Archipelago’s Debut Album “Travel Advisory”


Archipelago’s most awaited debut album, “Travel Advisory”, launched last Friday in Mag:net Bonifacio High Street. The band’s setup last Friday is not usually done. Usually, I see them with just the four of them, no keyboards and guest vocalists. “Travel Advisory” features the two singles: “MRI” and “May 1”, plus the carrier single, “Black Box”.

The album contains 14 tracks with two bonus tracks. The two bonus tracks are: Travel Advisory featuring Pauline Diaz (TOI’s vocalist) in acapella and MRI in quiet version.

“Travel Advisory” starts with the song “Black Box”. The mention of “I was crashing in the sea of blue” makes me remember how the black box of the airplane retrieves the information on what have happened prior to the plane crashing. According to Yan Yuzon, the song is about a plane crash, an unexpected death of someone who have left his/her someone special behind.

The next song is “Travel Advisory”. A very apt title because of the lyrics “Code red, code yellow, so your government tells you where to go”.

“Lumapit” is the first Filipino track that you’ll hear in the album. This is actually a gospel song. It’s like God is speaking in the song to you “Lumapit ka sa akin”. Yan also added that, the meaning of the song can be about someone who’s calling out to his/her ideal self.

I like the play of words in the song “Meteor” which contains these lyrics “a hundred thousand years in the speed of light”.

“May 1” is another Filipino track in the album. This song is their second single and its music video was already released prior to their album launch. It’s entitled as such probably because of the mentions of “May isang” in the lyrics. Yan added some trivia about the song, Pat Tirano’s girlfriend is Mei, and Wendell’s son is Rafa who used to be called as Isa.

I like the sound of the engine (this is actually a toy chainsaw sampler according to Yan) which has been incorporated in some parts of the song “Engine Breaker”. Amongst all the tracks in the album, this is the heaviest-sounding. I also like the play of words in this song which has references to “rear view mirror”, “diesel”, etc.

Chad Rialp sang “One of Three”. The song is probably has the most unique sound because it’s blues rock. With the lyrics “but the sex and drugs don’t come cheap” makes me think of Ian Dury, because of the song “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll”. By the way, there will be a biopic on Ian Dury.

“MRI”, Archipelago’s first single, is an acronym that means “Magnetic Resonance Imaging”. Well, yes it has to do with MRI according to Yan. He mentioned that the song was written in the afternoon after Yan had an MRI of his broken right knee in the morning.

In this album, the next songs that might be released as a single are “Travel Advisory” and “Lumapit”. However, Archipelago may prioritize to release songs in English as a priority since people overseas would not understand what the song is about. With their first album, Archipelago is amongst the bands that you should watch out for. Archipelago is Yan Yuzon (Vox/Guitars), Pat Tirano (Guitars), Chad Rialp (Bass) and Wendell Garcia (Drums).

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