Ricecooker Shop