By Nickie Wang
We always think that a new album coming from artists who had produced exceptional records and anthemic tracks would always equal their previous works. The pressure to maintain or at least live up to the expectations of the public is a tough task for Aiza Seguerra and Yeng Constantino. Smash hits “Pagdating ng Panahon” and “Hawak Kamay,” by Seguerra and Constantino, respectively, both paved the way for the artists who make guitar-oriented musical compositions. We can still recall how these records created an LSS (last song syndrome) among young people.
Aiza Seguerra is no longer the child star we know. Her appeal as a child sensation lost its sheen during the latter part of the ’90s. But in 2001, she made a phenomenal comeback via “Pagdating ng Panahon.” This album etched an indelible mark on the local music scene, and for some reason, became her ticket to openly discuss her sexuality.
The unprecedented success of Aiza’s now quintuple platinum- selling album, gave her a new-found fame, but was she able to maintain the popularity?
With “Para Lang Sa ‘Yo,” her album inspired by Judy Ann Santos’ series Ysabella where she also starred in, the listening public was again moved by her angelic voice that never tries hard to impress. Even the most discriminating ears will agree that less voice is more conducive to listening than those records of artists that screech with vocal gymnastics.
“Para Lang Sa ’Yo,” which is also the title of the promotional track, has a romantic theme that both men and women could relate to. “Sana Di Puro Lang Sana” furthers the emotion conveyed by the previous track, but what really serves as an extension of the first song in the album is “Sa ’Yo Lamang.” Whether intentionally or not, this has the same story conveyed in “Para Lang Sa ’Yo.”
“Walang Sayang” is the irony of the track title, this is one of the songs that will bore the listeners, the other one is “Kasama.” The first doesn’t offer something special aside from the fact that it looks like it was taken from a karaoke’s more than a decade-old playlist.
“Kasama” is lyrically poor, high school students can write better lyric.
For first-time listeners who would play the whole album from start to finish, “Persistent Rain” will not disappoint them. The timing is right for the rainy season but whether the rain pours or not, this track will appeal to anyone who is on the verge of letting go and in the first phase of moving on.
“Mahagkan Kang Muli” and “Huwag Mong Iiwan Ang Puso” are the best tracks in the album not because Nyoy Volante and Ogie Alcasid are the respective brilliant composers who shared their talents to complete this project. “Mahagkan…” is a love note written with very simple words yet expresses a deeper meaning. Ogie’s “Huwag Mong…” is a song with a stronger impact as it communicates the emotion of an honest heart.
Aiza made two revivals in the album. Her rendition of “I’ll Be There” is actually better than the original. The message of the song is more felt with easy and soft vocal. That is actually the effect when the attention of the listeners is focused on the message of the song and not to the vocal dynamics. The other cover that is really worth mentioning is “Bakit Ako Mahihiya.” Reliving this Didith Reyes’ classic is Aiza’s affirmation of her sexuality. She gave it a new flavor, a contemporary touch that didn’t fail to give the song a new life.
The album tells a story, a love story everyone could relate. However, the sales of “Para Lang Sa ’Yo” can tell that Aiza failed to equal the success of her previous project. With a new album underway, we can say that she matures only enough to keep her audience from listening to her music.
The big dreamer
Young and sensational! Yeng Constantino made waves with her anthemic “Hawak Kamay,” the single that became more popular than her name. It’s part of her debut album released in 2006 after winning the ABS-CBN reality show Pinoy Dream Academy.
She is touted as one of the most poetic artists in the field of music writing. Considering her age, she was able to write songs that stirred the emotions of her contemporaries and even the older ones. With Journey, her latest offering, Big Dreamer Yeng tries to prove that she is becoming a mature artist.
“Di Na Ganun” opens the 12-track album that hinges on the definition of local pop-rock genre. With this track, Yeng initially shows her authentic talent. She establishes her sound then attracts the listeners with her writing flair. She will entertain you with her playful yet assuring “Ikaw Lang Talaga” before she slows down with a friendship song. “Promise” is different from the other tracks in the album. It is slow-paced and different from the usual sound we hear from Yeng.
Infectious with its positive outlook, “Pili Ka Lang” will affect the emotion of the listeners of the next song with strong conviction “Tao Lang Ako.”
What is noticeable about Yeng with her compositions is that she doesn’t try hard to sound perfect for the pop-rock genre. There are people who would argue that she doesn’t have a perfect voice to be a diva but she utilizes her talent in creating materials that soothe her vocal style. “What About Us,” “If You Go” and “Why Can’t You” are perfect examples for that. But it is not all praises for her. “Tala” and “Bakit Nga” should have been excluded in the album. She could rearrange them, add new flavor, and include them to the next album that she will have. Not that they don’t sound good but while listening to them, the only move the listeners would want to do is to skip and move on to the next track. Same thing goes with her cover of Asin’s “Himig Ng Pag-ibig.” One of the risks in doing revivals, most especially if the song is a big classic, the artist must equal what the song did before; otherwise, it will only sound like an ugly distortion.
The last track in the album is “Habambuhay.” This one is so outstanding that people wouldn’t mind hearing it over and over again (sad to say, Yeng didn’t write this song).
Generally, most of the songs made good impressions. The guitar is so polished that people would really think Yeng is a genius, but actually she plays with the help of her band Morning Glory.
She may have evolved as a mature artist but examining her sound and image, she just looks and sounds like a foreign lady rocker. Wonder who she is? Visit Youtube and check out the most viewed video of all time.