Gary Valenciano’s evocative 30th anniversary album, “With You,”brims with graceful melodies and a grateful tone. It’s his way of saying “thank you for the first 30 years, as I venture into the next season ahead.”
Gary says he couldn’t have done it without his faith: “Through Him, I have withstood the challenges on my health. I’ve experienced the deepest of pains and the greatest of victories. So, I pray that the songs in the album will help people see how beautiful they are in the eyes of the Lord—as I have.”
The 10-track repertoire includes uplifting tunes written in the vein of “Could You Be Messiah?” and, to some extent, the thoughtful “Gaya ng Dati”: The title track benefits from the sweet and soothing voice of daughter Kiana, while Dodjie and Elisa Simon’s “No Mount Too High,” “Ngiti” (with Young JV), Juan Miguel Salvador’s harmony-fueled “Para Sa ‘Yo, Ama,” and the anthemic “Kapit Pinoy” sing about the power of faith, positive thinking, and the resilience of the Filipino people in the midst of ceaseless trials.
But, it’s hard to imagine a Gary album without songs that will make you go crazy on the dance floor: The best dance revival of the season comes in the form of Ray An Fuentes’ ’80s hit song, “He’s Enough,” an irresistible fusion of energy and musical sizzle, with a Toni Basil-like sting a la “Mickey,” courtesy of a.K.a Jam’s Katrina Velarde, Ashley Campbel, Jhelsea Flores and Monique Lualhati. Grab a copy—and dance!
“The Voice of the Philippines” finalist Myk Perez does best in a controlled setting, as his debut album, “My Acoustic,” astutely demonstrates.
His followers will get their back-to-basics fix in his revivals of Adele’s “Chasing Pavements,” Lionel Richie’s “Easy” and Peter Frampton’s “Baby, I Love Your Way”—but, Myk is best served by his sexy, self-penned scorcher, “Honey Under The Moon,” and his finger-tapping cover of John Mayer’s “Clarity.”
You don’t need to be a KathNiel fan to enjoy the romance-heavy repertoire of the “Got to Believe” soundtrack, which manages to give the brassy, harsh tones of Daniel Padilla’s uneven voice a smooth, on-the-note polish.
Thanks to modern technology, Padilla’s remake of Sharon Cuneta’s “Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko” and “Kasama Kang Tumanda,” his Tagalog version of Adam Sandler’s “Grow Old With You,” come off well—and without note-maiming moments!
However, the album’s most striking revival is George Canseco’s “My Only Love,” originally sung by Cuneta for her third movie teamup with Gabby Concepcion in 1982. Marion Aunor doesn’t have the Megastar’s confident, stable alto, but renders the tune with elegant subtlety and a laid-back rhythm-and-bluesy spin.