Inquirer Super

Just ‘Be,’ fly high with ‘Eroplanong Papel,’ give thanks for ‘Our Love’

By Eunice Lei Wu, Fran Katigbak, Inna Christine Cabel
04/21/19 4:58 AM

“OUR LOVE IS GREAT”

Baek Yerin

Two years after her last release, Baek Yerin delivers an all-English wonder in “Our Love Is Great,” a track from her latest album of the same name. Starting off with haunting reverbs of Yerin’s lofty vocals, the song surprises as it takes an unexpected reggae twist. The contrast is tied together by riveting layers of synth and Yerin’s divine voice, with the studio track sounding as if it was sung onstage in a concert. It’s a raw melodic narration of understanding and gratitude, with Yerin even asking you to sing along to the beat. Yerin’s vulnerable vibrations and emotional candor produce an ethereal signature sound that makes great company for contemplation. —ICC

“BELIEVER” (REMIX)

Imagine Dragons feat. Lil Wayne

American rapper Lil Wayne gives his own take on “Seeing the beauty through the… Pain!” in a new remix of rock group Imagine Dragons’ hit 2017 single. The rapper’s verse looks back on his own history, tracing self-growth with personal references to his roots. The collaboration feels a little too late (and to be honest, a little unnecessary), coming two years after the track’s release. “Believer’s” pounding drumline and frontman Dan Reynolds’ striking lyrical flow made the thunderous track a hit two years ago, and, in this remix, Lil Wayne’s verse just seems like a break in between. Still, Reynolds’ sinister howls and Lil Wayne’s fierce flurry to the frantic percussion muster the much-needed authenticity for “Believer” to work. —ICC

“365 ARAW NG EROPLANONG PAPEL”

MNL48

Numbers in Filipino tend to be long and multisyllabic as one counts into the hundreds onward, and “tatlong daan [at] animnapu’t lima,” as in the days that consist a year, makes quite a mouthful. Who else but the young voices of MNL48—the local franchise of J-pop juggernaut AKB48—could make the number sweetly roll off the tongue? The melody’s a throwback to ’90s J-drama and animé themes, with touches of classic Emi Fujita and her long-defunct Le Couple. This Tagalized version of an AKB48 original is an uplifting piece (dig this: Life is a paper airplane/ Flying on with my wishes/ With all my might against the wind), released in time for MNL48’s first anniversary and to usher in elections for its second generation. “365” opens with beautiful, lilting vocals by center girl Sheki Arzaga, who deserves to be voted to stay another 365 days and again be the face of the Philippines’ 48. —FK

“I’M SO TIRED…” (STRIPPED – LIVE IN LA)

Lauv & Troye Sivan

What to do when your dance ditty strikes gold, in a manner of speaking, and garners some 49 million streams within a month of its release? For music buddies Lauv and Troye Sivan, it’s to record—ahead of everyone else who can sing, work the keyboard or guitar—a stripped down version that would play up the sad, sad musings of one who’s sick of being by his lonesome (thus the distaste, “I’m so tired of love songs”). Add a mighty fine bridge as well, desperately pleading, “Somebody cover up my ears… save me from my heart… take me far from here and rip the speakers out my car, ’cause I’m ready to love you or ready to lose you…” The result: Fresh, moving harmonies that speak for the frustrated singleton—

worthy of 49 million more streams. —FK

“BE”

Hozier

Leave it to an Irish Quaker to make great music about saying “screw it” to Catholic guilt. The hippy Jesus Hozier has pulled a… well, a Jesus and risen from the dead to deliver his fans an auditory feast with the album “Wasteland, Baby!,” his first since his eponymous 2014 debut. Harking back to his “Take Me to Church” and “From Eden” days, “Be” is rife with religious overtones. The jagged rock ‘n’ roll riffs and beats stand out in stark contrast to Hozier’s clear, sinuous vocals. The subdued bluesy organ staple of many an African-American worship song, coupled with Hozier’s omnipresent chorale of backing vocals, elevates “Be” to a profoundly different kind of heaven. As the chorus crests, Hozier plays serpent and seduces his listeners to give in to the not-so-sinful call of love and sex. To be unapologetically human. To be as you’ve always been. —ELW

“THE MOTH”

PJ Harvey

feat. Lily James

PJ Harvey paints an otherworldly musical dreamscape, this time without the company of her alluring contralto. Her latest musical exploit is the soundtrack to Ivo van Hove’s stage adaptation of “All About Eve,” where all but two songs are instrumental. Harvey engages actress Lily James’ (who plays the titular character) underutilized vocal talents for “The Moth.” The marriage of Harvey’s elegiac piano-playing and James’ soft, tremulous vibrato anoints the song with deep mournfulness and longing. “The Moth” is Eve’s entreaty for adoration. For her, the stage is the altar and fame god. By turns ethereal and solemn, it is a prayer spoken in the soft, lilting language of devotees to their obsessions. —ELW