After six years of waiting, the latest album of Parokya ni Edgar finally hit the shelves. Pogi Years Old, the band's 10th studio release, contains 21 cuts consisting of 14 english songs, two Tagalog tracks, and five fillers.
PNE admits that they have never stood out technically. What they have done, though, is mastered the formula for their own brand of music and, for the most part, that formula still works as evidenced by the band's latest album. Twenty years after the release of their seminal debut album, Parokya's sound is still as pogi as ever. They have given us some of the most memorable songs in the last two decades and, by the looks of it, will continue to do so for a long time.
Parokya ni Edgar is a hit-making machine. There is no single stand-out track in the veins of "Buloy" or "Halaga" in this album. But after listening to the songs multiple times, you get the sense that some of them deserve to be staples in your barkada inuman sing-alongs. "Lagi Mong Tatandaan" and "Friendzone Mo Mukha Mo" are tunes you should probably learn on your guitar, or at least include in your daily playlist. They have the potential to be radio hits in the near future.
Parokya ni Edgar sings about the things we want to sing about. There are moments and experiences that evoke raw emotion from each of us and Parokya has always displayed the knack for distilling those stories into songs. This album is no different, containing tracks about that one person you know who looks good but has a bad attitude ("Pan De Monio"), the dreaded friendzone ("Friendzone Mo Mukha Mo"), and being resilient in the face of your struggles ("Hamon ng Buhay"), among others. This makes the album accessible and is a huge part of the Parokya magic that has made them into one of the best OPM bands in history.
A handful of the tracks in Pogi Years Old will definitely leave a smile on your face. The song "Si Aiza, Si Norma, At Si Jen" starts off as an old-fashioned love song but quickly throws a curveball at you with great comedic effect. Another amusing (and very specific) love song is "O Inday – Isang Munting Harana ni Gardo sa Maid ni Mr. Lim." Don't let the title fool you; it's definitely a track worth listening to.
Parokya covers are underrated. As with some of their previous albums, some of the most notable inclusions in Pogi Years Old are covers. One is an alternative take on Jose Mari Chan's "Beautiful Girl" that surprisingly works well. The other is a mash-up of Parokya's own hit "Harana" with Rivermaya's "Panahon Na Naman" performed with Rico Blanco. Not only does the band create good music, they also interpret existing music quite well and make it their own.
It's honest to goodness music. What Parokya lacks in virtuosity, they more than make up for in the honesty that they exude in their songs. Tracks such as "Ngayong Wala Ka Na" and "Salamat Po" are perfect examples of how the simplicity with which they attack their music is the band's strength.