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The eclectic musical style of Jose Mari Chan’s boys

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THE SONS of singer-songwriter Jose Mari Chan, Joe (L) and Mike (R), at the launch of their album of original songs, Joe & Mike Chan.

THE SONS of singer-songwriter Jose Mari Chan, Jose Mari “Joe” Jr. and Michael “Mike” Chan, have released a self-titled full-length album with 10 tracks exemplifying their mastery of several genres including rock and ballads.

“[This is us] making our own playlist,” Mike Chan said during a press conference on March 29 at Alba’s restaurant in Quezon City.

He recalled that when they had their father listen to the album, he called it “diverse” because the Joe & Mike Chan album contains several genres. He then explained to his father that “it’s the age of playlists” where people create their own song sequences jumping from one genre to another — it is with the same concept that the brothers did their album.

GENERATIONS
Both Joe and Mike Chan were part of the band called Generation which was composed of the children of musical greats. It included Kowboy Santos who is the son of rock legend Tessy “Sampaguita” Alfonso, and Ige Gallardo, the son of singer Celeste Legaspi. The band released a self-titled album in 2014.

“We’ve worked on our own album for about two years after we were done with the promotion of the Generations album,” Mike Chan said.

And while the 2014 album featured mostly original rock songs, for their own album, the Chan siblings focused on creating original songs showing their varied musical influences, from bossa nova to The Beatles and The Beach Boys.




“The album is very eclectic. We do have some rock songs which are a carry over from our Generation days… but some of these songs — it’s messages — are very personal and very telling of our emotions and our style,” Joe Chan said.

The album also features two instrumental songs, “Fernandina,” a bossa nova-influenced track featuring horns and strings, and “If I Knew You Were Coming,” a rock instrumental with Generations member Kowboy Santos on the guitars.

THE SOUND OF THE ’60S
Other songs in the album are “With Me Tonight,” a ballad influenced by the sound of the 1960s British invasion — according to Joe Chan, the song is a homage to the period and its “clean guitars.” “Seven Lakes Drive” meanwhile, features a horn section and is about the brothers looking back at their childhood in New York and how they would go “for a drive.”

Joe Chan said that “The Waning Moon” is a poem by poet Rafael Alonso that he set to music, and the result is a reiteration of the 1960s psychedelic movement featuring “very few chords and a drone-like simple melody.”

“Tell Her” was inspired by the music of American rock band The Beach Boys, and features a four-part harmony and layered vocals.

And because the brothers are such fans of The Beatles, they opted to have their songs mastered in the iconic Abbey Road Studios in London where the British band recorded most of its albums from 1962 to 1970. The Chan siblings worked via the studio’s online mastering service.

Joe & Mike Chan is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and other digital music stores. — Zsarlene B. Chua

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