There’s more to singing than ‘birit’
Elha Nympha, the banana cue vendor-turned-“The Voice Kids” Season Two champ, doesn’t need to reach her songs’ high notes to impress music lovers—and she proves this again in her self-titled debut album, “Elha,” most notably in her remarkable covers of Andrea Bocelli’s “The Prayer.”
The young singer’s compelling vocal presence is hard to ignore even when she’s tasked to merely hum ad libs or scale wordless, improvised notes.
The clear and confident tone that comes out of her voice’s midregister will make listeners realize there’s more to good singing than birit (belting).
We’re not saying that all the young comer does is “hide” comfortably in the safety of her low to midrange melodies. In fact, Elha cleverly utilizes her proficient interpretive skills to show off her stratospheric range in songs like Martin Nievera’s “Ikaw ang Lahat sa Akin” and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1945 standard, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
But Elha’s gorgeous covers, sung with crowd-pleasing aplomb and skillful relish, are served well by her precocious judiciousness. She doesn’t call too much attention to her prodigious octave-breaching ability.
When she sings “You Raise Me Up’s” high notes, she alternately shifts between her soft, controlled tones and carefully belted trills—a high-wire musical feat in itself.
If you’re partial to show-stopping bravado, Elha’s 13-track repertoire is guaranteed to please: The lineup includes Beyoncé’s “Love on Top” and Sia’s vocally complex “Chandelier.”
But why is a tweener allowed to musically (and dramatically) intone lyrics like “Boy, your lips taste like a night of champagne/ As I kiss you again and again and again…” That’s way too much kissing for a 12-year-old, if you ask us.
Even more pertinently, Elha should be encouraged to sing songs her own way and not copy the original interpreter’s style and vocal affectations.
Take her remake of Mariah Carey’s “Emotions”—the young singer often finds herself playing catchup to its constantly shifting melodic progression.
She also struggles to execute the five-octave diva’s whistle register. She grunts and giggles the way the 47-year-old songstress does in the song, but awkwardly.
The singer’s covers make her 13-song album accessible, but the collection’s top track comes from songwriter Jungee Marcelo’s “Susunduin.”
Marcelo’s lovely ballad will sweep music lovers off their feet because its melody’s quick drops and sudden ascents allow Elha to display her prodigious skills—without overusing them.
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