Asian pop review: Ayal Komod; and Y4You


AYAL KOMOD (CD + DVD)

Chang Chen-yue

Rock Records

****

Y4YOU

Yen-j

B'in Music International

***

Names are important because they are a fundamental part of one's identity. And after nine studio albums under the moniker of Chang Chen-yue, the Taiwanese rocker steps out under his aboriginal name, Ayal Komod.

The name change promises a back-to- basics, return-to-roots approach. For starters, there is more of a laid-back sun- sea-and-surf vibe here than on his previous records.

He sings on Used Guitar: "A wave comes crashing over, one's skin is especially dark during summer." And Welcome To Hua Lian works its homespun charm from the opening lines: "Take you to my hometown for a look/The azure Pacific Ocean lies across from my house."

On tracks such as Fancy Cars And Tanks, Take It Slow and Frustrated Man, we see him taking stock and shaking his head at the emptiness of material pursuit.

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