Imago – Effect Desired None (2010)

imago4Probably Not But Most Definitely had me confused. They could have easily given Cynthia Alexander a run for her money (not that record sales equates to big money in the early aughts, not that there were any significant record sales numbers to begin with), I just don’t get what the (vagina) monologues are for. What is a box? What is a bra? Somebody enlighten me please.

Take 2 is probably more focused, but the non-singles most definitely needs more variation. And the less we talk about their third, the better—after which they became one of the most hated band in the world.

Okay, not really. But some indie kids definitely hated “Taralets” to their hipster bones (inasmuch as they hated Hale) and I myself couldn’t stand “Anino” anymore and that music video where they played ABBA (i.e., Under Repair). Just to make things clear, I like ABBA.

Imago’s last album before the revamp, Effect Desired None, was touted as the band’s best by some—if only for the reason that, finally here’s an Imago album that approximates the joy of watching them live (which then reminds me again of all the energetic dancing and their awkward ABBA tribute-music video). Live, they are a tight unit and even without the dancing and jumping, they’re definitely dope to watch. But there’s definitely more to the songs themselves than to how their recorded version sounds.

Like one famous songwriter from the ’90s, Aia de Leon seems to be torn between respectability and accessibility, between what’s she thinks the audience wants and what she really wants to do. The band switched genre between each album—from folk, to rock, to pop—sometimes to mixed results. In Effect Desired None, it’s as if she/they finally found a way to balance things out.

And that’s one thing that really put this album way ahead of Take 2 and Blush, that “careful” balance—between the things we love (and sometimes hate) about them, between their folk roots, their poppy side, their quirks. PNBMD was impressive if sort of pretentious from start to finish, but the quirky monologues distracts from it. Take 2 went for heavier, darker—making the dancy numbers and freestyle rapping seem out of place. Some complained Blush was cheesy, the problem though was that there weren’t enough good songs in it. Which brings me to the other thing that sets Effect Desired None apart—the strong songwriting, their strongest since PNBMD.

With the widely different and conflicting incarnations they had with their first three albums, Aia de Leon/Imago, it seems, has finally come to terms with herself/themselves in Effect Desired None. And the results are amazing: she had me at nagpapakipot lang.

7 thoughts on “Imago – Effect Desired None (2010)”

  1. I love Probably Not But Most Definitely! Love it, sobra! I even love the monologues! Haha. But you’re right; they do distract from the cohesiveness of the entire album — filler for filler’s sake, so to speak.

    Ano ba ang kalakaran ng pagbuo ng LP’s? Meron bang target length? Marami ring albums ang may fillers na “monologues” o “skits” e, gaya ng sa Parokya (Gulong Itlog Gulong), Tanya Markova (Tanya Markova), at Itchyworms (Noontime Show). Hmm. Wala ka ba d’yang pa-ranking ng best OPM fillers? Haha.

    Hindi ko pa napapakinggan ‘tong Effect Desired None. Kinalimutan ko na Imago after Blush e. I’m one of them pa-indie kids who sorta kinda dislike Hale (hindi naman hate). Naiinis ako sa linyang “oblivion is falling down” e. Leche, hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like PNBMD. Haven’t listened to it in a long time. And I did not did not like the monologues. Distracting lang na “heavy” yung mga songs tapos medyo “light” yung monologues. I think what I’m trying to say is mas “totoo” sila sa Effect Desired None.

      May nabasa ako kasi dati na naki-ride lang daw ang Imago kung ano ang trend. Nag folk-rock dahil kay Cynthia Alaexander, rock sa Take 2 na parang Cambio, tapos pop later on. Pero yung style ni Aia sa pagkanta niya at sa lyrics niya andun pa rin hanggang sa Effect. Na-combine na nya yung “heavy” at “light” sa Effect. Ini-explain ko talaga, Hehe. Pero baka ma dis appoint ka sa Effect kasi halos same sound/style din siya ng Blush.

      Paborito kong album w/ fillers: PNE 1st and 2nd LP, Fruitcake. Mga olats na album na may/marami fillers: Itchyworms 1st, Atomic Bomb

      @Hale: at least give props to Champ for his vocals, na kaya niyang itago yung cringeworthy lyrics ng mga songs nila. Napakinggan ko yung 1st album nila multiple times, wala akong naintindihan sa mga lyrics nila, except siguro dun sa Wala Ka.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sumikat ba ever si Cynthia Alexander? I guess sa indie scene ‘no? Pero parang relatively unknown naman siya until nagmoda siyang umalis ng bansa. Actually mas Pinikpikan ang naalala ko sa PNBMD e, lalo na ‘yung first track.

        Sige na nga, pakinggan ko ‘tong Effect. Sinubukan ko ‘yung first track e, keri lang. Keber lang. Pero sige, pakinggan ko ‘gang dulo. 🙂

        Keri lang din si Champ. Super bullied siya sa forums noon kasi nasal daw masyado ang boses (ngubi is all i nganubi…). Gusto ko ‘yung Blue Sky though, kahit sobrang korni at cliche ng lyrics haha.


      2. Sikat siya sa indie scene at well received yun first two albums niya which came out before PNBMD. But not as popular as Imago nung nag peak ang band scene noong mid-00s. Paborito ko yun Effect Desired None, Can I? at Spare Change. Siguro skip ka na dun, hehe.


  2. Na-articulate mo ‘yung naramdaman ko pero ayaw aminin sa sarili, kasi I was listening too much to these albums nung high school at early college. Take 2 is repetitive, Blush has too many bad songs, and Effect is the solid one.

    Questionable parin siguro taste ko though, kasi my favorite Imago song is probably Walang Misteryo (short and fun!), pero close second ‘yung Premonition from Effect. I also love Sagad (drama!), and Can I? for the playfulness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Siguro kasi hindi ako big fan ng Imago. Wala ako masyado “attachment” (yun ba tawag dun?).

      Di ka fan ng PNBMD?

      Di naman siguro questionable. Ako naman mas-pop lang siguro taste ko kaya Akap, Sundo at Effect ang paborito ko. Tsaka sobrang “novel o wasak” para sakin na makarinig ng “pakipot” sa lyrics ng isang song na di naman talaga “pop” (pop as in Donna Cruz, Yeng C.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ayun, sakto, attachment.

        ‘Di ko lang napakinggan pa dahil ‘di ko mahanapan ng CD dati. Pero ngayon may Spotify na ako, pakinggan ko sometime.

        Sundo din nga pala, siyempre! Pero mas gusto ko kasing naririnig lang ‘yun sa radio o kung saan-saan.


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