ABS-CBN News Album Review

by Jackie Dosmanos
December 7, 2015 | ABS-CBN News.com

Dragonfly Collector
“The World Is Your Oyster”

Among OPM singer/songwriters, it is becoming more acceptable to look back at certain eras over others. On his first solo release, Bamboo revisited the cinematic rock of the early ‘70s. Orange and Lemons, on the other hand, re-enacted the psychedelic sensibilities of the late ‘60s.

Former Orange and Lemons main squeeze Clem Castro, who now calls himself Dragonfly Collector, is stranded in the mid-’60s on his own solo debut. It’s not a bad time to be marooned in and Clem collects, mashes and reconfigures the best of the era’s pop and rock to present ten new tracks of unrelenting beauty. In the process, he finds that sweet spot between exploitation and exploration.

As you listen to the album, the temptation to name-check the influence of a certain track is within reach. However, each song is so carefully crafted that it’ll leave you reaching for the repeat button instead.

In interviews, Clem as Dragonfly Collector says his key influences are Joy Division and The Smiths. On the album, Motown soul is half a step away from the sprightly “Timothy, My Timothy.” “There Is No Remaining In Place” recalls the lyrical and musical legacy of “Windmills Of Your Mind.” Blues rock lets out its mighty roar in the album closer “Darkness Is My Candle.”

Dragonfly Collector is an unlikely transformation for an Orange and Lemons man that no one saw coming. It has arrived and it’s a compelling confirmation of his true gift.