Andien – Kirana (2010)

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Artist : Andien
Album :
Kirana
Released Date :
September, 2010
Label : Platinum Records

Having releasing no albums for many years can put the artists in trouble. We have seen many artists who slowly fade and fail to gain their position back again due to the long period between the previous album and the new one. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case of Andien. The previous album was released 5 years ago, but nonetheless she still has a lot of fans supporting her not only from her own mainland but also from outside as well. Many fans have been asking for the new album though, since the news about her making a new one has been out more than a year ago. Now the long awaited moment has arrived. Andien has made a strong comeback on the recording world. The Indonesian jazz sweetheart Andien has finally released her new album, the fourth one, “KIRANA”.

andien-kirana (4)It was started in 1999 when a very young girl appeared in the popular Asian singing competition named Asia Bagus and made a hattrick by becoming a winner for three weeks in a row. People started to notice her since then. A year later she came up with a recording, making a debut surprisingly in the genre that normally wouldn’t become the first choice for young debutants. Andien bravely took jazz as her path, went boldly against all odds, but time proved that she made a perfect decision. She rose fast as a jazz singer with a clear concept right from the start. She seemed to know her vocal character and the genre that she would fit in. She quickly gained popularity, and that’s no wonder, since she has everything needed to succeed. Imagine a beautiful girl with a satin smooth vocal where jazz can be felt in every breath she takes, someone who is never stops learning and improving. Andini Aisyah Hariadi, Andien’s full name, is the one.

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Andien’s parents spotted her talent very early. She already showed her passion in singing since she was 3 years of age. When reaching 7 years of age she showed it even more by starting as a singer at school, family parties, or around the neighborhoods. Realizing the talent, her parents quickly registered her to Elfa Music Studio when she was still in the 6th grade of elementary school. Being taught by one of the finest vocal instructors in Indonesia, her talent was shaped really fast. Besides the phenomenal hattrick at Asia Bagus competition, she also won copper prize in Shanghai asia New Singer Competition when she was still 16, also joined in Mr Secioria’s Choir in the Choirolimpic 2000 in Linz Austria and bagged “der Stufe Gold III”. Andien at the recording session (photo courtesy of Andien)“Bisikan hati” produced by her own mentor Elfa Seicoria in 2000 became her debut and it went very successful. Those attempt was soon followed by “Kinanti” (2002) and “Gemintang” (2005) that brought her even higher in popularity. She got many experiences along the way from some of the finest jazz greats, including Indra Lesmana, Aksan Sjuman, Tohpati, Ali Akbar and Lawrence Aswin just to name a few. “She was still 17 when we made “Kinanti”, said Indra Lesmana who acted as one of the producers of that album. “At that time we wanted to capture Andien in her teenage life. We tried to dig everything about her as possible as we could, even looking at the way she dressed. At the same time we also wanted to grab the young audiences at her age too. That’s why we gave her contemporary music at that time, giving jazz with urban soul flavors like RnB in it.” Indra continued. And through the magic touch of Indra Lesmana, Aksan Sjuman and the rest of the producer team on Kinanti, Andien successfully emerged as a popular singer that could fit into the taste of wider segments of music lovers. Many more achievements have been added into her collections through these albums. The first album brought her as the nominee for three categories in Anugerah Musik Indonesia (AMI) awards (The Indonesian Grammy) in 2000, two Indonesian Music Video Awards and the Best Female Newcomer in the Planet Music Awards in Singapore in 2001. The second one made her won the 2002 AMI Awards, two best videos for Indonesian Music Video Awards and at the same year also a nomination as Best Artist at Planet Music Award, Malaysia. The third one Gemintang again placed her as the nominee for 2005 AMI Awards. Besides pursuing her solo career, she’s also active in a group called “5 Wanita” with 4 other great female vocalists, Rieka Roeslan, Nina Tamam, Iga Mawarni and Yuni Shara. Recently she has collaborated with Iwan Hasan and his Chamber Jazz where she shows the ability to sing traditional Javanese style.

It’s really interesting to follow Andien’s journey from her first album to the latest one,  “Kirana”. Each album is made personal and describes who and what she is when each of her albums produced. We can see her progress and who she was at each certain point. Now Andien is taking a step entering her maturity. When you listen to “Kirana” you will notice a new and mature Andien. From the concept, the lyrics and the way she sings, all will lead to that direction. On the other hand, it’s interesting somehow that the case of maturity doesn’t seem to affect the younger listeners. The songs are made in a way that won’t be difficult at all to reach the heart of these youngsters. In fact, it can even be enjoyed by the non-jazz listeners due to the ear catchy melodies throughout the album.

