Passionate, prolific, and profound, SB19’s Pablo lets it all out in the poetic pronouncement that is La Luna. In this honest and haunting effort, the pinuno pulls no punches.
Whenever someone consciously wipes out their social media footprints, it is a considerable cause for concern. With the proclivity of the world to put an insane amount of pressure and premium on the digital extension, there must be a compelling reason to go off the grid. In the days leading to this, eagle-eyed followers noticed that on several platforms, Pablo of SB19 changed his profile photo to a nondescript black, and on Instagram specifically, his feed reflected zero posts. Now, this isn’t entirely out of character for the creative force behind the commercially successful and critically acclaimed hits that the P-pop group has been known for. While he is both charismatic and compelling, he also is fiercely protective of his privacy. Far from an effort to be vague, this brooding mystery was a wind-up to the unleashing of his solo debut single, La Luna.
“Lone in your many phases, your dark side, your imperfections, your dark side,” writes Pablo on Twitter, seemingly shining light on what is to come from La Luna. “A dark side that was never truly bad.” While these don’t figure as lyrics to the highly-anticipated track, it certainly draws one closer, much like when confronted by the moon. “A light that blinded whatever came close,” continues the furtive fragments. “Hiding behind the shadows, trusting only what it knows.” Following the mysterious release of the heartfelt exposition curiously titled, ???, it becomes clear that Pablo is on an edge, raring and ready to let it all out.
As the moon turns tonight, the time has come for Pablo to dig deep and howl to the haunting La Luna. And so, he begins.
The Movie In His Mind
Passionate, prolific, and profound, Pablo is known to wear his heart for everyone to see and take inspiration from. Anchored by this purpose, the singer, songwriter, and producer doubles down on drive, vulnerability, and ambition, expanding his ever-evolving struggles and realization in a truly rousing release.
“Its focus is mostly about myself, my feelings, my beliefs, how I view the world and how it affects me,” asserts the pinuno of SB19 of this expression of emotions. Here, he gets up close and personal, even more so from his impressive work, scoring personal battles of self-worth and self-love into a stirring soundtrack. “We all have flaws and we need to accept those imperfections because those are what make us who we are,” he details in a statement. “To be mentally healthy, we need to come to terms with ourselves, that what we feel is valid. We shouldn’t suppress it just so we can please everyone and avoid confrontation. There will always be black in white and white in black. We should maintain balance within us. That’s how we remain sane and alive.”
Lone in your many phases, your imperfections, your dark side— pablo (@imszmc) January 21, 2022
The result is a riveting account of metaphor and movement he can fully call his own, fully carving out the identity of Pablo as an artist. Unapologetic, unhinged, and unabashed in nature, and that is meant as a compliment of the highest order, La Luna is an electric and evocative essaying of embracing imperfections, the persistent pursuit of acceptance, and a liberation of the self. From the ominous prologue, a hair-raising and spine-tingling pounding of percussions, the orchestration expands to an eclectic mix of a hip-hop-inspired drum line, an aggressive asserting of bass and strings, and a sparkling symphony that carefully contrasts with the cinematic overtones. “I always like the cinematic feeling the music scoring bring upon movie scenes,” explains Pablo. “It amplifies the emotion that is currently being portrayed. I decided to incorporate that in my music. I want it to be grand and full to bring out the intensity of the song’s emotion.”
Talking To The Moon
At the core of every Pablo production is a storytelling that is endearing, earnest, and engineered with words that just hit hard, and La Luna is no exception. In fact, as intense and intuitive as it is in progression, it is insulated by lyrics that are more than anything, honest. Cathartic in nature, Pablo spits major truth in his bars, shifting between English and Tagalog, making the undertaking more poetic as it paces evenly and steadily in an effective staccato that is gripping and biting at every beat. “Siguro nga panahon na para ako’y magising / Harapin at yakapin tunay na ako’y magiging,” the brilliant rapper relates early on in the track. “Alamin mga bagay na makakaya kong gawin / Kapag ang takot at kinakatakutan ko’y ako rin.”
There is no opportunity to get thrown off this case, because even as it revs up and goes full throttle in the rallying of his introspection, you are also connected and committed to the narrative of empowerment and emancipation. “I’ve been living all my life / Right behind these bars I bleed the life the knife cut through,” continues the hard-hitting La Luna, whose brimming choral inflections tempers its grit and growl. “All these scars, unlike your mind, are deep / I buried six feet beneath the pain I gained from hella grind.”
? PABLO – 'La Luna' Official Music Video OUT NOW!— pablo (@imszmc) January 28, 2022
? Watch MV here: https://t.co/IPMVvaQ7GL
? Stream 'La Luna' on Spotify and other digital music platforms!
SIMULA NA NG LA LUNA#PABLOLaLunaMVOutNow#PABLOLaLuna #PABLO #LaLuna pic.twitter.com/AblyW2Gta9
There is an abrasive insistence that coarses through the take-no-prisoners contention, which is part and parcel of retaliation, especially in the defense of the self. But owing to the great skill of Pablo, as well as of his conviction, confidence, and charm, La Luna soars as an enlightened and nuanced tale of coming into one’s own.
Pablo The Great
Unflinching as it may be, it does’t come off as particularly stern by any measure, because in between breaths, there exists a space where resolution pierces through. Here, we are merely reminded that the darkness, as unavoidable as it may be, is not an end all and be all. Just as it turns and shines, it will eventually relent to the promise of light. “Umaga’y ‘di na darating / Buwan ay laging nakatingin / ‘Di na uso’ng huling hiling / Tara simulan natin,” continues the leader of the pack, in the solo effort that is solid and strong from start to finish. “Simula na’ng la luna / Lamon ang ‘di maniwala / Kayo’y mag tago na / Laluna, lalung lalo ka na.”
Well-thought-out and carefully considered, as well as real and relatable, La Luna is comprehensive showing of what makes Pablo irrefutably great. Not that we needed any more proof, because from SB19, Pagsibol, and his introduction into a solo era, there is a whole world of possibilities and potential we have yet to see. But what has been and will always be clear, whether it be a verse or pure, unadulterated thoughts, he doesn’t just talk to the moon; he makes it happen.
It goes without saying, whenever Pablo speaks (and sings), we listen. And this is no exception.