By: Claudia Siregar |

One of Indonesia’s current main rock acts, Barasuara, is back with their album “Pikiran dan Perjalanan”. Well-known for having three vocalists with distinct vocal tones, their poetic, sociopolitically-charged lyrics, folk-influenced melody, and bluesy guitar riffs, Barasuara is sure to astonish you with “Pikiran dan Perjalanan”.

“Pikiran dan Perjalanan” opens with “Seribu Racun”, a rather upbeat, bass-dominated number, notably heavier than Barasuara’s usual sound. The minute Iga Massardi and friends jump into the chorus, you’d quickly realise that you’re in for a modern rock n’ roll trip. Moving on to title track “Pikiran dan Perjalanan”, Barasuara still maintains their somewhat heavier-than-usual blues-inspired rock sound, this time decorated with psychedelic synths, funky guitar riffs, and an acoustic guitar-dominated bridge featuring their vocalists’ ethereal vocals. The first two tracks’ heavy sound, however, doesn’t continue on to “Guna Manusia”, the third and second single off the album after “Samara”, produced by guitarist Gerald Situmorang and drummer Marco Steffiano. Still retaining Massardi’s philosophical lyrical prowess, the song brings a couple of environmental issues to the light, talking about how human beings (manusia), as the “owners” of the earth, should be aware of their duty (guna) to protect the earth instead of destroying it, “Mengarungi arah pusaran / Menangisi sisa lautan / Memanaskan daratan / Mencari guna manusia”.

The fourth and fifth tracks off the album, “Pancarona” and “Tentukan Arah” adopt a lighter sound than other songs off the album, with soft electric guitar sounds and the three vocalists’ airy vocals. “Tentukan Arah”, in particular, takes us back to Barasuara’s folk rock sound in their previous album. It also features the three vocalists harmonising before Massardi sings a short solo piece at the end of the track. “Masa Mesias Mesias”, the next track off the album, is a jazz-inspired upbeat number decorated by trumpet sounds and high quality production talking about how differences in culture and religion are utilised by people in power to stir up chaos in the country, resulting in the people of Indonesia turning against each other (as heard from the lyrics “guna guna adu domba devide et impera”). The song’s sociopolitical theme and jazz rock influence continue on with “Haluan”, in which Massardi and friends sing about how those who are in the right are often silenced in the name of politics. Next, we have “Samara”, the first single off the album – a celebratory number indeed. The album closes with “Tirai Cahaya”, a soft folk rock track that will lull you to peace.

“Pikiran dan Perjalanan” is undoubtedly a solid rock album with HQ production that makes every track easier for listeners to enjoy. Definitely a step above their previous album “Taifun”, yet it may be argued that Barasuara hasn’t reached their musical peak yet.

Favourite tracks: Seribu Racun, Guna Manusia, Pancarona, Haluan

Listen to the album here:

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