AsiaÆs premiere vocal group and multiple Awit Award winner, The CompanY, together with Gerard Salonga and his orchestra, FILharmoniKA embark on a musical adventure in the album entitled ôGroup Hugö (Viva Records); scheduled for release in December, 2008.

ôGroup Hugö is The CompanYÆs earnest tribute to the iconic and legendary groups that have left their indelible mark on the history of popular music. These are the international music titans who have changed and influenced the sound, feel and look of todayÆs sonic landscape; Phenomenal groups like: Abba, Beatles, The Carpenters, Nirvana, Earth, Wind and Fire, The Jacksons, Spiral Starecase, Average White Band, David FosterÆs Airplay and Queen.

ôGroup Hugö showcases the versatility of The CompanY as this album delves into multiple and disparate music genres. From mainstream pop to classic rock, from old school rhythm and blues to fiery mambo, from smooth jazz to pseudo classical postulations; from contemporary a cappella to electronica û the album ôGroup Hugö runs the spectrum of music styles and influences. The CompanY, a pliable vocal quintet, unleashes a cast of a thousand voices from within to try on different sounds, styles, textures and rhythms.

Album producers, Moy Ortiz and Gerard Salonga, have made a deliberate and conscious decision not to utilize and apply the FILharmoniKa orchestra in predictable and traditional ways. The record producers pushed the vocalists and instrumentalists to their limit in seeking uncharted musical territories where experimentation was the norm.

Music, like most things, is arguably Darwinian in nature. It is evolutionary in the sense that every style, trend or movement has brought music to its current state. Each music artist builds on top of what has gone before him. Here lies the spirit of ôGroup Hugö. This new album is The CompanYÆs tip of the hat to the groups that have paved the way, inspired, educated and illuminated us all with the possibilities and truths. ôGroup Hugö is a loving homage to the lasting legacy of pop musicÆs super groups.

The end result is a highly entertaining and innovative musical romp into the 20th centuryÆs pop music canon. Strangely familiar yet surprisingly fresh in attack and interpretation, The CompanY together with Gerard Salonga and his orchestra, FILharmoniKa, deliver one of the PhilippinesÆ best albums for 2008.

Group Hug consists of the following songs: Magical Mystery Tour (The Beatles), Blame It On the Boogie (The Jacksons), YouÆre The One/ I Just Fall In Love Again (Carpenters), Play That Funky Music/Superstition (Wild Cherry), Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen), Should We Carry On (Airplay), More Today Than Yesterday (Spiral Starecase), Take A Chance On Me (Abba), Boogie Wonderland (Earth, Wind and Fire), Walk In Love (The Manhattan Transfer) and All Apologies (Nirvana).

Group Hug offers an original composition entitled, ôNandito Pa Rin Tayoö. Written by multi-awarded tunesmith, Moy Ortiz, the new song speaks of relationships that remain constant and secure in an ever-changing and disposable world. These are bonds anchored in love and trust like those seen between a parent and child, amongst best friends, faithful married couples, dedicated lovers and even between a performing artist and his loyal audience. A beautiful music video of this song was directed by Chuck Gutierrez and shot by cinematographer Bernard Dacanay (both from Brainchild Creative Solutions). The music video is also included on the Group Hug album (video-audio compact disc). Moreover, the minus one/ karaoke track of ôNandito Pa Rin Tayoö is also included on the album.

The CompanY, Gerard Salonga and the entire FILharmoniKA will launch the Group Hug album on December 14, Sunday, at the grand atrium of the Shangri-La Plaza Mall, 6 pm. Admission is free and there will be a meet and greet after the show.

Group Hug, The CompanYÆs 18th album release, is undoubtedly a milestone album.

The CompanY is Annie Quintos, Moy Ortiz, Cecile Bautista, Sweet Plantado and Jay Marquez.