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5 years after “Gemintang”, Andien is back again in stores with an album packed exclusively entitled “Kirana”. In Sanskrit, Kirana means light, and surely this album will be the light to guide her path on the new height. Indra Lesmana has something to say about this as well. “For me this album will become the starting point for her. It’s like the beginning of a new Andien, a very crucial point for us to see what kind of Andien will come out after this. 5 years is not a short time to wait. Andien explained why the album took that long to be processed. Besides having some difficulties from moving to a new label Platinum, she also wanted to plan everything carefully. “I’m fairly perfectionist. I always have a huge responsibility for my album. That’s why if you notice I never release any album without a strong concept.” (Check out the full length interview with Andien here). And that’s really true. One of the things you have to know about Andien is her commitment to give out her best in every way. “I’ve been really into this new album”, she said, showing how serious she was in making this album together with Nikita and Rifka. Listen to the album, and you will feel that it’s been made seriously by caring every single aspect in details.

Having many big names on the three previous albums made Andien has to think hard on what to bring this time. “After having them in my previous ones, I’ve got to give something new. It was difficult to find who would be perfect for me.” she said once on our interview session a year ago. But in the end, she made a smart decision by going back to her own friends. They are the ones who really knew her, the ones who she grew up together with, and the ones who are ready to walk together for a long time. She chose Nikita Dompas and Rifka Rahman to stand behind her as music producers. “Can we make a better one? It’s a challenge for them, it’s a challenge for me as well.” she said. This album is personal not only for Andien, but also for Nikita and Rifka too. But then it proves to work effectively. Having the young brains that she knows so well has brought a new experience for her. “They could go on my brain storming about many things for 7 days a week, they could criticize me freely, but then again, it’s been fun to work with them.” she said. Listening to the album, you will know that Andien has chosen the right move. Her voice is getting thicker, she has a certain vocal character as Indra said, “Her voice is tricky. One thing that never changes about Andien is the fact that she’s not the kind of singer with explosive singing style. She’s calm, but her voice is already strong by nature.” Having her own friends to act as the producers would be good, since they know exactly what kind of style would fit with Andien’s character. As the result, they have brilliantly captured the new and mature Andien in concept. Eventhough the album goes into more mature aspects, you still feel the young soul all over it.

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Besides Nikita Dompas and Rifka Rahman, there are tons of great artists backing her in “Kirana”. Some of her friends who used to play with her are all here like Rayendra Sunito, Ali Akbar, Doni Sundjoyo and Bonar Abraham. She also has many other players supporting her in tAndien and Nikita Dompas at the recording session (photo courtesy of Andien)his album including Indra Lesmana, Barry Likumahuwa, Aksan Sjuman, Sandy Winarta, Indra Dauna, Ian Ingram, Riza Arshad and the senior Harry Anggoman. It’s fascinating to see Andien surrounded by supporting friends like this, and their appearance have surely added more power and taste to the album. To make it even more special, the CD is mastered in high quality recording DSD and appears as an Audiophile Recording. She has to make something special since it’s been 5 years for her without an album, and with the release of “Kirana” she hits the spot perfectly.

andien-kirana (2)Andien gives a glorious start for the album with the carrier single “Moving On”. This inspirational song which was composed by Abdul of the Coffee Theory is brought in gospel style with the delightful taste of Motown. Harry Anggoman’s gospel’s touch on piano and Hammond is superb. The Cross choir has done a remarkable job, so has the young trumpeters Indra Dauna, bassist Barry Likumahuwa and the rest of the musicians. Having a solid layer enables Andien to sing freely and joyfully. And as the result, “Moving On” appears as a feel good song that is doing really well in the market right now.  (Watch the video clip below). This song is indeed a winner. The second song is the evergreen from the Krakatau‘s collection from the 80’s, “Gemilang”. This song that was written by Mira Lesmana and composed by Dwiki Dharmawan was a big hit back then with the lovely voice of Trie Utami. Andien brought the song back again by focusing on the sweetness of the melody. She’s having it simple just with acoustic guitar treatment (played well by Nikita Dompas) and essential cello play by Dhimawan Krisnowo Adji. It’s nice to have this song back again in the new outfit. Another cover from a famous hit of Trie Utami is next, “Keraguan”. Back in 1988 this song was a major hit as it was featured in Lomba Cipta Lagu Remaja (LCLR) 1987-1988. So just like “Gemilang”, this song is still popular to the adult listeners until now. This new version by Andien is interesting for still keeping the vintage flavor to fit the modern style, especially by stunning synth solo by Indra Lesmana. Indra Lesmana said that the synth solo part was all spontaneous. “I feel that a synth solo would be perfect to fill in that part, and I wanted to fill it myself.” said Indra. In the end, eventhough the solo part is short, it gives more flavor to make this song standout as one of the best. Andien keeps the cuteness and catchy melodies found in the original, and give more modern groovy beat treatment in it. Again Andien did a great job on covering a classic.

