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Barbies Cradle

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Album Review

In 1999, Philippine folk/acoustic-styled band Barbie's Cradle released its debut album, Barbie's Cradle. The three-member band is formed around vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Barbie Almalbis, who had earlier left another folk-styled group, Hungry Young Poets. The sound of Barbie's Cradle is obviously modeled upon that of American singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell, and to a degree such Mitchell acolytes as 90's singer Paula Cole. The opening track, "Go," contains a sinuous, jazz-inflected saxophone line performed by local guest artist Tots Tolentino. A significant number of Mitchell's songs also feature jazzy saxophone, as heard on 1994's Turbulent Indigo, among others. "Clear" is also an appealing, well-crafted song, given resonance by Almalbis' emotive voice and her engaging acoustic guitar playing. Aside from Almalbis, the band also includes a drummer and bassist. "Healing" also commands attention, largely due to the attractive chord progression and once again, Almalbis' sincere, intimate approach. Several other songs, including "Untouchable Ones" and "Someone Else", are comparable in quality to the aforementioned, while other songs do not fare quite as well. "Rabing Ilog" (trans: Near the River), "Pagalis" (trans: Leaving) and "Pretty Paper Doll", for example, aren't very exciting and also lack distinctive melodies or hooks. Much of the music on Barbie's Cradle is serious and intimate, perhaps too serious and intimate, and borders on pretentiousness. There is a general lack of enjoyment or fun on the album, and a listener may feel he or she is listening to a test exam put to music. David Gonzales Song list/credits All songs composed by Barbie Almalbis except where noted.


Formed: 1999 in Manila, Philippines

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Barbie's Cradle formed in the Philippines from the remnants of a band named Hungry Young Poets, which featured singer and guitarist Barbie Almalbis, Franklin Benitez on drums, and bassist Ricci Gurango. After the trio had worked together as a unit for three years, and Hungry Young Poets had made its mark with the singles "Firewoman" and "Torpe," the group disbanded. Gurango proceeded to establish a band of his own, while Benitez and Almalbis remained together and founded Barbie's Cradle, enlisting...
Full bio
Barbies Cradle, Barbie's Cradle
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  • 11,99 €
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: 26 July 1999

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