Friday, April 16, 2010



I've always been irritated by how the Philippine media blows up every Filipino name that come across the international (read: American) scene. Even personalities with .001 % of our native blood, even though they have never been to the Philippines nor speak the language, get more attention than they deserve.

Of course, there are individuals who really deserve all the media hype, and aside from Arnel Pineda and Manny Pacquiao, Charice (Pempengco) has proved to be one them. The once child wonder Ellen Degeneres and Oprah had gawked upon in amazement is no longer a child hence the new image and RnB-ish single. Gone are the Star Search inspired Celine Dion/Whitney Houston/Mariah Carey tracks which most singing contestants insist on singing to show off their vocal range. Finally, Charice is now ready to embrace her inner teen diva.



PYRAMID, the new single from Charice's new album feat. Iyaz, is a catchy RnB tune that translates well to wicked dance track courtesy of Dave Aude. The lyrics are meaningful and the feel of the song is just right for this day and age. Not too much earth-shaking exhibition of how high one's vocal chords can achieve, (read: Note to God) which, at least in my book, is a big yay. It's hip, it's fun, it's a song you can listen to over and over again.

In fact, it took me 34 plays before I grew tired of listening to the song over and over again. Trust me, iTunes kept count.

I now fear the inevitable time when the song will hit mainstream radio and I have to listen to people going gaga over the song I am already getting sick of.

However, in my honest opinion, a great single (that she didn't write nor help compose) and a gig in Oprah do not spell surefire success. Watching the video, I was left with the odd feeling that it's lacking something. Or at least, her image does.

Don't get me wrong, I think she's a beautiful kid with a brilliant voice but let's face it, she's not PussycatDollPretty and while watching the video, I can still perceive her as the Tween sidekick Hannah Montana would befriend. Her Virgin-Mary-uber-wholesome image will also not help her career that much. I'm not saying that she should strip in front of the camera and do a rendition of Lady Gaga's dance routine in Love Game but, I don't know, I'm just not digging her overall style. I think she still has to find her trademark something the same way Taylor Swift found her guitar and Miley Cyrus discovered the power of stripper shorts.

That said, I wish Charice all the best. She is, after all, carrying our nation's name. May Filipinos be known for more than knowing how to beat people up professionally and being great nurses/caregivers.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

your confused honey, you couldn't even figure out what's lacking on her ....you are simply trying to find fault but couldn't find one.

who said she needs to be a pussycatdoll, carry a guitar and wear a stripper short?

nearly hitting the 100 counts but never get tired of pyramid and mind you that doesn't count plays on my blackberry.

Joy said...

Great post! Nice reading your views. However, as the New York Post wrote - the video is "freshman perfection." I'd like to emphasize the word freshman there. And as you said, she's still growing and finding her style. And a plus for parents like me - finally a star who really has talent and doesn't need to show some skin to get noticed. Great role model for kids. So I'm definitely rooting for her and her success...

Clarrise said...

@ anonymous: I never said she has to be a PCD, carry a guitar and be a teen miniwhore. It's just a metaphor for something I feel she's missing. Or maybe it's just the video. Somebody mentioned how the video did not fit the song and I can attest to that. To each his/her opinion, I guess. Don't fret dear, we are on the same side.

@ Joy: I agree on the talent. Obama knows how many talentless artists there are on the Billboards. It's nice to finally have somebody who can really sing.

Anonymous said...

We all have our own opinion. And you have expressed yours in a very educated perspective.

In my opinion, everything in the music video is perfect. Having followed her from the beginning I can say she has found her niche. She is the same simple young kid in pony tail and pink skirt who sings her very own song.

The simplicity of the video speaks of it all and it just highlighted her beauty and talent.

Maybe the "missing" thing you speak about is the usual glamour of music videos made in Hollywood. To me she does not need that. She does not fireworks to emphasize anything. Just her voice and innate charisma can handle that.

Anonymous said...

IMO, she doesn't have to pretty up herself like a Pussycat Doll. Pussycat Dolls really have that image since that is their roots. The founder, Robin Antin used to be a burlesque dancer. Hence their style and image. And yeah, Charice is really a teen - Hannah Montana's age. So I think the video is highly appropriate for her age. Also appropriate for the song - as a light, feel good song. Message for teens - be confident in yourselves and don't get discouraged right away...

Clarriscent said...

@Anonymous #2: Thank you for valuing my insights and sharing your own. Yet I still don't think the video fit the song, tune-wise. It's mostly RnB and Pyramid is not a power ballad, like Beyonce's Listen & Kelly Clarkson's A Moment Like This that goes well with empty theater stage performances, at least in my opinion. So yes, I expected more than what I got esp. after having listened to the song numerous times.

@ Anonymous #3: Hmm. I don't think Hannah Montana reached the age of 17 before Miley Cyrus decided to chuck out the character. Anyways, the video's message is nice, it's light and fluffy. I just think she needs to do / to have something MORE to be able to compete with the market. And please do not take the metaphors too seriously, but I do appreciate you all taking the time and effort to read and comment. Best of luck to all!

Anonymous said...

