The range of musical styles: Add Carabao can do anything

Rock, folk, protest anthems, disco, new wave, balads, country, blue grass, heavy metal . . . Add Carabao is a musical genius who breathes in every musical style out there, then breaths it out transformed. Yes, the music comes out different because he is Thai, but that is not my main point. What I am arguing is he has a rare musical talent on a par with any songwriter in the world; he just so happens to live in Thailand. Even in Thailand there is no one remotely like him (not even his identical twin brother, though remarkable, can do what he does). It appears Add Carabao can write in any style. He says he can’t do rap. But even there, he wrote the hook for a hip hop anthem that is completely addictive. About once a year, for about 35 years, he did both an official Carabao studio album (in keeping with the band’s brand, which is already pretty broad musically) and one solo album of his own, which was usually more experimental–an attempt to stretch himself. He says he purposefully challenges himself: if he sitting somewhere and an interesting song plays, he thinks, “I wonder if I can do one like that?” The answer seems to always be YES!

Below is a list of songs demonstrating Add Carabao’s huge musical range, beginning with the song that made Carabao instantly famous. This song, “Made in Thailand” also demonstrates the band’s signature style, which is a fusion of Northern Thai and Latin styles called “sam cha.” The next style I emphasize is “Santana” as that is the band’s biggest influence. (I have labeled musical styles as they sound to me.)

The very original, killer song that made Carabao famous (Sam Cha musical style):
เมดอินไทยแลนด์ Made in Thailand

Sam cha + Santana (Santana is the band’s biggest influence):
กีต้าร์คิงส์ Guitar King
ซานตาน่าคาราบาว Santana Carabao

Protest Song/Antham:
เสียงเพลงแห่งเสรีภาพ Music of Freedom Siang Pleang Heng Saripaap

New Wave:
ประชาธิปไตย Bprachaatipbpadtai (Democracy)

Country:
ผีเสื้อนักสู้ (ก้าวไกลไปด้วยกัน) Pee Seua Nak Soo (Fighter Butterfly)

Honky Tonk Blues:
ฝาโลง Fa Long (Coffin Lid)

Rock and Roll:
วางดาบ Wang Dap (Set Down the Sword)

Hip hop/Rap (Add wrote the hook):
สุดขอบฟ้า Sud Kob Fah (The Horizon)

Slow Blues (written for him Teewa Sarachuta):
เวลาที่เหลือ Wayla Tee Leua (The Time Remaining)

Blue Grass:
อาจารย์เสก Ahjahn Sek (Teacher Sek)

Heavy Metal (written for the band Assist):
แค่คิดยังไม่เคย Kae Kit Yang Mai Koie (Only Thought About It, Still Haven’t Ever . . .)

Balad sung in the persona of a transgender person (he’s not transgender):
ดอกไม้สีชมพู Dok Mai See Champoo (Pink Flower)

Song about lost ideals (Big Chill):
น้ำตาเพื่อน ต.ค. Nam Dtaa Peuan Dtula (Tears of the October Friends)

A Hymn to Rice (sounds like an ancient Christian song):
รวงข้าวสีทอง Ruang Kao See Tong (Golden Ears of Rice)

Elton John piano:
อยากได้ยิน Yaak Daiyin (Want to Hear)

John Denver country:
รกกำเนิด Rok Gamnert (Original Placenta)

Jethro Tull (Lek Carabao is co-wrote the melody) :
ลูกหิน Luuk Hin (Stone Child)

Jackson Browne:
ความจริง Kwam-jing (Truth)

Perfect airline commercial (it was an airline commercial):
รักคุณเท่าฟ้า (Rak Kun Tao Fah) Love You as Much as the Sky

Movie music (written for a blockbuster movie):
บางระจันวันเพ็ญ Bangrajan Wan Pen (Bangrajan, Day of the Full Moon)

Translating Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” into Thai
ปลดแอก Blohd Aek “Remove the Yoke”

Spanish/Hispanic:
แม่สลอง Mae Salong

Singing in Spanish:
Che 2018

Singing in English:
Keep Joy

Everyone light candles and be unified:
โลกแห่งความรัก Lok Haeng Kwaam Rak (World of Love)

Everyone cry:
ตอบหนูที
Dap Nu Tee
Please Answer the Child

Feel better after a break up:
รักต้องสู้ Rak Dtong Soo (Love Must Struggle)

MUST SING ALONG . . . AND DANCE!
คนล่าฝัน Kon La Fun Dream Chaser

Really “ultra-Thai”
ศิลปินมาแล้ว Sinlabin Ma Laew (And Here Are the Artists!)

Duet in Thai and English (a valentine to the fans on the 30th anniversary of the band):
เพลงแบบไหน Pleang Baap Nai (What Kind of Song?); English title is “Harmony of Hearts”

Everything together. If you don’t like this, never mind. You were not meant to be a Carabao fan!
หนุ่มบาวสาวปาน Num Bao Sao Parn (Carabao Boy and Parn Girl)