A play-by-play account by Kevin M Mathews
1. Paradise - This weathered tune can actually be found on Watchmen's Industry & Commerce demo ( 1991 ) albeit in a different form. Rewritten as a tribute to rockabilly, I had originally intended the track to be so much filler. Thankfully, Tim salvaged Paradise somewhat with the manic keyboard intro and the ubiquitous steel drum riff.
2. Forever - A tasty leftover from the Modest sessions, Forever aspires to be the 'mother-of-all-ballads' and definitely takes its cue from the ( pre-LSD ) Beatles.
3. (As Strong As A) Mountain - With an eye on the charts and an ear for radioplay. Inspired by all those stadium slow-rock lighters-in-the-air singalongs produced since the dawn of the rock era. A song about faith and solidarity - get yer hankies out. KK 'Ah Boy' Wong muscles in with a sizzling axe solo. We are not worthy !!
4. Melt ! - My biggest influences are at work here : Brian Wilson and John Lennon. Nuff said.
5. Feel the Same Way - An electropop version of the country rocker found on Modest, Feel the Same Way is certainly one of my strongest melodies and is evocative of the late Roy Orbison and Bryan Ferry, both of whom I hold dear.
6. Keep on Walking - A stroll in the park. One of Tim's brace of instrumentals on Pop brings to mind a blissful pastoral setting. A highlight of pop's myriad riches.
7. Soft - Yet another Modest 'outtake' that was always too good to leave on the shelf. The only track on Pop where Tim actually plays the electric bass. The fluidity of the rhythm guitar is irresistible.
8. So Good - A contender for 1994's Love EP, So Good is a fine summertime tune for a nation in an endless summer. A heartfelt paean to romantic bliss, it belies the insecure yearnings that lie beneath the surface of all relationships. Ahem, my favourite Pop song.
9. Pasir Ris Sunrise - A typical morning for a typical HDB dweller in Pasir Ris, my life story for three years. Basically, it's a song about the concerns that revolve around endless vigils for that ellusive feeder bus and rush for the train amidst the crush of human traffic. Sigh.
10. 12 Stories - After listening to Eric Khoo's ideas for his new movie, writing this easy-listening nihilist anthem came naturally. The most depressing moment on this otherwise shiny happy album.
11. Winter - A Modest 'outtake' that speaks about the hereafter and the here n now - geddit ? Think of it as a cry for release, for liberation and of course, for salvation.
12. Mambo Jambo - The "Pet Sounds" ( the song not the album ) of Pop. Tim's moment of deranged genius. Puts this techno thang into perspective.
13. Please Don't Let This Happen Again ... - A twenty year old song of teenage angst and unrequieted love. A slowburn cappuccino ballad that begs to be savoured round midnight. Also previously available on Industry & Commerce.
(p) & (c) 1999-2002 KAMCO Records