About Universal Records
- Universal Records
- Quezon City, Philippines
- Universal Records is the NUMBER ONE independent record label in the Philippines. Bringing you quality music for the past 30 years, we are home to artists like: Jose Mari Chan, Gary Valenciano, Ogie Alcasid, Regine Velasquez, Lani Misalucha, Jed Madela, Christian Bautista, Jay R, Billy Crawford, Kris Aquino, Edu Manzano, Marian Rivera, Mark Herras, Nina, Ronnie Liang, Gail Blanco, Sam Concepcion. Our band roster includes: Parokya Ni Edgar, Kamikazee, Sponge Cola, Imago, Silent Sanctuary, Kenyo, Paraluman. We are equally committed to bring you exciting international releases covering various genres like pop, jazz, new age, classical, alternative, indie pop, rock, electronica, dance, r&b, and hip-hop. Name it, we definitely have it!
November 3, 2010
Truly it is a blessing if a band has reached 12 blissful years of success. For a band that is as talented, hardworking and blessed as Imago (bassist Myrene Academia, lead guitarist Tim Cacho, drummer Zach Lucero and lead vocalist Aia de Leon); there’s hardly any more effect to desire for. And that message is clear listening to "Effect Desired None", Imago’s fourth album under Universal Records featuring the lead single “Huling Yakap Ng Mundo” which promises to follow the footsteps of the band’s most popular ballads “Akap” and “Sundo”. "Effect Desired None" was produced by Buddy Zabala and Romel Sanchez and features album artwork by Cynthia Bauzon-Arre (whose credits include majority of the Eraserheads discography, among many others).
“I still remember our humble beginnings”, says Aia. “We’ve had a fantastic journey where everything we did and achieved was a milestone, from our first rehearsal to our first gig, the friendships that we made along the way.”
It has been a rollercoaster 12 years for Imago, who first came to prominence with their critically-acclaimed debut album "Probably Not But Most Definitely" which encapsulated the band’s early roots-influenced acoustic-laden album. The band then staked out and went indie for their follow-up album "Take 2!" which had a more electric guitar driven, pop-rock/ alternative take on things. The album was also the first to feature Imago’s present line-up. The album was bolstered with the release of the hit single “Akap”, which cemented Imago’s status as one of the most in-demand acts in the live circuit. Imago’s popularity skyrocketed with their third album "Blush", which featured a more youth -oriented, bubbly musical approach and the hits “Taralets” and “Sundo”. This was their first album with Universal Records and also the first to hit Gold.
Fast forward to "Effect Desired None". The most remarkable thing about this album is that it is a potpourri of the elements that made each of the band’s albums distinctive; a true barometer of where Imago is at after 12 memorable and hard-worked years. The clever lyricism and powerful singing voice of Aia comes through the solid musicianship of the rest of the band.
Opening track “Bawal” begins with a fast steady beat and made memorable by crystalline guitars and a driving chorus (“Masaya sa una/Madali kang sakyan/at ginto ang oras/ngunit nasan ka?”). The aforementioned single “Huling Yakap Ng Mundo” takes on a more contemplative and reflective tone to its hit predecessors which is a wise move considering the more heartbreaking and martyr-ish theme (“Kasama ba ako?/sa puwang sa buhay mo/itatawid kita/sa dulo ng pangakong babasagin mo?”). “HYM” is followed by another martyr-themed song, the insanely catchy and breezy “Sutil” (“Lasapin ang ligayang baon ko/kahit sutil ang pag-ibig mo”). “Sa Ngalan Mo” begins with sparse guitar arrangement and is a conversational ballad of spirituality (“Pano mo iibigin/ang isang katulad kong marupok?). “Yahoo” follows in the upbeat tradition of classic Imago songs such as “Anino” and “Taralets”, but it has that sense of urgency that begs to be taken more seriously (“madaling hawakan/ang kamay ng tukso/kung di ka mag-ingat/ikaw ang malalagot”).
The sweet, spoken word bilingual title track is hands down one of the catchiest songs in the album (“the fun stuff is in the trivial unpoetic/ unsung moments of your life”). The breezy “Premonition” is about moving on with life (“what’s in a bruise that you can learn from/what’s in a scar and the story it tells of?)”. “Can I” is a cute song that somehow manages to show spirituality and puppy love at the same time (“Only if it’s your will Lord/Keep him safe and steady/but please, please make him really love me”). The album ends on a high note with the album’s final two songs, namely “Sagad” (“heto’t umaamin ako/sa di ko nakita/nahihibang at nahilo/sa pulsong madulas”) and “Spare Change Glitter” (“You keep on running but you never ever go away”), two songs that have great potential to be cult hits for Imago’s biggest fans.
As Aia would sing in the closing lines of the last song: “Things don’t come easy I know/Adjust your vision and your flow/don’t you get it/I still am running the show”. A fitting valedictory address for a valedictory album such as "Effect Desired None".
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