Review: Favorite by Ang Bandang Shirley

Favorite by Ang Bandang ShirleyI almost wrote “indie favorites” but really, Ang Bandang Shirley aren’t just that. And there’s good reason for that. Despite remaining relatively low-key for most of their run – except for that recent burst of fame – the band has remained true to their sound, true to their writing, true to their craft. Their third album, Favorite, comes with a slightly bittersweet note, as vocalist Selena Salang takes what looks like an indefinite hiatus from the group. But it’s quite a send-off: the band’s strength in full form, from crowd favorite “Umaapaw” to the melancholic “Favorite” to the nine-minute (and compelling all throughout) “Ono”. It’s dreamy, but not entirely; it plays nicely, and hits the spot no matter what you’re in the mood for. At almost an hour long, however, I wonder if the album could have benefited from a bit of trimming: the songs are good but I felt like I needed a break, or perhaps a bit more variety. These comments suggest disappointment, however, and I am not disappointed. [NB]4/5

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