Sin mirar atras in Eight Points

Artist: David Bisbal
Released: 20 October, 2009
Genre: Latin pop, pop rock
Three tracks: Mi princesa, El ruido, Al Andaluz
In one sentence: A letdown after the promising Premonicion

There are some albums that require you to listen to them dozens of times before you acquire a taste for them. There are also albums that get old because you've listened to them too may times. Then there's David Bisbal's Sin mirar atras, an unfortunate waste of talent of the reality show success story.
1) The sound of Bisbal has not seemed to mature despite four studio albums (three Spanish ones and one repackaged album which contained previously released tracks from the first two with three English songs thrown in) and two live concert albums. The maturity of Bisbal's material that was beginning to be heard in the third album, Premonicion, has been erased. The sound of this album is no different from his sophomore effort, Buleria, which had more radio-friendly tracks.

2) I felt Bisbal's third album Premonicion was a step in the right direction, with a good mix of fast songs and ballads. The ballads were executed beautifully, and the fast songs, though still bears a healthy dose of cheesiness, displayed the strength of his voice.

3) I really wanted to like the album, as I want Bisbal to continue selling records and keep the Spanish music industry afloat. I am aware that it might be the type of album that would require multiple listens before it grows on you, but alas, it has been months since I downloaded the album and I still find a lot of tracks boring.

4) The first half of the album is really weak. In my repeat listens, I usually found myself looking forward to Al Andalus, the 7th track, which meant I had to go through six songs lest I hit on fast forward, which I almost always did. After the 1st track, the upbeat, first single Esclavo de sus besos, the album suffers a lull, as the songs coming one after another sound alike. Even the album's title track is ho-hum.

5) Things start picking up, as mentioned, in track number 7, the flamenco-tinged Al Andalus, followed by Cuando hacemos el amor, which more or less holds the momentum. In the next track, Bisbal's vocals finally soar in El ruido, a song penned by another Operacion Triunfo alumna, Vega.

6) The next track is the latest single of the album, 24 horas. The '60s feel of the song is a bit weird for me. Not as ghastly as the songs in the first half of the album, though .

7) After another cannon fodder track comes the second single to be released in the album, Mi princesa, a very beautiful song with the sweetest lyrics. I don't know why, but I kind of noticed some weird phrasing/breathing bits by Bisbal in some portions of the song. Anyway, it should have been the last track of the song, just to ensure that the album leaves a good taste in the mouth (or some good notes in the ear).

8) But no! There is a bonus track, Sufriras, a duet with British singer Pixie Lott. I do not really know what to feel about the song. It sounds like a song being played in a really cheesy Eastern European discotheque. What the heck were the record's producers thinking of when they included this bonus track? Couldn't they have let Bisbal work with David Guetta? Or one of 'em Dutch DJs? Totally unnecessary waste of 3 and a half minutes of the listener's time.

This so-so effort led me to the conclusion David Bisbal's best album is still his third, Premonicion. Two or, at my most generous, four songs may qualify as tracks to be included in a David Bisbal Greatest Hits compilation in the future. The more interesting tracks are few and clumped together in the middle. Sin mirar atras is NOT one of those albums you would really like to listen to over and over again. It doesn't even reach a point of some songs sounding old fast. Some of them are just plain boring no matter how many times you've listened to them.

Final verdict: The guy is infintely talented, no doubt. What he needs is a good album producer.
My rating: Obsessed / Love / Hooked / Like / Ambivalent / Irritated / Hate / Avoid at All Cost

Background on the singer:
David Bisbal, known for his curly locks and powerful belting voice, started as a contestant in the first edition of Spain's Operacion Triunfo, Endemol's version of the Pop Idol franchise. He eventually became the runner-up of the competition, and went on to sell a million copies of his debut album, Corazon Latino, making everyone ask who the hell Rosa Lopez is (the winner of the aforementioned competition). He became the latest member of a select group of Spanish male singers (Serrat, Sabina, Miguel Bose, the father and son Iglesias and Alejandro Sanz to name almost all of them) who have established a career across the Atlantic. His latest album, Sin mirar atras, is, as of press time, holds the 10th spot in the Spanish album sales charts, having been there for 47 weeks now. He has, so far, sold over 4.5 million copies of his seven albums worldwide.

