Francissca Peter wasn’t just one of the most popular female songstresses in Malaysia in the 1980s, she was also one of the very few non-Malays who manage to find success singing Malay songs. Of course, there was that crazy moment some fifteen years ago when her album was banned because she happened to be wearing a crucifix on the cover art. Yes, people, back in the 1980s when an idiot controlled the Information Ministry, you can’t sing Malay songs if you dare show the public that you are not a Muslim. But Ms Peter finally faded from public view when she married and followed her husband to settle down overseas. Now that her husband has relocated to Malaysia, Ms Peter is back and ready to get back to doing what she does best: making easy-listening pop-jazz tunes.
Masih Merindu is a limited-release album because there aren’t many people who would take chances on releasing something from an artist who hasn’t been singing for nearly ten years. Fans should do well to find a copy though because Ms Peter still sounds as good as before.
Melukis Rembulan is an exquisite duet with the producer julfekar that sends chills up my spine. Just as beautifully done is the haunting ballad Dengarlah Kekasih, a track that uses the flute and the violin to create an epic melodramatic anthem more appropriately suited for a Hong Kong period swordfight movie. Those merciless violins are at it again in Terlena Dalam Jaga, working with tandem with Ms Peter’s beautiful voice to create a bittersweet song of regrets and yearning. In the collaboration with the group VE, Jangan Simpan Rindumu, she even raps in a deadpan style!
If there is one valid complain that I can bring up, it’s how mediocre the sound quality is on this CD. I probably shouldn’t complain since this CD is produced by an independent label without much cash to invest on high-tech studio equipment, but there’s no denying that the production could have been better.
Despite being a CD mostly filled with ballads, Masih Merindu is a fabulous CD because every ballad seems distinct and different from each other. It’s been great to hear Francissca Peter breaking the silence in such a fabulous manner.