Update (02/09/2009): Ahmad Izham announced that during the official winner announcement ceremony, the winner of the contest is “Malaysia Satu” by Audi Mok/Nur Fatima, sung by Faizal Tahir. How do you feel about the winner? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

I was referred by Ahmad Izham to HotFM’s Lagu 1Malaysia Kita contest, where ten participants stand a chance to win Blackberrys if their rankings of the final ten songs match the public’s choice. I have little faith in Malaysia agreeing with my choice, so here’s how I rank each song in the contest, from last to first. Good and honest songs, all of them:

10. Keranamu Hatiku Malaysia
Music/Lyrics/Vocals: Manis
I’m usually a sucker for pop punk bands with male/female vocals dynamics, but this one is just not working out. I’ve heard the kind of songs Manis compose, and this one is nowhere as superior as those. The lyrics are the main culprit here, with confused metaphors and repetitive “Menuju puncak terbilang” in the chorus that is tad irritating.

9. Perpaduan 1Malaysia
Music/Lyrics/Vocals: Alex
Is it just me or this guy sounds much like Awie? In any case, this song is a bit too tame and forgettable. The “anak petani” part is too much like Keranamu Malaysia, and repeating that verse after the chorus does not really help.

8. Kami Anak Malaysia
Music: Ashroff Shariff
Lyrics: Eka Shariff
Vocals: Noh Salleh, Lah Ahmad, Shila
The worst part of this song is unfortunately the intro, which just reeks of trying to hard. I love the tempo change in the end of each verse and the horns that accompany the song. Without the usual lo-fi effects on his vocals, vulnerable Noh is obviously outclassed by the more accomplished singer Lah. The subject matter of this song and the title were very poor choice, considering there’s already a famous song with the same title.

7. Lagu Rakyat Satu Malaysia
Music/Lyrics: Norm Aidid
Vocals: Rida
This song has a sort of punk feel to it, be it the music by this still unknown band or the lyrics about “musuh negara” (public enemy) and “ibu pertiwi” (motherland). Said punk rock feel makes this one stands out from the other rockish song in the list, but the simplicity of the song is marred by a revolting recitation of the Rukunegara in the bridge.

6. Satu Malaysia
Music: Aubrey Suwito
Lyrics/Vocals: Siti Nurhaliza
What can I say? It’s just another Suwito/Siti song. Nice ballad, although with unremarkable melody elevated to an exquisite status by the strength of Siti’s gorgeous vocals alone. Barring that, this is probably the most corny and trite song in this list, and I struggled to contain my puke hearing the voices of different people speaking different languages in the bridge, especially the voice of a kid in the end of it. Urgh.

5. Malaysia Satu
Music: Audi Mok
Lyrics:Nur Fatima
Vocals: Faizal Tahir
It’s no secret that I don’t rate Faizal’s live vocals highly, but in the recording booth, the guy is really a solid rock vocalist. Using chugging guitars and military-like drumrolls, the song is an excellent showcase for his vocals and is easily one of the most exciting songs in the list. That being said, the song works best as a rock single, but as a patriotic song, it’s just not there yet.

4. Satu
Music: Shazzy
Lyrics: Shah Shamshiri
Vocals: Tomok
This song caught my attention not only on the first listen, but straight away on the first note. “Satu” just screams “fresh!”. Young producer Shazzy (a.k.a. Shazee Ishak) laid down a catchy beat layered with an unmistakable jingle, and newly-reinvented Tomok delivered Shah’s humble lyrics with smooth ease. This one will probably go down well with the youth crowd.

3. Inilah Malaysia
Music: Taja
Lyrics: Tun Teja
Vocals: Jaclyn Victor, Arch Little Danielle
This song’s instrumentation is the most experimental from this list, and for that I have immense respect for Taja who seems grown up a lot musically from Meet Uncle Hussain. Local darling Jaclyn Victor and debuting Arch Little Danielle delivers a harmonious and rousing performance. This is really really good magic happening here. Unlike Rida’s version, the Rukunegara here fits perfectly.

2. Nyanyikan Lagu Mu
Music/Lyrics: Ng Ching Ching, Wong Seng Jinn
Vocals: Maya Karin
The reason why this song rates so high in the list is because it stands out so much from the rest. The writers avoided the predictable nationalistic feel, they just went with Maya Karin and a vibe so positive and so joyous that it will guarantee a smile out of you. Whereas other songs commanded the patriot inside of you, this one beckons to the everyday citizen who just loves his country, very very much.

1. Sehati Sejiwa
Music/Lyrics/Vocals: D. Gerard Singh
From the very moment I heard this song, I know it definitely should be a winner. Gerard Singh is a veteran in the music scene, and the maturity really shows in the intricacy of his music and the depth of his lyrics. This song carries a smooth, easy vibe and an almost old school sound, something that’s so much needed in the current jaded industry. I would want this song to be my 1Malaysia song. You should too.

[Download all songs in one .zip file]

So, do you agree with my list? Which songs would you rank higher or lower? Let us know in the comments.

All songs are properties of their respective owners. Music hosted here is for promotion use only.

Update (17/08/2009): The mp3 files are now properly tagged.

Update (13/08/2009): Since these songs are in the spirit of patriotism, my opinion is that it would be in the best interest of the nation if the public can hear the songs to their hearts’ contents and share them with others in order to promote 1Malaysia. Therefore, I’m putting download links for the mp3 files.

If I receive any cease and desist request from the Media Prima and/or the owners of these properties, I would have to take them down.

I’m sorry the mp3 files are still not properly tagged, I haven’t had the time yet. In the meantime, enjoy.