For his sophomore album under O/C Records entitled Pangalan, which was released on March 27, Unique Salonga depicts his struggle to deal with his rise to popularity as an artist and all the nuances associated with it.
The album’s name might be a reference to two things: his really unique name and the kind of music he makes and the weight his name now carries in the music industry as of this moment, which is considerable, especially with respect to the kind of songs he’s producing.
The record starts off with a rather unusual track called Korporasyon, a pure instrumental, fast paced track that seems to, as its title suggests, the fast paced, humdrum of being tied to a bigger entity to make something for them as quickly as possible, regardless of one’s sanity.
It’s not his only foray into non-lyrical work in the album though. While the first track has the benefit of having structure, his other instrumental track, Delubyo, is five minutes of pure, random audio clips mashed together that depicts anything that can put one in distress or danger, with references to near fanatical religious figures, impending disasters, and a petty fight happening outside, the kinds of things that can disrupt any creative like Unique on their daily attempts at creativity.
The rest of the tracks depict how he handles his fame in relation to his increasing number of fans and the often high expectations they place to him like him grappling with the alienating nature of popularity in Dambuhala, his struggle with the inevitable descent into irrelevancy in Lamang Lupa, the disproportionate amount of loneliness popularity brings in Bukod Tangi, the never ending tussle of anyone achieving fame with their critics with Mga Katulad Mo, which is his boldest and most outright confrontational track he has ever made so far, his reconciliation with the fact that he can never please anyone with Pahinga, and finally and perhaps, the album’s most anticipated track and potential hit song ever since his fans have heard it for the first time in his live shows, Huwag Ka Sanang Magagalit depicts his introversion and his struggle to have meaningful interactions with people, especially those who are close to and love him dearly.
Fame isn’t always what it seems and this eight track record proves it more than anything else and if you think getting popular is an all gain and no pain sweat deal, then this album, now available on Spotify, might make you reconsider.
What's your favorite song off of Unique's sophomore album? Share it down in the comments below!