Potpourri of musical treats from Gary and Charo
If you want your favorite OPM ballads sung with more theatricality and improvisational gumption, the album to listen to is Gary Valenciano’s “@Primetime,” which taps into its 11-song lineup’s inherently melodramatic musicality to frame the thematic and narrative convolutions of the Kapamilya network’s various teleseryes.
Never mind the cloying, shrill and oft-repeated excesses of Ebe Dancel’s “‘Wag Ka Nang Umiyak” (from “Ang Probinsyano”) and George Canseco’s “Hanggang sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan” (“Walang Hanggan”)—you’ll find Gary’s covers of Ogie Alcasid’s enduring “Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw,” Aaron Paul del Rosario’s “Minsan Lang Kitang Iibigin” and Constancio de Guzman’s “Maalaala Mo Kaya” too soothing and soulful to ignore.
“Life Songs with Charo Santos,” the star-studded compilation that commemorates “Maalaala Mo Kaya’s” 25th anniversary, gathers some of the country’s finest voices—Sharon Cuneta, Lea Salonga, Martin Nievera, Gary Valenciano, Ogie Alcasid, Lani Misalucha and ZsaZsa Padilla—to reflect on the drama series’ impressive milestone, as Charo recites lines from Max Ehrmann’s 1927 poem, “Desiderata.”
With Charice, Jed Madela, Darren Espanto, KZ Tandingan, Juris, Kyla and Jona around, expect vocal tweaks and twists to give the album’s 11-song collection a show-stopping update. But, most of these seasoned interpreters are as good at breathing life into their songs as executing musical bends and curlicues with flair and aplomb.
The foreign songs in the mix are earnestly rendered—Kelly Clarkson’s “Piece by Piece” (interpreted by Charice and KZ); The Jackson Five’s “I’ll Be There” (Darren and Jed); Billy Joel’s “She’s Always A Woman” (Piolo Pascual); Randy Edelman’s “You” (Sharon), and Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me” (Kyla and Jona).
But, there’s nothing more moving than an OPM tune well-sung, like Marizen Yaneza’s “Iingatan Ka” (Janella Salvador and Jenine Desiderio), Martin Nievera’s “I’ll Be There For You” (Juris), and Florante’s “Handog” (Aiza Seguerra and Noel Cabangon).
Moreover, you can also hear Charo’s pleasant (and pleasing) singing voice, albeit fleetingly, in her revival of Florante’s “Sana,” which she sings with Piolo and her granddaughter, Julia Concio.
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