Probably Not, But Most Definitely [Neo]

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In 2001, Philippine alternative rock band Imago released their debut album, Probably Not, But Most Definitely. Imago's acoustic music is very imaginative, and aside from the band's own creativity, is influenced by such Western acts as the Corrs and Cocteau Twins. Imago's sound is acoustic in nature and features a violinist who weaves in and out of the band's music, adding an ethereal, incisive touch. Puzzling enough, the violinist is credited only as a session musician. The '90s/2000s group the Corrs, surely one of the band's influences, has a violinist. Imago may not know it, but one can also hear the sound of the '60s group It's a Beautiful Day, who featured the ethereal violin of David LaFlamme. Many songs are written in a minor key, which adds a mournful, mystical edge to the sound. The opening, "Pretty Me," for example, has a haunting ambience that wallows in the minor key. The folk ambience on this song seems influenced by Joni Mitchell, while the vocal phrasing borrows from Alanis Morissette. The arrangements are imaginative; "Rainsong" features dramatic pauses in instrumentation, from which the female vocalist launches into the ethereal melody. She doesn't sing words here but instead mouths interesting guttural sounds. The album's unnamed closing song is spurred by syncopated, steel-like drumming. Imago's sound is complex and intelligent. "Tugon" (Reply) starts on a snappy guitar line and contains a pretty melodic hook in the chorus. All songs have an acoustic sound, but some songs are harder-edged than others. The band displays much creativity on this album, and the end result is quite good.

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