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November 13, 2009

Noel Cabangon goes trippin’ with ‘Byahe’

UNIVERSAL Records yesterday hosted a media launch for Noel Cabangon’s new album, Byahe—the first of a two-record deal.

It may be amusing to see how the bulk of Cabangon’s fans (he prefers to call them his “followers”) at ’70s Bistro—where he spent a long residency as the folk-rock club’s Wednesday attraction—would react to the new album.

In an e-mail interview with the Inquirer on Monday, Cabangon described Byahe as “revisiting the OPM classics of the ’70s and ’80s,” with songs like Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko, Pinay and Kay Ganda Ng Ating Musika in the lineup.

As Cabangon put it, he was “given the freedom to work on the songs” as befits his acoustic sound. He likes the songs, in the first place. “Kahit Maputi is very appropriate for my age. I grew up singing Pinay and it even became part of my repertoire as a folk singer. “Kay Ganda encapsulates the whole album,” he said.

And that’s just icing on the cake. There’s also a remake of Tao, arguably the greatest Pinoy rock ballad of all time, which Cabangon decided to cover because “I haven’t heard of a male version of the song.”

Now, this is where his followers would rejoice: Imagine a new version of Kanlungan, one of the loveliest odes to the environment (written by Cabangon’s former band mate in Buklod, Rom Dongeto, later given new life in a McDonald’s TV commercial), as a duet with Imago’s Aia de Leon; and still another interpretation of Dito Sa Kanto with Parokya ni Edgar’s Chito Miranda joining in on vocals.

Cabangon noted that a new composition, Ang Buhay Nga Naman (theme song of the Oscar-bound indie film Ded Na Si Lolo), is likewise in the new album.

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