Thursday, October 9, 2008

Rico Blanco Launches Solo Album "Your Universe"

Rico Blanco is back in the music scene after parting ways with his band Rivermaya in May 2007.

The former frontman of the 15-year-old Pinoy rock band Rivermaya launches his new solo album "Your Universe" distributed by Warner Music Philippines.

Since he's now a solo artist, after leaving his band last year, Rico collaborated with different musicians to complete the album, which was something he wanted to do for years.

Track 1 (Say Forever) has Eraserheads / The Dawn�s Buddy Zabala on bass, Join The Club�s Paolo Santiago on percs and Sitti Navarro�s Archie Lacorte on sax. Rico handled synths and guitar duties. This song sounded so 80�s / Prince / Queen � perhaps the synths and vocals characterized it.

Your Universe, the second track, has Bamboo�s Nathan Azarcon playing bass, Arch1pelago / Pupil�s Wendell Garcia on drums and the strings segment was played by violinist Denise Huang, Rachelle Alcances, Ma. Christina Pasamba and cellist Ed Pasamba. This sorta reminds me of Snow Patrol. But heck, I�d say despite of its simplicity, this song really shines above the rest.

Yugto, 3rd track and 1st Tagalog song in this album. Rommel dela Cruz (Barbie�s Cradle) and Louie Talan (Kapatid / Razorback) played bass, Hardware Syndrome�s Boyet Aquino and Joseph Concepcion played drums, Radioactive Sago Project�s Wowie Anzano and Pards Tupas played horns. Guitars and synths were played by Rico, as usual. This is the kind that we need right now. It�s very uplifting and inspirational. And I think the mixture of rock and classical parts is the �in thing� right now, see: Coldplay�s Violet Hill and Viva La Vida.

Ayuz ang fourth track, Mojofly / Wink�s JunJun Regalado (drums), Rommel dela Cruz (bass), Rico Blanco (guitars), SinoSikat?�s Nick Azarcon (jam guitars), Archie Lacorte, Precious dela Cruz, Gilbert Francisco, Lowel Lalic of Brass Monkeys (horns). Ayuz is a straightforward blend of Pinoy wit and pop.

Track no. 5 is Helpless, JunJun Regalado on drums and Rico on bass, guitars, synths and additional drums. Perhaps this is an example of what others call �easy sound.� Because it�s easy to play during live and easy to listen to and I�m sure most listeners will find this very easy on the ears.

Since this is Blanco�s first solo album, track 6 is Start Again. It makes sense IMHO: new music, bagong yugto, new career and new (and hopefully better) outlook. Neocolours� Jack Rufo co-arranged this song.

OuttaThis is the 7th track and there�s nothing truly special to it compared to Yugto or Ayuz. But its minimalist approach is the kicker here, with Rico playing all parts; this is best suit for chillax moments. ;)

On 8th is Para Hindi Ka Mawala, which is an acoustic and taglish song. Possibly, this is Lagim�s open letter to us fans and listeners. I find this song similar to Apo Hiking Society, feel and music-wise.

�Kung ayaw may dahilan, kung gusto palaging merong paraan� Rico Blanco played guitar, bass, drums and piano for Antukin, the ninth track. When you listen to it, makes you think, is 90�s OPM rock back?

The 10th and last cut in this super album is Metropolis. Here�s another of those laid back slash emotional songs from Blanco. Thing I noticed is, he really likes synths.

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