‘Roadtrip’ by Karylle (2011)

I’m starting a new music review segment in my blog to quench my thirst for both writing and music. And to start it off, I feel like it’s only right to begin this whole reviewing thing by focusing on one of my favourite OPM albums.

This may be a lot to say about an album, but Karylle’s Roadtrip has played a somewhat significant part of my life post-secondary school. There’s something about the #throwbackthursday feels whenever I hear these songs playing. Yes, 2011 was a great year.

The Album:

Roadtrip is the result of a four year project that Karylle herself produced, written and funded. It focuses on the life and times of the singer in a playful, light way while still dance-able and energetic.

It’s a far cry from her previous album, which not only was a playlist about letting go, but also used predominantly song covers from the 1970s to 1980s.

Most OPM albums stick to only one genre throughout, like pop, rock or karaoke-friendly song covers, but this album sticks to its guns and lays out a playlist that’s got fast and upbeat songs (OMG, Found My Smile Again), slow and emotional ballads (My Hero, My Angel, Safest Place) and some songs that dabble with a little bit of both (Good To Me, Subic, Everything About You). Some call it a feast for the masas (or chopsuey according to some articles), I call it being artistically awesome!

I am crazy about singers that sing the songs that they wrote themselves. It makes it easier for me to like it because they’re most probably the ones who understand that song the most and it’s easier to believe the emotions in their voice when singing it.

The fact that these songs are original makes it a beneficial contribution to the development of OPM. We need less covers, less novelty songs and more music that talk about real, current stuff!

The organic sound, the clever lyrics, even the packaging and the little details like where in the Philippines the song was written sold it for me. The OCD dork in me has been noticed.

Kudos to you for making such positive music, Ms Karylle!

The Listener:

I remember getting Roadtrip as a pasalubong from my Ate Michelle aka @michellelovesmischa when some of my relatives in London flew home around the same time the album was released. Talk about fate! I remember it coming in a blue SM SouthMall bag with a couple of Cebu’s dried mangoes. Successful pangtanggal ng homesick!

Not only has these songs helped me learn how to write “happy” poetry, I also call this my gateway album to Original Pilipino Music. Prior to this album, I never really listened to much Filipino music other than APO Hiking Society whenever my dad would cook dinner.

Soon enough, my tastes in music eventually swerved towards OPM. My playlist now consists of mainstream artists like Zia Quizon, Bamboo, Christian Bautista, Sam Concepcion to underground gems like June Marieezy and even rappers like Dello, Estranghero and my personal favourite, RJay of LDP.

Songs I Recommend:

I like the entire album. Sorry, but that’s the truth. So what I did was I picked out five random songs, and they are:

OMG for the cool abbreviations, Basically for that sweet, sweet bridge, Running for the lyrics, Subic for the background sound effects and awesome belting and Desert Drama for that sultry, poetic finish. I never really understood the meaning behind that last song. Not even the English Lit student in me found a conclusion! Cool!

Get the album here:

iTunes: Roadtrip

CDBaby: Roadtrip

Many thanks to Stages Group for the featured photo above. All copyright goes to the original owners.

– Troy

Published by troycabida

Troy Cabida (he/him) is a Filipino poet and producer based in south west London. His recent poems have appeared in TAYO Literary Magazine, harana poetry, MacMillan and bath magg. He is a producer for London open mic night Poetry and Shaah and co-founder of Liwayway Kolektibo, an arts and culture network providing space for UK-based Filipino/a/x creatives. His debut pamphlet, War Dove, was published by Bad Betty Press in 2020. Photo taken by Ray Roberts.

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