Monday, September 08, 2008


Lani Misalucha is one artist whose album is always looked forward to. She has come a long way indeed from being an obscure back-up singer to a diva on the Vegas strip. Unlike other local singers, she has thankfully given up the tired birit act and has become known for mature performances. She should know, having been based in Nevada for several years now, that vocal calisthenics aren’t the norm in the US music scene. Maturity - this is what we are to expect from her latest offering, Reminisce.

It can be said that this album will have to find its audience – most probably the mid-to-late 30ish crowd who tune in to radio stations at the dead of night to listen to sad, love songs (yeah, guilty as charged!). Then again, beautiful songs will always find an appreciative ear in anyone who professes to love music, which is good to know because this will ensure this album’s commercial success.

Someone That I Used to Love is appropriately melancholy with a hint of vindictiveness (this is just perfect for those who are nursing a broken heart). A complete opposite is We Could Have it All which was truly an inspired and soulful rendition. Skyline Pigeon has been rearranged to sound contemporary yet retained its soaring spirit (it was originally written as a hymn, after all) - a fresh take on a now-karaoke favorite that was popularized by Sir Elton John from his album, Empty Sky, released in Britain in 1969. Lani’s version is smooth and effortless. The same can be said of I Loved You All the Way. Bridges, originally by Dianne Reeves, is yet another late-night radio classic many listeners would be familiar with. It happily ends in a smooth finish like a really good cup of macchiatto.

Love of My Life, sadly, didn’t have the longing that was so evident in the Queen original. It was as if Lani just went through it perfunctorily. Freddie Mercury was a very passionate artist. He would pour his soul and energy into his songs hence any cover, even if they’re just that, should at the very least approximate the power and the passion that their original singers imbued the songs with. Dust in the Wind could use a little pumping up, although Lani’s version definitely has more oomph than Sarah Brightman’s take on this classic. Healing, popularized by Deniece Williams, remains to be haunting and moving. I really, really love this song. This is one song that IMHO should never be forgotten and relegated to the dust bin. It’s a song of self redemption and God knows how much we need that in this age of grace and somewhat frequent human disgrace.

There was nothing special about Get Here. It sounds like any other rendition. The same can be said of the Where Is the Love / Feel Like Making Love medley. Tin Man is a nice, groovy version compared to a somewhat serious original by America. The new arrangement gave it a bossa nova feel, a welcome change for a new generation of listeners.

I am happy that this album ended on a Donna Summer original, Whispering Waves. The upbeat version is a welcome treat for fans of Ms. Summer and a fitting end to a more or less wonderful new album.

I have no idea, however, why Daniel Tan’s Iisa Pa Lamang was included in this work as a bonus track. Probably because not one Filipino song appears in the repertoire. I am, I’m afraid, not a big fan of this particular song. It reminds of me of bad Alma Moreno films. Overall, Reminisce is a nice album to have and to hold and to keep playing over and over during windy and languid Sundays. Enjoy!

No comments: