The Spinners

♪ The Day You Said Goodnight (Hale, 2005) ♪

In Alternative Rock, OPM, Richard Bolisay, Track Reviews on December 15, 2010 at 4:40 am

Hale almost had it. A decent lineup of musicians, a good-looking frontman, a catchy tune as debut single, mutiltudes of fans on Yahoo groups, platinum sales, TV appearances, gigs . . . what could possibly go wrong? For one, they did not grow up. The band got stuck in its flowery songwriting and Champ lost his charm, which, to be honest, was Hale’s bread and butter. (The worst came eventually—an all-Filipino concept album in 2009.) Their timing was also perfect: 2005, a year of uncertainties, a year of discoveries, a year of dipping toes into the water and having the courage to change its flow. Indeed, Hale were a breath of fresh air. They seized the opportunity. They had promise. I was not alone in the reverie of wanting them to move into Coldplay territory despite the fact that they weren’t and, unfortunately, couldn’t. Some would say that Hale defined OPM alternative in the noughties, and “The Day You Said Goodnight” was the flag they raised to prove it, and they could be right. But it’s hard to pinpoint what made the song incredibly popular, considering the inanity of its opening words: Take me as you are. It may be the description of admiration—okay, the poetry—and the newfangled intimacy building up towards the bridge: a heatbreaking twist of fate to sentimental listeners; a forced punch-drunk ending to the kindly ones. Up to now, I still wince at Champ’s delivery of And I do reside in your la-heeet, singing the refrain with his eyes closed, tightly, sincerely, regretfully. Hale’s first album is pleasant enough to deserve repeats—in fact, I still listen to it—and “The Day You Said Goodnight” is not even a standout, lacking the juvenile fun of “Kahit Pa” and the levity of “Tollgate,” yet I concede to the fact that it has an unmistakable spell of courtship. It is a nice keepsake of the era, which probably explains why the song title (and the band itself) will always be written, sadly, in the past tense.

*included in the upcoming “A Decade in POP: OPM in 50 Songs”

– Richard Bolisay

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