I guess, we should leave this to the director, producer, Charice's management team Warner. I think they are more than capable of knowing what Charice needs and how her first video should be. I happen to think that they are doing a really great job. The video is simple, light with no hype and focuses on Charice's talent and her being a teen herself. As her star grows I think more bigger videos are forthcoming. But this one is just beautiful in it's simplicity...

Anon1 said...

The song and video lack something. More importantly, I don't know if it will be a hit among the younger people, specially the audience of Top40 music.

It's good that Charice now has an age appropriate song.

Anonymous said...

i think everything is a part of marketing strategy, they dont show of all the best of charice. Like a novel, her story will grow from small into something grand... If you're into business you will know that, you shouldnt sell everything in just one hit... In Charice, this is a way of Warner to create a market by making people crave for more about her. They started to build Charice from nothing by generating money from the release of her first single. If that single will not sell then the album will not be release...
You shouldnt expect so much Charice was packaged differently. American standard is different from Filipinos. I think Philippine entertainment is still way behind the international trend.

Clarriscent said...

@ Anonymous #4: Point taken. :)

@ Anon1: You read my mind. I don't know who their target audience is. The tweens are all gaga about Justin Bieber, Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus. The 18-20 demographic are more into Rihanna, Lady Gaga etc. I think the song is more mature and more contemporary than how it was shown in the video.

@ Anonymous #5: True, the local and American market are different things. Although, she IS trying to break in the international scene so it will not be such a bad idea if she plays by some of their rules.

Anonymous said...

You got the point blogger :). Charice is missing a lot. PCD girls, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus all found ways on how to sell their music effectively. Sooner or later people/fans would get tired of seeing the same image over and over again.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you blogger. Other artists are willing to try more effective ways to sell their music, why can't Charice do that?

Clarriscent said...

@ Anonymous #6 and #7: Oh, finally, readers with open open minds. Not that I'm bashing Charice fans but sometimes, like a mother to her child, some tend to have blind spots regarding their idol's flaws. One thing I learned from this post is that she has a very loyal (and quite aggressive when provoked) fanbase. She's v. lucky.

Anonymous said...

complaints...complaints...complaints..before you judge charice look on yourself first what kind of talent do you have. Charice is phenomenal singer.

Clarriscent said...

@Anonymous #8: Hey, she's the one who chose the I-want-to-be-world-famous road. I didn't / don't want to. If you really want her to succeed, then you guys should be able to cope up with praise as well as CRITICISMS because there are surely going to be a LOT of them in the future. Every artist (great or not-so-great) had their share.

Charice said...

to the author. your statement ths are in-experience. its obvious your have no idea about show business... if you were able to watch a lot of her videos, you would know what is special about her. this you lady would not go far if she lacks of many things... your definition of star is way different from those who handles her... you have a lot to learn... if taylor swift has a guitar, miley has stripper short, then charice has her grand gestures on stage... many professionals have said that she was born to be in stage... as you can see in her video Pyramid, shes the one doing her own choreography in stage... try to watch this, you would know what im saying http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyMGS-ba3Pw&feature=player_embedded

Anonymous said...

One phrase I always hear about in the blogosphere and twittersphere is "Charice is so lucky".

Anyone who truly knows the story of Charice and what she has gone through will know better than to say that. Charice deserves every good thing that is happening to her right now. It's not 'just luck'.

Check out Phil Bolsta's blog to get to know more about her.

Clarriscent said...

@"Charice" In my opinion, she's not 'THERE' yet, if you know what I mean. She has a long way to go and a lot to learn. There's always room for improvement. I'm speaking as a consumer who appreciates and buys music and not as a producer. There's a difference.


@Anonymous #9: Definitely not just luck. And yes, I did say she is talented, did I not? :)

Anonymous said...

wow! i must say, i stumbled onto your blog from your post about her on Glee. Like you, a good friend of mine and I debated about "Charice not being 'there' yet" mind you this was a couple of weeks ago. I took offense to his assertion because rather than demoralize an artist for "not reaching it yet" I countered his statement by validating the fact that she has gone further than most (a LOT further). Mind you, I agree with you (and my friend for that matter) that she isn't "mainstream" as of now which is (or was) an accurate statement. However, give credit where credit is due. I mean I suppose people give constructive criticism to say, "NOPE Charice isn't there yet so (fanatics) stop being overly excited" but can you really blame fellow countrymen for having pride in someone who is breaking through a historically racist, sexist, and homophobic institution (media and the music industry)?

Sure I agree with you on many accounts, especially in regards to her fans, but i also recognize and will highlight her accomplishments and her talent, validate places where she can improve, and understand where her prideful fanatics are coming from, although it can be overzealous and irritating at times.

We don't all have to agree, but we can all be respectful and not attack..and that message goes out to "OA fanatics and NON OA Fanatics" alike.

Anonymous said...

This one is a very good article about Charice.

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/157673

Anonymous said...

this man is totally confused!

Anonymous said...

You're definitely right on your first paragraph...sigh...it irritates me a lot na. Nakakaasar din mga Pinoy na ganyan

Clarriscent said...

@ (the latest) Anonymous:

It had gone down a bit, I've noticed. Thia Megia didn't got much TV Patrol airtime as when in the days of Jasmine Trias' stint on American Idol. I see this as a good thing. Some personalities just don't deserve the overwhelming worship the PH people are giving them.

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