Generation keeps the music going
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - August 4, 2014 - 12:00am

The first thing that comes to mind upon finding out about Generation is that the group’s parents gave these boys very big shoes to fill. Just think, the band Generation is made up of Kowboy Santos on vocals and guitars; Ige Gallardo, vocals, guitars and percussion; Joe Chan, vocals and bass; and Mike Chan, vocals and keyboards.

Now, the parents of Generation are the following: Jose Mari Chan of Can We Just Stop And Talk A While, Beautiful Girl, Christmas In Our Hearts and many other hit songs, is father to Mike and Joe. Rock queen Sampaguita, who has Bonggahan, Tao, Laguna and others, is mom to Kowboy. And actress and song artist Celeste Legaspi, who is known for Ako’y Bakyang-bakya, Mamang Sorbetero and Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal, is mother to Ige.

Filipinos are notorious for expecting to be entertained to the highest level by every talent that comes along. They are quick to make their reactions felt. A very hearty applause and screams of approval for those they like or loud talking or worse, a stony silence for those they do not. I think that those expectations are multiplied several times over in the case of Generation. The band is expected to be very more than good.

It is still too soon to tell if the group will have the same hit-making success their parents had. What I am sure of is that they have the music and an innate feel for good old rock and roll. The band was formed six years ago and started out doing covers of popular rock acts like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Doobie Brothers, Cars and others. As the playing continued over the years, the music evolved into Generation originals and these are what landed in the group’s self-titled first album.

From the first bars of the opening cut, Walking A Fine Line by Michael, it is already obvious that famous parents or no famous parents, Generation has very talented members.  All of them sing lead vocals and the quality of the music playing is quite extraordinary. This is no fledgling group. There are no missteps in the album, that was produced and arranged by Generation themselves. It is one clever tune after another that was obviously inspired by the Beatles.

I say early Beatles. It is a light-hearted romp with an easy, breezy feel broken here and there by harder stuff I would categorize as early Rolling Stones. Mostly love songs, these are well-written, well-arranged pieces obviously produced with an eye to sell. I do not know how Generation divided the labor. I suppose it was whoever wrote the song gets to sing lead or they assign somebody. 

Here is how the line-up goes: Walking A Fine Line, Shine Your Light On Me, Keena, Star, Purple composed by Michael Chan; Make It Right, Can’t Be Wrong, He’s Gone done by Jose Chan; Love Is Killing Me by Miguel Gallardo; Idol by Miguel Gallardo and Michael Chan; She by Kowboy Santos, Michael Chan and Jose Chan; and Just Let Go by Miguel Gallardo, Waya Gallardo and Bonki Fojas.

As you can see, Kowboy has only one song, She, which he co-wrote with Michael and Jose. But if as the credits say, he is the band’s guitarist then I say he made up for his lack of originals with his fantastic guitar work. Oh well, I am not really sure if it is Kowboy all the time but do take note of the guitars. They are very good.

There are several strong hit prospects. At this point, I say that only frequent rotation on radio or TV will judge which of these new works will become a big seller. I have some favorites though. One is Make It Right by Jose, which is so simple and wonderfully structured that it instantly evokes a happy reaction. The other one is the fun rocker Love Is Killing Me by Ige with its killer refrain and of course, those guitars.

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