Pulis Heart

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In 2000, Philippine rock band DaPulis (DaPolice) released their second album, Pulis Heart (Police Heart). The band is known as a novelty act, as their music includes many jokes and comic spiels. However, the band also puts forth some straight-ahead music. Their first album, 1996's Parakenroll (no translation), features, in addition to the many jokes, a hard-edged rock sound on many songs, interspersed with rollicking acoustic-based numbers. The new album, Pulis Heart, largely reduces that hard-rock sound, and instead puts forth a tempered, acoustic-based music. The songs are quieter, and the singing more refined this time, in contrast to the previous album's vocals, which were rough and gruff in spots, perhaps in keeping with the band's comedy orientation. The comedic aspect is also reduced, though there are still enough funny moments to satisfy any audience expectations.

The opening, "Aminin" ("Admit It"), immediately lets a listener know this album is different. The song begins on tender, introspective piano work, comparable to the reflective playing of Bruce Hornsby. Then drums kick in and the piano is replaced by quietly uplifting acoustic guitar. The singing on this cut is refined and pleasant, and the piano, again, contributes distinctive fills and solos.

Much of the album is thus inspired, quiet, and reflective -- perhaps too much so; the album would benefit from more variety, as heard toward the album's end, which comes too late. "Do the World a Favor" is a reggae piece, while "Remember M." is a campy, 1950's-inspired number. Overall, this is not the most substantive of albums, though there are some worthwhile moments.