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* aural cavity located on the sides of the head for insertion of local music scene

The COMPASS Group > October 2008

Ronald Lin


A quiet voice in the pool hall The 929 Band introduces their latest album "Maybe Like Stars"

By Ronald Lin (Host of the HitFM Radio Network) Translated by Ann Lee
Pictures by A Good Day Records

Maybe Like Stars

929 Band

Album name:"Maybe Like Stars"

Have you ever been in a palely-lit pool hall, where the wet smell of cigarette butts and sharp click of acrylic balls is nowhere near as gritty as the low-life players, rubbing their greasy blue chalk on spent pool cues? The 929 band sounds something like this--or at least like the type of quiet music you'd expect to hear in a rough-necked dive. It's just low-key enough for nostalgic people who like to spend their evenings away from the crowded clubs and groups of chatty friends.

The name 929 actually comes from the billiards spot that the members of this band frequented during their college years. After they released their first album three years ago, the band reformed with original members Zhi-ning and Dudu, as well as Huang and the lead vocalist of "Ms.Silky Pantyhose", Xiao-guei. The new 929 seems like they have it all together. After a few years of writing and continuing their musical journey, they're ready to release their new album, "Maybe Like Stars."

Though the album's title track, "Maybe Like Stars", was released earlier, it is presented anew on the CD. Zhi-ning sings this song with an unpretentious voice, expressing the fear and confusion of a soul-search journey. The rhythm of the re-worked song is still mellow, but it is more technical musically. It is quiet and powerful but not chaotic, which is the same feeling that you will get when you are done hearing the entire album.

All the songs except "Three Chubby Girls & Their Crazy College Days" (written by Wu Shin-yi), are written and produced by Zhi-ning himself. They are trying to attract an audience that is interested in exploring their own world and their place within that world. One particular song, for example, is about the building of nuclear plants and how they are against it.

Both music and lyrics are outstanding on this album, which is the second collaboration between producer Huang Xiao-Zhen and the band. While listening to "Maybe Like Stars", I hear the voice of a man who still wants to be a boy, living in his self-absorbed world. His ideas about the rest of the world, his facade of strength although he is unsure about the future, and his journey into manhood are played out through the words and music of 929.

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