Talahib – A Review

What makes up a good record? Should it have a good melody? probably a very good body and lyrical content, should it be timeless? How about the riffs and the arrangement, have we considered the packaging? How should it be marketed? Should it follow the favorable branding colors, maybe strategically pleasing and easy on the eyes? Or during your gigs, should you see the crowd wave matching glow sticks while doing a synchronized rehearsed movements they call dancing?.  I guess all of these things are very essential; of course the artists behind these pieces should be able to capture their desired audience. Who does not want that?

Well, if you’d ask me, I prefer a more subtle answer, but before we get to that, let us look at the last decade, hmm, not much to offer, in my taste, probably most of you would disagree, but there were only few who offered quite a good lasting kicks if you may, and on the top of my list are –  Beck for sea change 2001, Bright Eyes with his I’m awake, it’s morning in 2005, of course Radiohead having 2 entries, Kid A 2000 and In Rainbows 2007.  And most of the songs in these compilations have that very rich blatant honesty right through the bones. There I said it. I guess the real answer is, having that one most important key ingredient, – that it should be effortlessly true.  in the old days, before you could say that you have actually written a good one, you have to actually experience what you are singing about, if not, you must at least be genuinely inspired. Only a few have successfully able to do this nowadays, and you can actually tell by simply listening.  And to know that you have, there is this thing that you call epiphany or that eureka moment that most artists call that can support and help you on realizing. But now, oh boy, it’s all about what pays the bills.  Don’t get me wrong, I get that, really. Everyone has to eat right? But to do it for the sole reason of vanity? my premise stems from the fact that, these artists kuno have chosen a career path, a career path? Really? It is blasphemous to even mistakenly consider it as one. Please indulge me as I wear the hat of a critic.

So what’s the ranting all about? Well, if you really must know, I am writing this piece as my way of saying sorry to my twin brother who is in a band named Talahib.  The band has been around for 10 years. And in those years, I have been always searching for new very good materials to listen to, and without me realizing it then, that one of the members of the future, probably one of the most well formed Filipino bands is living under the same roof as I am and has the same frigging face.

Me and my twin brother, we have our differences, as kids he always liked Red one, and I’d be Green two from Bioman, get the idea?. Even back then, he always sported that long hair of his that he still wears now, only way longer. Back then we called it Keempee. I tried to relish the idea of it but i did not get why he wanted it, until now.  It came to me that when a person really loves doing something, it will come out of him no matter what. My brother is a Natural I guess.

We have our differences, but we never had that in music.   Sure there are some minor preferences here and there, e.g. Content arrangement and his super extended guitar adlibs, but nothing massive.

Now his band, Talahib  came out with their debut album – “Mga Awit ng Pag-Ibig at Digmaan”  on December 09 2011. And It took them 10 long years to release it. You may think that their time has already passed them by, and was too late for this thing to actually happen, but in my book, judging it from their patience alone, will give you this notion on how scary careful and detailed these people are.  From every lyrical verse, to the right notes and the insertion of each riff, to that inviting groovy, spicy, powerful yet collaborative symphony of beats coming from the drums, and other indigenous percussions, the very compelling voices behind each song. they are, without a doubt, a musical force to be reckoned with.

Talahib – or a tall, wild grass that can withstand and adapt to almost any conditions, anywhere for as long as, all grass stand together. Their roots are entwined, making all of them, in a sense, one.  So as their music,  as their listeners embraced it, they define it as a breath of fresh air in the Philippine music industry. As they represent not only the generation’s artists, musicians and poets, but so as the past and current social cry of the public. They take upon themselves to act, through the most effective medium, through the songs of love and war, aiming straight through our hearts.

But I think, all of these will not be achieved without the listeners, if we decide to just relish and sit around, the equation would be incomplete.  Apathy is not it. Reading the leaflets and singing along I guess is not enough. Not to take arms nor to go rally the streets, but to simply believe.  Hope if acquired is a very powerful thing.  More so if it is amplified through the numbers of its believers.  We are amidst changing times, and this revolutionary band is obviously, directly singing this to us. I maybe over thinking it, but I think they are throwing the right question back at us, – what should we do then?

The band is composed of 10 members. The Album has 11 tracks. Nearly 20 musical Instruments and it took them 10 years to release it.

All we have to do is 1 thing.  Believe.

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