RANKED: Christabel Annora’s “Dari Jauh” Album – A Beautifully Composed Album with Minimal Filler
Soloist/pianist Christabel Annora has just released her latest sophomore album “Dari Jauh” in case you didn’t know. Raking in more than 200,000 streams after a week of its release, it showcases how listeners are in love with this album and it has become a heavy rotation on our playlist since. The album sees Christabel Annora relies heavily on piano as the main instrument and all songs in this album were written and sung in Indonesian. Containing 11 tracks in total, the album mixes both instrumental tracks and songs with lyrics. You can also hear other instruments like string section in some of the songs. We’re trying our best to rank each song, mind you, everybody’s taste differs so please excuse us if this ranking doesn’t suit your taste.
“Dua” is the 10th track of “Dari Jauh” album and it’s an instrumental piece. We do not know what went behind the making of “Dua”, but it is a delicate composition that comprises of detectable refrain. However, this track that sounds sorrowful is a little bit forgettable. Thus, it was placed near the end of the album when most of the listener’s attention have drifted away if they do not listen to the album attentively.
Christabel did a great job in making intro by using layers of vocal on “Intro”. It is a great continuation to the next single which is “Dari Jauh”. We can’t say much about this intro since it does its job rather well. However if it is listened separately from the album, it is quite hard to imagine it as a standalone track. So, that’s that.
This song is said to be Christabel Annora’s personal favorite on the album since it contains sentimental places, activities, and her most comfort food from her hometown. It is a great track for everyone who plans to visit Malang anytime soon for a culinary getaway. However, those who have never been to the city, or visit the establishments mentioned in the song, you’d find it hard to find correlation or the same sentimental feeling as the singer. The rhyming on this one is great, but it can be better thus it become our 9th most favorite track from “Dari Jauh”.
Combining two opposite feelings and ambiences into one song might be tricky for some musicians, but not Christabel Annora who eloquently does it on “Matamu”. The instrumental piece comes with a stunning music video made by Melati Noer Fajri showing a glimpse of nature and urban sightseeings. This one brings peace and rage at the same time. A track which you can hear at night while you’re going through some deep thoughts or early morning when you rise to face the cruel world.
7. Pacu Otak
Started with notes that will instantly remind you with the tones of announcement, the song grabs your attention from the start with fascinating choice of melodies and progression. “Pacu Otak” chronicles one’s situation when facing a trouble in life. Her lyrics are reassuring and calming in a sense. This song is the one to go to while you’re bracing a tight deadline. The bridge is our most favorite part of the song, simple yet strong words are uttered in this part slap us hard back into reality. No human should put too much effort into their work until they risk their own life. Take a little rest, take a deep breath, and rethink your live once again while listening to the song.
6. Debat Kusir
Having been released during Indonesia’s heated presidential election, “Debat Kusir” is the aftermath of Christabel Annora’s observation towards netizen’s never-ending debate on the internet. The melodies are fun and remind us so much with Motown era in the 50s – 60s. Once again, she utilizes witty rhyming for this song. You can feel the rawness in this track with the sound coming from the piano pedal and keys hitting against Christabel’s fingers.
Earlier notes of “Serah” reminds us with “Debat Kusir” but it quickly develops into its own melodies afterwards. The phrase “sudahlah… sudah…” was sung with so much emotion and soul, showing the singer’s hopelessness. You can also hear the sound of pipe organ in this song adding a bit of gospel feeling to it. The song is a form of one’s submission to his/her fate. Whatever happens, it must happen for a reason. Whether it is real or not, you can only let the universe take care of those uncontrollable things. It’s a great remedy towards anyone who has tried so hard to survive, yet has to face another defeat by the fate.
4. Mesin Waktu
The lead single of the album while it was being released is “Mesin Waktu”. She also interacted with fans by making a campaign that recreates someone’s regretful things in the past. What would they change if they have a time machine? Its lyrics are quite implicit, oftentimes referring Christabel Annora’s imagination of a time machine. You can hear layers of instruments including keyboards and synth in this one. There are dynamics played out throughout the song that makes this number feel less repetitive. We might see some complaints by putting this song as our number 4, but you can make your own list if this one doesn’t fit your cup of tea.
Opened with the sound of xylophone, “Transisi” might as well become the most unique sounding tune in this album. When most people expect piano sounds to dominate the whole album, the musician switches things up in this song. Besides the lovely sounding xylophone, you can also hear the warming sound of saxophone adding more depth to the song. As the title suggest, the song transitioned once again with the emergence of pipe organ towards the end.
2. Menunggu Pagi
It is freaking hard to pick which track that deserves the number 1 throne on this list. “Menunggu Pagi” becomes our second choice with numerous reasons. The song introduces us with an impeccable string section that makes us feel energized and hopeful as the song’s lyrics try to convey. Accompanied with a sweet music video, the song will touch the listeners’ heart and eyes in an instant. After much hopelessness portrayed in this album, “Menunggu Pagi” serves as an oasis of hopefulness. The straightforward lyrics are some of the singalong-worthy track in “Dari Jauh” album.
1. Dari Jauh
This track have been released in 2018 and we have been in love with it since. “Dari Jauh” deserves to be the number one, not only because it becomes the title of this album. The rawness, the longing, and the message that the track deliver, becomes the main reasons on why “Dari Jauh” becomes our most favorite track on the album. We like the mixing on this track so much, since it makes Christabel Annora’s voice has its own reverb effect. You can hear the piano pedals in this song as well showing how she chose to accentuate the vintage sound of Bluthner Babygrand piano that she used while recording. Simply put, the simplest track with not much complication going on, in return, gives more spotlight to her talent as pianist and vocalist. This song also represents the musician’s innermost feeling while being so far away from home. A song that anyone can relate to if they ever left home. Alas, The Display picks this song as the number 1 position from the album.
Which one is the number 1 song from ‘Dari Jauh’ album in your version? Tell us in the comment and stream the album on your favorite digital streaming services.
Reviewer: Novita Widia