Friday, February 17, 2017

TRUEFAITH-Bliss (1998)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: February 17, 2017

I've continued to concentrate on the OPM circuit with my music endeavors, now getting formally introduced with what I learned is one of The Philippines' most successful and popular bands: TRUEFAITH. I had already liked what I read about this band's background—their music being influenced by a blend of jazz, rock, folk and pop music&mash;but they sure made a new believer out of me only seconds into taking in the opening track, "Get It On". It was there where I'd get acquainted with their easy-listening pop side and the lead singer's warming, soulful voice, and it wasn't long before I found myself getting easily attached to the fluidity of the music and the words that talk about wanting to get away, yet being a prisoner, in essence, to the woman's love and having no choice but to 'get it on' with her within those prison walls. Once again, I ended up wishing that my understanding of the native Filipino tongue was on the same level of my proficiency with the Spanish language when I played the next one entitled "Sandalan". The song simply has a beautiful flow and an ear-appealing uptempo pop/soft rock fluidity (I will probably be using that word 'fluidity' a lot) with me especially finding something alluring about the main chorus. Had the exact same sentiments about two of the other Tagalog tracks: "(Awit Para) Sa Kanya" (the ambiance on this slow groove is so soothing) and the one I really like, "Magtiwala Ka", which just may be the most exotic song on the album with its distinctive Far Eastern acoustic stringed accompaniment complement the melancholy chords. Besides just the instrumental arrangement, which is a pure delight, I love how the lead guy's vocals rise up in some places, which is a talent he shows off with a tease at the very end of on one of my favorite English tracks, "(It's Just) Not the Time". Now THIS is one deserves the spotlight all by itself—a classy ballroom-jazzy slow piece with a cool bluesy sway about it that is music to my ears! Amidst the horns and the trumpets and all of the other ingredients molding this one into the elegant display that it is are some rather touching lyrics that explain how it's not yet the moment for crying or dying or flying or any of these things. Not the time to die, not the time to cry, not the time to fly. Not the time for all of these things. The mood is much more warming with the switch back to easy-listening pop on "Going Home", then the surprise house-inspired dance groove that is "Closer To Heaven". The latter seems to be a rarity within the OPM music circuit, where a lot of songs of the soft rock radio variety reign supreme in abundance. And despite the energetic tempo, the song retains that easy-listening fluidity with the tender, low-key vocals and the comforting, thoughtful words of how two people are closer to heaven as they live together and as their love grows together. Both "Closer To Heaven" and "(It's Just) Not the Time" served as the first two indicators of this band's eclectic nature; the trippy slow groove, "Kiss The Fire", served as a third example. A very haunting approach to extending a romantic invitation to another woman here, given the spoken, toned-down rap in the introductory movement (almost felt like walking through a dark, deserted street in a horror movie); even his hypnotic, monotonic words of 'this is bliss' and, further, talking about breaking her chains and walking into desire, are tinged with a bit of dark taint. Plus, the backing piano adds a chilling touch to that haunt; I found the deep striking of the piano keys at very end like a dagger stabbed through somebody's heart. Why do I have so many horror movie images on this one? All ghosts and haunts are lifted, however, by the time the concluding piece, "Take Me Back", filled my ears. This delightful slow piece brightens with the happy melodies of the accompanying harmonica and the words of reminiscing about sunny days of the past and longing for an idyllic paradise. 'Take me back where there is peace' is the line that stands out on this song; a place like that must be full of bliss indeed:

1. Get It On
2. Sandalan
3. Panaginip
4. (It's Just) Not the Time
5. Going Home
6. (Awit Para) Sa Kanya
7. Closer To Heaven
8. Magtiwala Ka
9. Kiss The Fire
10. Take Me Back

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