Yosie Lucky – Orang-Orang Kalap (a 1988 album review)

Wow, talk about the retro review! If you follow my rants on Facebook or Instagram, then you know that I’ve found Yosie Lucky (and a few of other Indonesian female rock singers) basically by a pure chance. Thank God for that chance!

Yes, I’m not exaggerating at all! Taking into consideration I am old enough to remember the great days of 1980s and 1990s, this kind of music resonates with me almost instantly, with the first note being played. No kidding!

Although Yosie disappeared from the scene years ago to devote her time to her family, the fact is that she could boast of a powerful voice, which fits perfectly to the pop/slow rock of the said period.

Orang-Orang Kalap (Crazy People, for those of you not speaking bahasa Indonesia), was Yosie’s 3rd album, released in 1988 and it contains 10 songs, sung in her native Indonesian language.

Opening with the titular “Orang-Orang Kalap”, we’re introduced to the energy-filled vibe from the past and even if I don’t understand a word, the music brings me back to the time I was a little kid (well, in 1988 I was 11, so here you go), it sounds like the music back than sounded like. I am not sure if you can learn to love that – I guess it’s more of you either lived through that era or not. The nostalgia factor is a big thing, folks.

Second track is “Uuugh ….” and I am still thinking which European or American artist Yosie sounds close to. I like when she uses the raspy vocals, she sounds then like an Indonesian cousin to Bonnie Tyler (although Bonnie’s voice was little lower, I’d guess). This track basically confirms the songwriting of the past – you didn’t have to skip songs, it might not be a super hit, but every song was listenable. And it applies to this one as well. It’s not something great, but it’s not a filler.

With “Satu Tekad” we’re entering the realm of slow rock and that’s an instant favourite…although it’s not a slow rock the whole song, but this is pure rock here nevertheless! Guitars, keyboards and catchy melody topped with a great vocals. What more could you want? Happy listening times for me!

And don’t stop now, we get some more tunes with “Isyu”. The rhythm in this song is quite weird, initially I’ve thought there is some glitch in the recording, but nope, that drumbeat is weird. But it’s something you’ve not expected, and it’s evident they tried to bring something new, so I give them that! The song itself is an upbeat, happy-sounding track, but Yosie’s voice is the best here. That’s a-given.

“You” in bahasa Indonesia is “Aku”. And coincidentally, “Aku” is also the title of the song number 5 on this album. Believe me or not, in some ways it reminds me of Madonna around the “True Blue” era (although Madonna has never had a quality of the voice Yosie had). The tune is exactly what you would expect of the 1980s pop, uplifting, happy and catchy.

Straight to the numero 6, please! That’s “Egois” and we’re in the middle of the “Orang-Orang Kalap”’s playing time. The best way to explain this song is this – imagine some rock’n’roll getting mixed together with a little setting of Beverly Hills 90210 theme. OK, I agree it’s not the perfect comparison (it really isn’t, lol), but all the ingredients point to it – especially that cheesy keyboard tune. I am pretty sure by now no one actually cares about the lyrics (and there was a time, trust me, where we haven’t understood English, so that would be on the same level here), the music rules. Again, the quality of Yosie’s voice is the leading force, and as with the the rest of the songs, even this won’t bore you. And neither will bore me.

“Gara-Gara Dea Dokat”, the 7th song, boasts of a strong bass line (those of you knowing me and my reviews know that I love this)…and what else to write not to repeat myself? I can hardly think of anything. And maybe there’s no need.

Next in line is “Bakar Kegetiran” and again, the presence of the powerful bass indicated this gonna be a good song. And to my surprise (OK, I’m lying, I was not surprised), it’s good. But I guess it’s a little under the overall quality of the previous songs. Not bad one, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve been missing something here.

Oh, yeah, here we go ….sloooooow! “Insomnia” fulfill the requirements of the pop album, that is, at least one ballad/slow song. This has 1980s written all over – from the percussions, to the guitar and keyboards, to the vocals. You know, back in the day it would probably be a totally generic song, but in this age, and filled with this spirit of nostalgia, it’s absolutely fantastic. Have I mentioned Yosie’s voice?

The 10th and final song of the “Orang-Orang Kalap” album belongs to “Seraut Wajah” and I think it’s really a fitting ending to a nice nostalgia trip. It’s actually one of the best songs here, that keyboard melody – or riff (can I call it like that?) reminds me little of Music Instructor’s 1998 hit “Get Freaky” (really!). Totally cool melody for a party mood!

Summed up – although I am wiser everyday regarding the Indonesian music genres, it still surprises me how great this music is, especially considering the age of it. Can someone bring me a time machine so I can go back?

Album here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnyFKtsS_2g&t=1037s

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I am the founder/owner and editor-in-chief of the Rubber Axe webzine, the underground/overground cultural publication, publishing also this website dedicated to all things Indonesian. I'm a happily married guy with 2 kids and a fantastic wife, and I'm a relentless discoverer of all things cultural and culinary. An everlasting dreamer and idealist.

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