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Published on Oct 8, 2007

Album: Kwento Pop
Artist: Blue Ketchup
Release on June 2007
Label: VIVA Records

Emil Miras (lead vocals)
Gomer Sumilhig (rhythm guitar & vocals)
Pax Alcantara (lead guitar)
Bombie Almendrala (bass)
Ronald Dizon (keyboards)
Anthony Valderama (drums & percussions)

New Viva Records artist, Blue Ketchup, adds a new ingredient to the Pinoy mainstream music recipe.

Contrary to what some people would like to believe, there's more to pop music than what the swill merchants would have you buy. Music, in any shape or form, needs inspiration to earn its soul. For new Viva Records artists Blue Ketchup, self-confessed champions of pop, their muse comes from a simple desire to make music and to share their stories through song.
Formed in 2003, vocalist Emil Miras' nagging desire to put up a band pushed him to seek the help of Darwin Hernandez, a hook-up brought about by his best friend who turned out to be the cousin of the band manager. But with his own band, 6Cyclemind, just about to get off ground, Darwin begged off—leaving Emil to his own devices. Through friends and other connections, he eventually met guitarist/vocalist Gomer Sumilhig, who then already had a cache of songs recollecting personal experiences and all the things and feelings he didn't have the nerve to tell a girl.
Four years later, Blue Ketchup—a band with a much serious power pop sound than their name belies—is now a proper group with a fixed line-up (Emil, Gomer, keyboardist Ronnie Dizon, guitarist Pax Alcantara, bassist Bombie Almendrala and drummer Levi Arago) and included in Darwin Hernandez' roster of bands he manages under Soupstar Entertainment, alongside 6Cyclemind, Imago and Sandwich, among others. But more importantly, they now break into the mainstream via a debut album, Kwento Pop, released under Viva Records.
If the album title is any indication, music fans are definitely in for a musical storytelling treat. "Yung take namin dito, parang we went back to those times na 'yung songwriting, more on storytelling," keyboardist Ronnie explains. "If you know Rupert Holmes... or even Bodji Dasig who sang 'Ale,' which we also covered in the album. We noticed na marami sa songs namin, ganun ang tema—storytelling."
The carrier single, "Bro," is, in fact, a story of a guy who is in love with a girl who is going out with another man, but whom the guy thinks may actually have feelings for him. Well, love triangles are a complicated thing. But this song is simple, engaging, and done in bossa nova—a musical genre that has caught many a listeners' fancy these days.
Gomer says he originally wrote a line for "Bro" that went, "Bru, i-text mo ako," a phrase he couldn't get off his head. For this album, however, Gomer has refined the song, and made it into a tale of love and longing. Without the signature desperation that's famous with a lot of emo songs, it is as vocalist Emil says, "full of Pinoy wit." It is also a very hopeful little ditty that ends with a half-kidding, "'Pag break na kayo, i-text mo ako..."
The rest of the cuts in Kwento Pop are feel-good, easy listening songs that call to mind the glory days of The Apo—when pop music was teemed with real Pinoy sensibilities—and even, more recently, True Faith. The songs also call to mind the most common feelings and experiences of love like: "Indyanera," an almost-bossa track with a twist, that tells the story of a guy who is always being made to wait by his girl; "Basta't Ikaw," a song of devotion; "Bihag," a pop gem about the confusion brought about by the initial stirrings of the heart; "Paano," a duet between Emil and the lovely Rachelle Ann Go; "Hairstyle," a song Gomer wrote a long time ago dedicated to Barbie Almalbis; and, of course, "Ale," the ultimate song of heavenly hook-ups, if there ever was one.
So don't dismiss Blue Ketchup yet. Their stories may just be yours. And their songs may just add a bit of spice to the soundtrack of your lives.


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