Thursday, April 21, 2016

Kyla-Not Your Ordinary Girl (2004)


Extending my stay around on the OPM circuit for one more day? Not so out of the ordinary. Hearing another wonderful Filipino singer's talents? Well, that's very ordinary, and it was the sweet, delightful voice of Filipino r&b singer Kyla that now gets its rightful share of the "Music Spectrum" spotlight. Ordinarily, my ravings and praises about an artist's particular album would begin straight from the top with the opening track, but in this case, I felt the need to jump around and target those selections that pleased by ears the most. I suppose I'm not yet jumping down too far by first relaying to the world how much I enjoyed Kyla's surprise remake of the late King Of Pop's 1982 hit, "Human Nature". Covers of memorable songs from the 80's—always a thrill, and they always will. The upbeat bounce and light acoustic guitar combination going on here is a different yet delightful approach, especially with her voice leading the way, which I had even determined in my mind sounds so similar to that of the King Of Pop's younger sister, Janet Jackson. It's the acoustic approach, in fact, that made for many more ear-pleasing moments thereafter, some of which emerged as my top picks from this album. "Make Me Whole" is one that truly made me feel whole—an absolutely beautiful performance with only the accompanying guitar with just her voice and her touching words of tribute being the stars of the show. It's one where I had to sit back and listen with zero distractions interrupting the flow, especially in the song's final movements where the true power in her singing ability rises to the rafters! Similarly, "Til They Take My Heart Away" gives Kyla the opportunity to show off again with only the guitar acoustics as her musical companion. Then there's "Because Of You", where instead of the light guitar accompanying her, the elegant melody of the piano fills the ears in the warmest of romantic tributes to close out the album. Long before that, however, are some total jams that really put the 'rhythm' into r&b. The title track, for starters, which features a Jimmy Muna on rap vocals adding some hip to the hop, molding the song into a duet that flows in a smart, conversational style. Was all caught up in the beat to "What More Can I Say?", particularly liking that flashy display of the electronically transformed moaning of 'oh' in the main chorus. One that I can ride with all night long: "Something About You". Another shining duet, the special guest male vocalist this time being fellow Filipino star Thor Dulay (I wonder if his stage name was inspired by the character named 'Thor' from the Marvel Comics universe?). A third duet makes for four-and-a-half minutes of soul bliss: "Only For You". It officially marked my introduction to fellow r&b singer Keith Martin, whose strong, booming voice contrasts nicely with Kyla's all throughout. But the biggest of the big-time jams as to be the bilingual cut, "Hindi Mo Ba Alam". Big beats and a big bounce—they're enough to attract me to the music, especially digging the cool record scratches and the song's overall sunny melody with a sprinkling of rap lyrics by an unknown male vocalist contributing some added spice. Although the aforementioned songs are my personal favorites, I have to say that I had been allured by Kyla from the very instant the twinkly, daydream groove of the opening track swept over me. Fitting, perhaps, that I should conclude with that one, because Kyla truly is —as the words to that title read—someone to love:

1. Someone To Love
2. Human Nature
3. When I'm With You
4. Make Me Whole
5. Not Your Ordinary Girl [feat. Jimmy Muna]
6. If The Feeling Is Gone
7. Only For You [feat. Keith Martin]
8. What More Can I Say?
9. Making Me Crazy
10. Til They Take My Heart Away
11. Something About You [feat. Thor]
12. Hindi Mo Ba Alam
13. I'm All Yours
14. Buti Na Lang
15. Because Of You

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