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Friday, October 30, 2009

The sound of true champions

It was quite a title for a concert, True Champions, the Best of the Best. I can only think of two types of reaction from those involved. They could have gotten cold feet over so much expectation and required a title change or to have taken it to heart and performed with all their might. And to the delight of all those who came to watch at the Sky Dome in SM EDSA last Saturday evening, Rachelle Ann Go and Jed Madela did just that. They proved they were true champions.

Now there are champions and there are champions. These singing wonders grow out of the woodwork around here and they all have their own good qualities. Among all of them though, Rachelle Ann and Jed are the ones known for flawless singing. This does not only mean the ability to reach the high notes and do vocal calisthenics. Several trophies from here and abroad already attest to that. It is also in their ability to be expressive interpreters. They seem to be able to make listeners feel their songs more than others.

And feel we did as we watched them go from one audience pleaser to another starting with a medley of their early hits Don’t Cry Out Loud for Rachelle Ann and Let Me Love You for Jed.

Rachelle Ann went for the drama with The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face and Over the Rainbow, was a sinuous dancer in a sexy, ballad version of the Korean hit Nobody and surprisingly funny in her divas impersonation medley.

Jed was no slouch in the comedy department either as he did Manny Pacquiao, Para Sa Iyo, Arnel Pineda, Open Arms and would you believe, even Charice Pempengco, I’ll Always Love You. Of course, his best moments were the ballads like Do I Make You Proud, Separated and a sentimental medley of telenovela themes that went from Tayong Dalawa to Kung Nasaan Ka Man.

It was however the duets that made the evening truly memorable. It was their first show together and it looked like they have at last finally discovered the ideal singing partner. This was true whether it is a soulful duet like Baby Come To Me, an enchanting Narito or a soaring Co Te Partiro. Great show. A repeat would be nice. The only problem I see with this fantastic tandem is that they might find it hard to perform on the same level with other singers from now on.

More singing champions news. Come Nov. 7, it will be Sarah Geronimo’s turn to strut her stuff at the Araneta Coliseum with her solo concert Record Breaker. The show coincides with the release of two new albums, My Christmas Girl, her first Christmas album and Music & Me, an all covers collection featuring new recordings like Right Here Waiting, Lost In Your Eyes and Listen To Your Heart plus previously released hits like Somebody New In My Life, A Very Special Love and You Changed My Life.

In the charts, up on top is Christian Bautista, who incidentally, will be among the guests in Sarah’s concert. Christian’s latest big seller and which might be his biggest hit ever is Romance Revisited, The Songs of Jose Mari Chan. The CD includes his duet of Please Be Careful With My Heart with Sarah and the hit single Tell Me Your Name.

And just who you think is the most ubiquitous champion of the moment? It is Mark Bautista, whose mug is featured in those Mang Inasal ads that are all over the place. Mark looks so cute savoring chicken inasal, which I was happy to find out, tastes really good and is most affordable, too.

Meanwhile if you want more of Rachelle Ann and Jed, you might want to check out their latest albums. Rachelle Ann’s is In Love, which is made up of romantic standards like If, Somebody Waiting, All The Things You Are, Traces, Let The Pain Remain, You And Me Against The World and others.

Jed’s is Songs Rediscovered 2, The Ultimate OPM Playlist which is made up of local compositions in English like To Love Again, I Need You Back, Special Memory, Got To Let You Know, I’ll Always Stay In Love This Way, A Smile In Your Heart and others.

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