[TRACK REVIEW] 'Kasih & Sayang' - Masdo
RELEASE DATE: 21 MAR 2020
GENRE: POP-YEH-YEH REVIVAL
Masdo released one song with two music videos depicting the point-of-view of different characters in the interest of moral explorations.
Masdo came into the scene (or rather resurrected from the proverbial corpses of Ali Sariah’s former band The Lipstik) in 2016 with their single Bunga, and then with a whole debut album ‘Selamat Tinggal Pujaan’ the following year. Cladded in suits and carrying the pop-yeh-yeh sound popular in Malay music in the 50’s til the 60’s, Masdo’s entire modus operandi has never been about innovation - it’s about rekindling the flames of an old mode, showing the evergreen nature of a genre that’s long thought to have lost its relevance. You can’t do this just by copying, and Masdo more than makes up for it with often impeccable lyrical prowess and showmanship.
That probably wasn’t the case for every song from their album, but Bunga, to me, is still a true blue solid love song from start to finish. Masdo shows that again with their latest single Kasih & Sayang. Despite the title, it’s actually not a profane love song, but a reference to the Islamic phrase basmalah in Islam, where God is said to be ‘Pengasih’ (The Most Gracious), and the ‘Penyayang’ (The Most Merciful). It’s hard to directly translate from the Arabic script, but the concept is used theologically to convey that among all of Allah’s attributes, the most important ones that are said in front of every prayer is his Mercy & Love.
It’s a spiritual song about God. There are no two ways about it. Foregrounded by the classic pop yeh yeh riffs, the musical arrangement belies a very pointed song about the search for Truth. All of this is emphasized by two music videos, released at the same time, showing two different perspectives. The essential moral of the story being that looks can be deceiving.
Despite all of this messaging and cool poetic charm, Masdo is still just Masdo. The Abbey Road Studios production might give them a little sheen, but I’m still drastically worried (for myself, of course, the band can do whatever they want) that I’ll someday get sick of this sound, and would just rather go back to the artists that inspire them like The Swallows.
3.5 / 5