(I Feel Like Such a) WHORE!

(That was so liberating!)

When I got into blogging like eight years ago, the thing to do to generate traffic in your blog was to blog hop. That'd mean go to Blogger or Typepad, look who just got something published, click on the link, read through the blog, decide whether you liked the blog or not, leave a message on the blog and hope and pray that the owner of the blog you visited will return the favor.

Well, apparently, times have changed. My old blog which should have contained so many entries already got into a lost-in-translation accident in a web cafe with only a Korean operating system. I accidentally deleted the whole thing. Fast forward to this current blog, which is only a few years old and is rarely updated. I used to have really good blogs in my blog roll, as in blogs that you'd really spend a lot of time reading and lose track of time eventually. So, I am currently re-building my blog roll and my blogging mojo (years in the making).

Facebook has this blog community and I joined it because I want to lurk around good reads and hopefully get the people who write these blogs I frequent come visit my blog too (long shot, but hey). The latter thought is really not as important as the former one, knowing that the visitor to my blog may be bored because of the lack of updates. So I joined Networked Blogs with that mindset. after going through the registration and all, I discovered that there is a discussion board filled with people who start topic threads about their blogs, promoting them and promising to return the favor of following the blog of someone who has followed them.

I was uneasy with the idea from the start, knowing that the whole arrangement can be tricky in a number of circumstances. For example, what if somebody is following you and is expecting you to return the favor, with the other person having a blog that's entirely an SEO marketing tool? Or a blog full of religious entries? As much as I fully respect the reasons behind having an SEO blog (I am a ghost writer for SEO articles, for goodness sakes) and I feel it is any one's right to use a blog to spread religious platforms, I am not really comfortable with following them.

I follow blogs because I actually enjoy reading them. Through the whole follow-my-blog-and-I'll-follow yours process, I also felt like I was cheating some people who were expecting me to follow their blogs when I didn't really appreciate the content of theirs. Honestly, it doesn't take much to make me want to read your blog, just as long as I don't see misplaced widgets and fonts of different sizes and colors (I'm a bit obsessive-compulsive when reading) and the content doesn't read like it was copied and pasted from something I can read in Ezinearticles. If I had the urge to read an informative article about how to lose weight with the help of a miracle drug or how to monetize a blog, then I would go read e-How or Ezine, thank you. Other than that, there is a 95% chance I'll read (and eventually be compelled to follow) your blog. The chances of that reaching a 100% will happen if you keep a blog on books, movies, pop culture or current events.

Anyway, going back to that FB blog community, I got to read some blogs that were in those discussion groups and have actually followed some of them. I also felt like I did some subtle (actually, obvious) whoring of my humble blog, just to get into the "I'll follow you if you'll follow me" bandwagon. I have to say I felt a bit icky afterwards. My only consolation(s) is (are) that I did find some blogs that are really fun to read in these discussion threads, and I feel they are really worthy of a wider readership.

So I think I'll go ahead and click on some more of those threads and those blogs, but I won't be doing the vice-versa-following deals anymore. It just doesn't feel right for me. No judgement here; some people have to do what they feel they need to do. As for me, I feel the need to write more.

Epic WTF of the Week 06-11 September: Stuck in a Hole He Can't Get Out Of?

The John Lloyd - Shaina "thing," bow.

