Wednesday, January 25, 2017

STONEFREE-Hibiscus (2005)


Feeling free and easy on a rather frigid and windy Wednesday night led me to free my mind and escape once more back into the digital world of OPM music. In my continued quest to check out recommendations from years ago, I sought the Filipino rock band, STONEFREE, as my next music companions. Seemed fitting that I should be drawn first to their debut album, "Hibiscus", given that I'm a gardening enthusiast, but even more fitting is the very easy-listening, soothing sound predominantly heard on this album's fifteen tracks. When the vocals of the band's lead singer and the rock guitars are on the rise is where the alternative rock side of them breaks out, as featured on the opener "Clutch", the Tagalog-language cut "Ikot" (I found myself simply basking in the guitar-driven groove and the great vocals in the chorus) and one of my favorites, "My Star", which has a way of growing and growing on me until it blossoms with its catchy chorus and the words of being empty without his star finally capturing my senses. There's something similar to "My Star" that grows and blossoms as well: "Listen". Just as the title says, the song requires that you listen closely to the story in order to feel what the songwriter is feeling here. For me, my senses were snapped to attention with the powerful, repeated words of ' 'til she comes back ', which take over as the song begins to fade out in the final movements. Right afterwards, I would 'listen' to its acoustic version, noting how much more intimate and gripping that same story becomes with the lead singer's voice being crystal clear and reminding me of who's the star of the show on this one. Then just as beautiful as the hibiscus flower are a pair of dreamy, hazy tunes that that make me wanna sink back an drift off into nothingness: "Scar" and "The Way She Moves", the latter which stood as my #1 favorite overall if only because of the fluid and breezy delivery of ' can't you see the way she moves? ' that serves as the primary hook:

1. Clutch
2. Kapag Nawala Ka
3. Scar
4. Ikot
5. Sayang
6. The Way She Moves
7. Water
8. My Star
9. Baka Naman
10. Listen
11. Panahon
12. Langit
13. Ikaw Pa Rin
14. Lapag Nawala Ka [Piano]
15. Listen [Acoustic]

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