Yano

Tara

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AllMusic Review by

In 1997, Philippine band Yano released its third album, Tara ("Let's Go"), also its first album for major-label BMG Records Philippines, having moved from local independent Alpha Records. The band's 1994 debut album, Yano, was excellent and garnered the band many fans with its fine musicianship and trenchant, insightful commentary on Philippine society and the inequities thereof. 1996's Bawal also had biting lyrics, but the melodies and musical arrangements weren't very exciting. However, where 1996's Bawal was marked by a boring musical sameness (mostly fast chords going nowhere), Tara is an appealing album, containing much diversity and fortified by strong melodies and hooks. The opening song, "Ako" ("I"), sets the pace immediately. Though it begins on familiar Yano territory (ie. with fast, reverb-drenched chords), the song changes directions and tempos several times, and includes a segment that features instrumental lines ascending the scale in rapid, Devo-like precision. Other songs feature an acoustic setting, adding to the variety of the album. The band retains its reality-based outlook on the societal condition of the Philippines, as heard on "Going Home," which tells of homeless people sleeping beneath street flyovers, an all-too-common sight in the Philippines: "How do you get sound sleep/When all you see/Are people staring at you?"

Two of the albums' 11 songs are in English, while the rest are in Tagalog, the Philippines' national language. Eric Gancio plays imaginative guitar riffs and chord progressions that add much to the music's power. "War," a song about the futility and horror of war, contains a haunting trumpet line in the background. Tara is an excellent album, one of 1997's best albums in the Philippines.