Balik Kampung

I played some Philippino music on my roadtrip down South. I only managed to hit a commercial record store and test 9 CDs. Here are my thoughts on the 3 CDs I ended up buying, and my short ‘balik kampung’ trip.

Orange and Lemons

Strong melodies, expressed in a sound similiar to another Philippino band I used to dig, Eraserheads. I enjoyed the bonus CD much more, which had acoustic versions of some songs, I liked every song in it. While The Beatles are most evident in their music, some part of the album reminded me of The Shin’s Chutes Too Narrow – and that is a big compliment! These lads are talented, I will get my new Pinoy friends to get me more of their music for sure.


Since I got their ‘Greatest Hits’ I assume they’ve been around the block. I enjoyed their straightforward melodies and acoustic arrangements. At first test, I thought of U2, but later on, I felt Mansun, and a hint of J-rock in between. Most of the tracks were strong, and what may be a solid identity to their music borderlines ‘all songs sounds the same’, which is not a bad thing in many ways, because their music was pretty good.


Argh, I made a not-so-good choice. I blame my bias for acoustic guitars. While the album makes easy listening, I only like, maybe 1 or 2 tracks. I couldn’t connect with the soul or intellect of any other songs. It sounds like any other ‘modern rock’, ‘pop punk’ band. A good effort in creating the sound, especially on the lead singer’s part, but I felt it needed more edge in the songwriting.

I keep an open mind about commercial music, but I really wish I got a chance to get the Pinoy indie stuff…



For the non-Malaysians, ‘balik kampung’ means ‘return to hometown/village’ or something to that effect. Well, I just returned from my annual Lunar Newy Year pilgrimage. Without it I may not know I have an extended family who gives me red packets with money inside.


See photos here.

I visited my dad’s folks in Johore, then my mom’s folks in Singapore. If any of you faraway friends drop by Malaysia, or Singapore, let me know! And for all of you who celebrate Chinese New Year, may the year of the dog not bark up the wrong tree.

One comment on “Balik Kampung

  1. khailee February 3, 2006 9:15 am

    if you and i wore matching skirts we would look good together. but prepared to be outshined.

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