Aka (Indonesia) : Crazy Joe
- Release year
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On the third album by AKA, the leading Indonesian rock band of the ’70s, there was a slight change concerning the overall direction. With three exceptions — the powerful funk-rock of the opening title-track, the dirty garage beat of the B-side opener “Skip Away,” and the energetic up-tempo soul-pop of “Raja Jalan” — the band turns to soft rock and Indo-pop ballads on this LP. And guess what — these folks really knew how to pull it off, even with lush pop harmonies that often touch the borders of the tear-jerker field. Crazy Joe, originally released in 1972 and reissued here for the first time, is a rather courageous album, with those three rawer and more energetic tunes alongside the gentle plush of the pop tunes. All those who dare to listen between the notes will find a massive load of delicate arrangements and rather striking melodies. This is rather solemn Indo-pop but it is well composed and well executed by musicians who know how to bring the passion even in such dreamy clouds of sound. The depth of the arrangements has to be explored to show its entirety and the playing is just excellent. These melodies project pictures of greatest emotions into the listener’s mind, on a journey into a beautiful romantic love story. Well, if you’re in for some feel-good pop rock music that still goes beyond the typical trash, grab a copy of this but beware; most titles are sung in the band’s native tongue and have this exotic touch despite all catchiness. For fans of exotic pop like Baris Manco, late ’60s to mid ’70s soft rock like The Hollies, and East German emotional pop rock like Karat and the Puhdys. Not exciting, just utterly beautiful.