Review of the Pink Album กันชนหมา “Gan Chon Ma” (Bumper Dog) by Yuenyong Opakul

Review by Ann Norman (first posted on facebook May 28,2012)

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Support the artist and BUY THE ALBUM HERE at Shop for Thai music entirely in English from the wonderful people at eThaiCD.

I was doubtful about this last album when I learned that its title track, a playful 1950s-style tune is about dogs getting hit by cars. I was even more confused when I realized these were real dogs Aed Carabao had owned (I guess one survived), and that it’s an animal rights song “straight from the heart,” as he makes clear in the album notes. One of the most endearing things about Carabao, and it’s lead singer/songwriter, is they apparently never heard the “rule” that all pop songs are supposed to be about teenage love. Aed Carabao consistently breaks the conventions about how to be a musical artist — which helps to make him possibly the best in the world. So . . . I bought the album.

I heard Khun Aed say the album is supposed to be “sabai sabai” (สบายสบาย). It really, really is. Very, very soothing to the soul. My sister said it sounds like Hawaiian music. That’s about right. I’m still not a huge fan of the title track (though it gets high marks for originality), but each song into this album is better than the one before. Five songs at the end are absolutely perfect, including one that made me cry—for reasons I couldn’t put into words. It was just so sad and beautiful.* My Thai isn’t good enough to understand a song immediately on the first listen, so I asked my Thai foreign exchange student what this song is about. I’ve discovered that every time a Carabao tune is particularly striking, so is its topic. My “helper” guesses that this song is about the recent political strife that divided the Thai people.

A special treat for me is the final song, in English: “ Keep Joy” (the Thai version is equally good). It summarizes the feel of the whole album, which is mature and reflective: “Keep joy, keep joy/ Remember the good/ And let the sad past die.”

Khun Aed says in the notes to the album that “I’ve come to the stage of life that can be compared to early afternoon . . . and I’ve come to the conclusion that above all the thing the world needs most is love. Of course this need for love applies to nature and to our fellow human beings, but we should not forget the animals who share this planet with us, including man’s best friend, the dog. . . . .I feel that it is not worth living in a world without love, and I’m certain that this is the consensus of opinion among the people in every corner of the earth.”

Yep! Which explains our 4,000+ international fans of Carabao!!!!

*At the risk of getting it wrong (my helper isn’t here), this song is แสงทองส่องทาง (Saeng Tong Song Taang).

OTHER SONGS FROM THIS ALBUM, translated here at CarabaoinEnglish:

บ่อเยี่ยะโจ่ย ‎Baw Ye-ya Joi (No Big Deal) 
บาร์กู Ba Gu (My Bar)
ใจตามน้ำ ‎Jai Dtam Nam (The Heart Follows Water)
เดินทัพทางไกล Dern Tap Taang Glai (March Troops a Long Distance)