Review: Troubadour Tales, Chapter 1 by Johnoy Danao

Troubadour Tales, Chapter 1 by Johnoy DanaoThis is going to be a weird review, because my comments won’t really be about the music Johnoy Danao makes. We all know what he does best: songs that ooze sincerity and pack nice turns of phrase – the non-cheesy kind of kilig, if we’re going to be pedestrian about it. On Troubador Tales, Chapter 1 – his first release with OC Records – he continues the template, but this time adds more layers to it, layers of the fading, scratchy kind. (Vocal group Baihana pops up on two tracks, which does wonders.) It’s the good kind of rusty old, the sort of thing we liked from Ryan Adams until those allegations surfaced. (Can we still make that comparison?) However, this release is definitely just part one of perhaps three or four; after these three tracks, I imagine there will be more, with a full album getting a physical release soon. Not a complaint: it’s nice to hear new material from him after a few years away. But just as I was being wrapped in a warm blanket at the end of “Ang Panata”, surprise key change included, it’s over. It’s like having the rug pulled from under your feet. I was in the middle of the build-up, and there’s nothing more? Well, I want more. [NB]4/5

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