“Rico Blanco Songbook” — the much-awaited compilation album of the year is finally here. This is a salute to the iconic songs of Rico Blanco and features his hits as reimagined by today’s hottest acts and most respected artists in OPM.
A year after Rico Blanco assigned his songs to Viva Music Publishing Inc., the concept album has now materialized as the “Rico Blanco Songbook,” released by Viva Records and a flagship project of Viva Music Publishing Inc.
The first single from the project came out in late August where the first artist was also revealed in December Avenue–one of the biggest and most streamed bands today. December Avenue kicked off the project to a great start with “Umaaraw Umuulan.”
This was followed by Ebe Dancel’s alt-pop imbued ballad “Wag Mong Aminin.” Ebe’s music video for the song became an eventual swan song to a music venue that music artists and fans alike know very well. The closure of a beloved music venue is just one of the many after effects of the current pandemic.
The Popstar Royalty capped a three-single run before the album was eventually released, Sarah Geronimo’s ear-tweaking rendition of “Your Universe” featured a sublime performance that veered away from Blanco’s original to fit Sarah Geronimo’s modern pop style. And yet it gives a nod to what made this song great in the first place.
These singles by December Avenue, Ebe Dancel, and Sarah Geronimo just gave us a slight peek behind of what can be expected from the compilation album. Sure enough, the “Rico Blanco Songbook” didn’t fail to surprise with tracks that offered updated versions of the songs we all know and love.
It’s also interesting to note that the artists featured here come from a wide array of genres — from OPM rock bands that include Callalily (“241”), Mayonnaise (“Lipat Bahay”), Sponge Cola feat. GIBBS (“Imbecillesque”) and This Band (“Liwanag Sa Dilim”). To today’s new generation of pop music artists such as Janine Tenoso (“A Love To Share”), John Roa (“Ayuz”), Raphiel Shannon (“Hinahanap-Hanap Kita”) and Earl Generao (“Yugto”).
Though all these artists added their personal touch to the covers they made, there is one common thread to it all: their love for the music of Rico Blanco in which they gave a fitting homage to. After all these songs have represented a generation. These songs are dedicated Rico Blanco’s long-time fans who grew up with the music and to the younger generation which this music will be reintroduced to.
The songs in the “Rico Blanco Songbook” have a timeless quality to it. These songs sound as good as when they first released all those years ago, and with the help of the talented artists in here whose contributions are nothing short of magical. The “Rico Blanco Songbook” is again ready to be appreciated for a couple years more.