In 2000, Philippine rock band the Dawn released Prodigal Sun, the band's first album since 1994. Prodigal Sun is viewed as a reunion album. Involved in the project are five members who at various times belonged to the Dawn and participated in the recording of seven Dawn albums for OctoArts between 1987 and 1994. On the band's OctoArts albums, the Dawn featured a sound influenced by such mid-'80s British New Romantic bands as Duran Duran and China Crisis. The Dawn's music was peppy and melodic, as heard on The Dawn - OPM Timeless Collection, released on OctoArts/EMI. The band also played some hard rock numbers. On Prodigal Sun, the band has updated their sound and plays rock and hard rock, mostly abandoning the New Romantic stance, although some traces remain. Keyboards are heard, but the guitars are dominant, hard-edged, and gritty. "Kalayaan" (Freedom) opens on a raucous chord progression, paving the way for strong singing that segues to languid sequences. A number of songs are tinged by an atmospheric sound, including "Kalayaan," "Standing By Your Heart," and "I Saw You Coming In," among others, reminiscent of some of U2's output. There are also five short atmospheric instrumental interludes. "Lift," "Air of Jokes," and "Paa'no Naman Kami?" (How About Us?) are straight-ahead rockers, while "Unos" (Strong Breeze) is a pensive ballad. "Salamat" is an excellent hard rock reworking of a song the band first recorded in 1989. One atmospheric song, "Will We Ever Learn," is aimless and should have been eliminated. Still, the album is fine and gets better with each listening.
AllMusic Review by David Gonzales