More than a decade old but still fresh

There's a lesson here. Do not EVER put off buying the album you like, because one day, they're gonna stop producing this CD. And then you're going to spend your days hunting for this CD in every record store you see, until you have no choice but to buy it from an Ebay seller (price x 2) who, years ago, was smart enough to do something you didn't - he bought the CD.

This happened to me, but it wasn't entirely my fault. It was 1997 when this album came out and I was still in high school. Buying a CD then was a real luxury, like buying Havaianas instead of Dragon, Nikon or Spartan. I could only afford cassettes, oh no, I couldn't either haha. To buy 1 tape, I have to save up for it for months. Anyway, I am talking about the Vibestation allbum by Kulay.

I didn't know the group before they did Vibestation. But I remember myself tuning in to MTV Southeast Asia for hours to watch and wait for what then was a groundbreaking accomplishment in music video production - Shout.

This video even nominated in the MTV Video Music Awards for Southeast Asia's Viewers' Choice. (Sadly it lost to an Indonesian video by an artist named Chrisye.) The song was also included in a regional MTV compilation album, MTV Partyzone.

Shout, an adaptation of a soul classic, is one of the best tracks in the Vibestation album. Fully packed with 17 songs, I made no hesitation in buying it from, that's right, an e-bay seller, even if now costs XXX pesos (I haggled, and got a little discount, but it was still expensive). But I don't think about it now. I waited more than a decade to be able to afford this CD. And I like Kulay. Very much. For me, they're one of the best acts Philippine music has ever had. They have a solid and credible musical identity. They are creative. And they make good music, what else is a better reason than that.

Listening to the CD again (I used to listen to the whole album in Odyssey's samplers back then), It amazes me how their music still sound fresh and relevant. It is no wonder why Delicious became an international track for the group. Their are other standouts from this album other than those released as singles like Neighbor Nayba, a song about racial stereotyping against Pinoys abroad, Back In The Days, a feel good reminiscing song reminiscent of Stevie Wonder's I Wish and Lauryn Hill's Every Ghetto, Every City (well, lyrically), and It's Too Late, a powerful break-up song that showed that the Kulay girls can deliver really amazing vocals.

Its Too Late - Kulay

Needless to say, I like listening to the whole album from start to finish, in the correct order (I think this is important cause it's a concept album, the first OPM album of its kind that I've encountered), although I sometimes skip the incest-themed Tatay. Haha.

But my favorite of all is Burn - the track that's also been remixed by Fat Boy Slim aka Norman Cook. Mr. Cook did a good job with it, but I think the original mix is still the song's best version:

Burn - Kulay

It's sad that the original group can't be together again (for a reason Kulay fans are well aware of). But should Kulay, the "re-completed" trio, do a reunion project, I'll gladly support them. And I promise to buy their CD. Haha.


berg said...

i love this album!!! i still have it (yay!). one of the very few opm albums i own. and one of only a very few opm acts that i am not ashamed to say am a fan of. i have to go listen to this again... miss this hehe

Elvin said...

and what are these very few opm acts? Hehe. Yeah the album is nice. Not for everyone, but it's great.

berg said...

urbandub, up dharma down, barbie almalbis, noel cabangon... etc. hehehe

Elvin said...

Nice choices! Urbandub's from your place, if I'm not mistaken.