Riding With Journey


On my way out from work I noticed that this afternoon’s weather isn’t motorcycle-friendly. The dark clouds dominated the skyline. The rain poured hard. The road is soaked. Times like these I appreciate the fact that I got a car to drive. So I was thinking then, “What would be a great driving music to go along with the wet ride home…?” Lo and behold, some Rock ‘n Roll god guided my discretion, it handed me the CD, Journey: Revelation – its CD 2 slid effortlessly into the disk player.


We bought this CD last week and I have played it right after and I’ve been trying to make sense of it since then. But this afternoon’s gloomy weather seemed to have made the setting right enough for me to appreciate it better than before. The cool and humid breeze completed the nostalgia that I was about to go through.


All of a sudden the firm steering wheel of the Honda seems to vanish right out of my grip. The illuminated dashboard gauges blurred and faded all the way. The feeling of firmly seated in the driver’s seat and the security of the seat belt went away as well. Surprisingly, during that very moment I cared less at each every minute that the Journey CD continued to play as if trying to give in to an unforeseen force.


With each track of the CD playing one after the other, I found myself inside a rather boxy vehicle with both of my hands holding the bar located right on top of my head. I felt the blaring of the 15-inch speakers under my very seat and its heavy bass thumping and the high treble trying to cope up with it while some rock band send spine chilling riffs. The black lights inside made the white shirts around me to glow like some magic tricks thus completing the out-of-this-world sensation. I tried to peek out to check were on earth I’m currently at and I soon realize that the speeding vehicle has its rectangular windows wide open. Another head movement and I saw that its rear door is likewise ajar like those in airplanes with skydivers waiting for the red light to go green. Turning my gaze in front, I saw a long-haired driver carelessly enjoying the music while speeding past sugarcane-filled trucks. So where am I exactly? Well, I’m actually in a Jeepney and I’m in tattered jeans, faded shirt and a pair of scuffed Chuck Taylor shoes. I am in college once again.

Filipinos, buy this!

Filipinos, buy the original please! Photo: music.aol.com


And that’s the unavoidable effect this Journey CD has on me. The classic rhythm of the guitars, drums and keyboards blasted me right back to the past. The vocals this time though isn’t from its original vocalist Steve Perry anymore. This time its from Arnel Pineda, a pure Filipino talent who despite his small size relative to the other band members has such powerful voice that if you’ve heard each of the Journey’s songs only once years ago, you’ll for sure say that it still has the same vocalists. 
Arnel’s rendition of most of the original Journey songs is unmistakably that of Steve Perry. And hearing those I would call “melodic shriek” made me sometimes wonder if the myth that tight leather pants do make Rock ‘n Rollers achieve that impossible pitch is true. Go figure.


After listening to almost everything over and over again, I’m now concluding that Arnel did a really really good job in his first album with Journey. Except for Open Arms (CD 2 track 9) which in my opinion is a disappointment because I actually don’t know if Arnel tried to impose his own singing style in this song by deviating to what was done by Steve. If he did, well, I just don’t like it. Or maybe I’ll get used to it soon. Whatever. Anyway, before the Pineda fans start throwing thrash emails, I’d like to say that of all the 23 songs in the album (CD1 & 2 combined), this is the only song that I’m having second thoughts listening. Other than this, the rest are just perfect for those who love the classic Rock ‘n Roll feel.


My personal favorites in this album are: Never Walk Away, Let It Take You Back, Only The Young and of course, Faithfully. I love this last song a lot that it had me clicking on the disk player’s repeat track button several times while hopelessly trying to sing along with it in the confines of our car and to the ire of the only person inside with me that time – our Wisconsin football team bobhead. Poor guy it’s been bouncing up in down, front and back that I snapped out of my in-the-jeepney-ride nostalgia.



Tomorrow, it might rain again; I might have to cover bobhead with a hanky this time for my full uninterrupted journey with Journey back to the past.

Bobhead loves videoke singers more than the author. Bad bobhead.

Bobhead loves videoke singers more than the author. Bad bobhead.











2 Responses

  1. i enjoyed reading your journey to the past. it’s a nice review from somebody in the mother country which gives me an idea as to how arnel is perceived there. a typical filipino likes show business people to be tall, fair-skinned and preferably a tisoy or tisay. arnel is the opposite of all those but he is adored here at the united states by pinoys and americans alike. i hope he gets accepted with open arms by his own countrymen and gets appreciated for his talent and not judged by his looks (which isn’t bad at all).

  2. Veronica,

    Thanks. Arnel’s reception here (from the news) is actually good although his music genre seems to have not covered the mainstream market. His songs (from Journey) are played in “masa” stations only and I haven’t heard any of the new rock songs being played. Yet. – I could be wrong though.

    By the way, thanks for dropping by and posting your POV.


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