by Leonard Since the slogan of this blog often seems like it should be "Would you like some Arts, Culture and Community Events with that Arnel Pineda?", I figured I may as well actually get in the car, go out to the mall, BUY the new Journey CD, "Revelation" and give ya'll a review of the disc.
Yes, I DID say the word 'buy'. Not that I steal music online, but you know... let's just say its been a while since I went to Music World. Plus, I really had no choice on this one -- Journey's new disc was released exclusively at Wal-Mart, meaning that I couldn't just go to HMV, Sunrise or Limewire for that matter to find it. I had to actually get in the car, drive to the mall, look through the shelves and find this CD. It was sort of like the old days before we had iTunes, iPod and music download sites.
As for the new disc, it's got 3 discs all-in-all -- 2 CDs and 1 DVD. The DVD is a live concert performance. Then, CD 1 is new Journey songs and CD 2 is all the old classic hits.
I've been a Journey fan and even a Steve Perry fan since I was 8 years old, but let's be honest though -- the reason I went out of my way for this particular CD is because of Arnel Pineda.
So how does our fellow pinoy fare on this CD? Well, first let me say, that if you're an old-skool rocker -- Journey the band is still awesome. Even the CD1 with the new songs just sounds like good old rock n roll.
(You might ask why Tito Len is a closet Rock-On? My cousins growing up were all in metal-heads and in Rock Bands. Plus, back then people who listened to rap also listened to rock - hence Run-DMC "King of Rock", LL Cool J "I'm Bad", Beasties...)
Well, here's the bad news: Arnel Pineda isn't Steve Perry.
When you hear the CD, its really different from him doing old Journey songs on Youtube. The crispness of the mix betrays the similarities and this is when the subtle nuances become clear -- these are two different singers. If you're looking for a Steve Perry voice-clone... it's close but not quite a cigar.
The good news is, that Arnel Pineda is Arnel Pineda. And that means that he's an incredible rock singer in his own right. Sounds sorta like Steve Perry, so he brings a bit of the same and he steps it up a little bit in his own style. It's like that movie, Rock Star where Mark Wahlberg starts putting his own style into the Steel Dragon songs. Actually on the new Journey songs, you can tell that he's just singing in his regular voice and not trying to imitate. At this point, he just happens to sound like Steve Perry but he's doin' his thing.
On the bonus DVD, you can see parts where people in the front rows are waving Filipino flags. It looks like a Pacquiao fight! I bet all the old school fans didn't bargain for this. I wonder if those people brought ba-on to the concert.
At Wal-Mart, there were 2 Filipino ladies in front of me buying the same CD and they didn't fit the mold of a rock fan at all. I wonder if all the internet buzz has led to new fans finding this band's music, sort of like the white kids at my high school liked Led Zeppelin, or young'uns liking 80's rap and r&b (they call it old-school).
All I'm gonna say is if you're gonna dabble in the scene, know the music and the songs. I don't want to hear no crap like "Journey sang 'Eye of the Tiger', right?" That should be grounds to be denied a concert ticket. I bet it's gonna look like PND when Journey comes to Toronto on Sept 5 (with Cheap Trick and Heart! Oh SNAP!). Anyways, I guess it's just nice when a Filipino makes it and we just want to be along for the ride. Nothing wrong with that...
The best part is Arnel Pineda's ending in the liner notes:
Lastly, I would like to thank all my fellow Filipinos around the world who believed in me... MABUHAY TAYONG LAHAT!
I love good endings. Don't you?
(Cue the piano intro from "Don't Stop Believin'...")