Tuesday, 1 February 2011

3 SUARA****

We start of the new year with a most intriguing release in the local music industry: An album of original compositions featuring vocal contributions from two established singers, Ning Baizura and Jaclyn Victor as well as rising star Shila Amzah from OIAM fame, with ALL songs sung in group form. Upon hearing the project, rumoured to have started all the way in early 2010, I immediately asked myself these three questions: How is the supposed feud between Ning and Jac going to pan out? How is newbie Shila going to stack up against two legendary chanteuses? And, will the combination of the three actually workout?

Well, upon my first full hearing of the album, I am rest assured that all my fears have been allayed. First off, there was never a diva war going on between Ning and Jac, for them working together so comfortably and amicably in this project should put rest to any supposed disagreements between them. Meanwhile, Shila more than holds her own against the other two established performers, displaying a surprising maturity and emotion in her vocal delivery that belies her young age and experience. Watch this space people! But what is most surprising is that the three singers actually complement each other very well, their tones and harmonies blend with ease.

Like an exquisite fragrance, there are three distinctive ‘notes’ to the singing. The ‘top note’ is Jac, sprightly and crisp. Shila is the ’middle note’, smooth and clear. Ning provides the ‘base note’, deep and soulful.  There is no over singing, no trying to outdo each other with their vocal prowess. All adlibbing and vocal runs are executed tastefully, so that when the big chorus and finale approaches, the impact is all the more thrilling. The songs, written  written mostly by Irwan Simanjuntak  and Kevin Chin with singular contributions by Paul Morrison and Alvyn Santiago are immaculately produced to showcase the dynamic vocals.

The album starts of with the joyous, upbeat ITS A BEAUTIFUL LIFE, a celebration of positivity and the love of life. This dance number definitely urges the feet to stand and get jiggy! A powerful opening number indeed. The beat continues with MENARI DALAM HUJAN, featuring a 70s synths and bass, replete with the sexy ‘aahs’ and ‘oohs’ to further accentuate the disco vibe. Another up-tempo track, DIMANA DIMANA, which is currently enjoying airplay features a Latin inspired groove, while HANYA SATU is refreshingly breezy and easy going with an almost Dreamgirls like quality.

Where the album truly shines are in the selection of slower numbers. BERIBU SESALAN is the standout ballad in the collection, featuring a soaring arrangement and truly emotive performances by the threesome. The climax of the song (also presented in an acoustic version) is a crescendo of vocal overlays that literally gives me chills in aural delight. Equally sublime is MENGENANGMU, a haunting ballad serving as tribute to the late Yasmin Ahmad, the preeminent Malaysian director and screenwriter. SEMUA ISI HATIMU and TEMAN are also good tracks, with the latter a heavenly and inspiring gospel-esque song on the importance of friendship. Finally, the lone English track TOMORROW’S CALLING is an understated guitar laden track delivered impeccably by the three singers with an uplifting message of hope and the need to protect our children as the heir of our future.

All in all, 3 SUARA is a highly listenable and enjoyable collection of songs  that truly showcases the best out of the three talented singers. I highly recommend this album. So rush to your favourite music store immediately as the first pressing of this album is only 3,000 units! You definitely don't want to miss out.

TRACKLIST

  1. It's a Beautiful Life / Irwan Simanjuntak****
  2. Menari Dalam Hujan / Kevin Chin; Tinta***1/2
  3. Semua Isi Hatimu / Irwan Simanjuntak****
  4. Dimana Dimana / Irwan Simanjuntak***1/2
  5. Beribu Sesalan / Kevin Chin; Tinta*****
  6. Hanya Satu / Kevin Chin; Tinta***1/2
  7. Mengenang Mu / Irwan Simanjuntak*****
  8. Tomorrow's Calling / Paul Morrison****1/2
  9. Teman / Alvyn Santiago; Tinta****1/2
  10. Beribu Sesalan [Acoustic] / Kevin Chin; Tinta*****

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