I'm sorry, but am I the only one in the Philippines immune to John Lloyd Cruz's (from hereon to be referred as JLC) charms? Sorry, but before I get stones hurled at me, let me rephrase that: I like John Lloyd Cruz as an actor. The looks department... OK, I guess? He looks neat all the time. Not neat as in swell, but neat as in literally neat, as in clean, as in no matter how many hours he spends in that bicycle of his (his chosen sport), he'd still look fresh. What I'm not getting is JLC's ability to turn almost all Filipina women (or at least those I know) into dangerous lionesses ready to pounce at anyone who dares to say even the slightest not-so-nice remark about him. I dare anyone. Go tell your Filipina friend that John Lloyd Cruz is ugly. The easiest you can get away with is a 'how-dare-you-say-that' glare and a hissy fit to last an hour minimum. That I do not get. I really find him rather vanilla.

Which leads me to Shaina. Amidst intense speculations months ago, the two finally admitted they are in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, leading some people to ask about where Ruffa Gutierrez is in the picture. The 1993 Miss World 2nd Princess and JLC were apparently an item after the latter's split with celebrity stylist Liz Uy and while together in the series 'I Love Betty La Fea'. Public opinion was a bit muted with the JLC - Ruffa affair because a) the two never admitted to any romantic relationship, b) Ruffa Gutierrez is a giant, and c) any disparaging remark against Ruffa will catch the ire of her mom, Anabelle Rama, someone who, according to an informal Facebook survey, Filipinos would not want to get into a bar fight with (after Manny Pacquiao and along with Dionesia Pacquiao).

With the truth coming out, mouths silenced during the time of the JLC - Ruffa non-relationship went wild, returning to their lioness modes and lambasting the not-so-poor Shaina, with comments ranging from "Lucky beyotch, I hate her!" to "Mamatay ka na, makating babae!" (lit. trans.: "Die already, itchy woman/harlot/whore!") As much as I do not understand the JLC adoration, I also do not understand the Shaina hatred. I mean, I understand how all gays and girls hate her guts for snagging THE JLC (with me going, "Big effing deal!"), but can't they give her a break? I guess she all the Shaina hatred is justified because noone really hated Ciara Sotto, JLC's first boyfriend because at that time JLC hadn't reached the LPIB (laglag-panti-ikot-bra/panty-wetting-bra-twisting) level of matinee idol-ism yet. Liz Uy is too alta (literally high, figuratively high-society, classy, well-bred) for anyone to bother with, and Ruffa, well, I've already mentioned the reasons earlier. It appears that Shaina is the most accessible JLC girlfriend so far, so people think that it's fine to hate her. Therefore, I conclude she needs an image consultant, stat.

Last weekend, the WWW was ablaze with word that after a night of debauchery, John Lloyd and Shaina got it on and because of fatigue and alcoholic intoxication, JLC's member got stuck in Shaina's female parts.

Yes, whoever you are, if you aren't familiar with Philippine showbiz and wondered if you read what you just read correctly, well, yes, YOU READ IT RIGHT!

Mr. John Lloyd Cruz, who will always be Rovic to me (his breakout TV role), had his penis stuck in Ms. Shaina Magdayao's vaginal cavity, or so the rumor went. While I just couldn't help but laugh uncontrollably at the entire thing (pardon the immaturity), self-proclaimed insiders have added details to the rumor. As with any urban legend, it starts with a doctor, who happens to be the friend of the neighbor of the cousin of the second wife of the aerobics instructor of the insider, verifying that JLC and Shaina snuck in a hospital (Makati Med? St. Luke's? QC or Global City?) with only a blanket covering them, the guy on top of the girl, to have a medical procedure done for them to be separated. More insiders poised to quash any cynical thoughts were quick to point out that what happened is an actual medical condition known as (drum roll please...)

vaginal captivus
an occurrence wherein the vaginal opening of a woman closes, perhaps due to fatigue.

And yes, to strengthen their case, insiders point to an episode of Grey's Anatomy which has featured such a case. Apparently Grey's Anatomy is now the paragon of truth in anything medical (sorry, cannot confirm the episode, stopped watching the show after its second season; besides, my medical show is House). Everyone involved has denied what happened, and I hope people will leave it at that.
I mean, really? Penis captivus whatever? WTF. Epic wow.