Written by Sabrina Basilio
Photos by Arah Reguyal
Multi-platinum singer-songwriter Noel Cabangon continues his journey with “Byahe Pa Rin,” his seventh album under Universal Records and the third installment to his Byahe album series.
Like his previous installments, “Byahe Pa Rin” offers an array of OPM favorites rendered in simple acoustic arrangements, incorporating jazz and rock in some of the tracks. But this time around, Cabangon’s renditions aim to demonstrate some predictive power, as he claims to have included “would-be classics” in his selection of contemporary Filipino essentials.
Byahe (2009) and Tuloy ang Byahe (2012) featured well-loved artists of the 70s and 80s like Apo Hiking Society, ASIN, Neocolors, and Parokya ni Edgar, all reanimated by Cabangon’s playful yet sedate touch and brought to younger audiences born years past the prime of artists like Side A and Freestyle.
The latest album title suggests that Cabangon is still embarked on this journey to understand and reinterpret the Filipino story, sensibilities, and emotions he considers to be a “trove of treasures.” He takes us with him as he meshes together some favorite artists of today: Up Dharma Down and Yeng Constantino, with the timeless South Border, Sugarfree, and MYMP.
It is not made clear what the destination of the journey is: is it moving forward from one decade to another? Is it returning home or headed outward? Is it, as F. Scott Fitzgerald would say, “borne back ceaselessly into the past?” Perhaps it was a deliberate choice for Cabangon to leave that unanswered. Ultimately, the arrival does not matter as much as the journey.
What is clear is that listening to Biyahe Pa Rin, whether in a moving vehicle or on a still day at home, is a journey itself. There is movement from the different songs engaging with each other, tugging at each other with the powerful force of Hari ng Sablay and the bend-in-the-wind smoothness of With A Smile.
His finishing touch to his latest work are two original compositions, Missing You and Umiibig.
Biyahe Pa Rin is available for digital downloading and in all record stores nationwide under Universal Records. Have a listen now on iTunes/Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon, Spinnr, or on Spotify, here: http://spoti.fi/2vUfpdz
Have you given Biyahe Pa Rin a spin? What do you think?