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“Pulang” is a result of sweet collaboration between Andien (lyrics), Nikita Dompas and Rifka Rahman (composition).Riza Arshad, Rayendra Sunito, Ali Akbar, Nikita Dompas, Rifka Rahman and Bonar Abraham at the recording session (photo courtesy of Andien) This song that speaks about the longing to come home to meet the loved one won’t be difficult to steal the heart of wide segment of music listeners due to its easy listening folk-ish style. If you like Michael Buble‘s “Home” or Smokey Robinson‘s sweetness in simplicity, this one is for you. The groove is back with “Cerita Kita”. Besides Andien and Rifka, Abenk “Soulvibe” is also behind the song both on composition and lyrics. The ear-catchy melody on medium groove in this one is really nice to listen to. This song will surely give pleasure to the younger listeners for its style to fit the current trend. The title track “Kirana” written by Rieka Roslan is the place for Andien to cry her sorrowful moan waiting for her “Kirana” (light) to shine back again. “Kusadari” bandien-at-cafe-halamanrings back the medium groove on contemporary smooth jazzy tunes, the jazz side that can always be enjoyed by just about anyone. Andien shows her sensitive side again in “Salahku” delivered in smooth jazz.

If you’re taking an evergreen from the legendary Titiek Puspa, you have to make something special with it. We think it’s a very daring and surprising move. Andien and the team seemed to realize it too. Therefore they presented Titiek Puspa’s masterpiece “Bimbi” grandly in big band style. Indra Dauna does a remarkable work with his trumpet on this one. The drum section is done by the versatile senior drummer Aksan Sjuman. Presenting it in shuffle soul that goes in cool swing in some parts is a very cool decision. It is fun to have this song back again in glorious way. The last song “Cinta” served chilled in romantic mood with a touch of flugelhorn and muted trumpet courtesy of Ian Ingram. The radio mix version of the carrier single “Moving On” ends the album.

Andien with Indra Lesmana (photo courtesy of Andien)

With “Kirana”, Andien has once again shown her seriousness in making a recording album. She gives her all totally in it; you can feel it in each and every song. Andien is taking the next step entering her maturity both in matters brought in the lyrics and singing style. It is obvious that “Kirana” won’t be difficult to reach the youngsters’ hearts as well. With all star casts supporting her, Andien is looking forward to strengthen her position as the female jazz icon in Indonesia, continuing her journey to reach the Jazz Diva status that she really deserves. The song selections are done very well, this time we have the chance to see wider exploration of styles from gospel, motown, swing, smooth jazz to some folk and pop jazzy. Amazingly, all songs are made catchy and easy to enjoy. In general, this album will suit any kind of music listeners very well. Combining both new songs and covers from the yester-hits, Andien has done such a remarkable job for her 4th album. It’s about time for Andien to make a huge step after doing her career without having any new album for some years, and she has done it perfectly. “It’s interesting to see what Andien will become in 5 or 10 years.” Indra Lesmana said, “But I can really feel her big passion in singing. She will keep singing and I’m sure about it.” In the end, it’s worth to wait for 5 years for the album like this. Kirana will quench the thirst of Andien’s fans everywhere perfectly. Andien is back, and she’s coming back stronger. She will go higher with this one, no doubt about that. No matter what your music flavor is, “Kirana” is simply a must have.

With my creation and the warmth of my friends, I come out again, spreading and flipping my wings, showing up the depth of colors that burst more than the beauty of a rainbow, and shining brightly with the sprinkles of glow, Kirana” – Andien

Tracklisting:
Moving On
Gemilang
Keraguan
Pulang
Cerita Kita
Kirana
Kusadari
Salahku
Bimbi
Cinta
Moving On (Radio Mix)

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Reviewed by: Riandy Kurniawan
Proofreader:  Alhenri Wijaya

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