Magic Kapote

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Blakdyak's first album, 1997's Noon at Ngayon (trans: Before and Now), was an enjoyable musical romp and featured strong songwriting by Blakdyak, as well as expressive singing on his part. The reggae was excellent. However, on male Philippine reggae singer Blakdyak's second album, Magic Kapote (trans: Magic Coat), the charm and enjoyment is mostly missing. Where catchy melodies flowed copiously on the first album, Blakdyak is struggling here as a songwriter, unable to find memorable melodies. His melodies, particularly in the introductory verses, often consist of variations on a one-note melody line, and he searches for a catchy melody in the chorus with mixed results.

He aims for a tender, memorable melody on the acoustic ballad, "Dahil Sa 'Yo" (trans: Salt and Pepper), but misses the mark. Blakdyak's lyrics aren't as interesting this time, either, and some love songs are maddeningly nonsensical, while "Musika" (trans: Music), "Good Vibration," and "Skanken' Reggae" work off several repeated words that recite the pleasures of music, with little or no exposition.

While the melodies and lyrics aren't very interesting, some of the instrumentation is fascinating, including the dissonant guitar work heard in "Good Vibration" and the marriage of reggae and American country music, replete with slide guitar, heard in "Musika."

The new album lacks the joy and charm that the first album had in abundance. Puzzlingly enough, even songs with the potential to be enjoyable, such as "Musika" and "Sing," seem burdened and weighted down. One wonders what happened here, and hopes Blakdyak gets back on track.