Thursday, April 21, 2016

LA DIVA-La Diva (2009)


The subject of my next treat from the OPM circuit is a bit misleading, because it ain't just one delicious diva dazzling your ears, but rather THREE delicious divas! Getting newly acquainted today with the Filipino pop trio of Jona, Aicelle Santos and Maricris Garcia reminded me that there are many countries across the globe nowadays taking part in the whole reality television 'Idols' phenomenon, LA DIVA having originated from the "Pinoy Pop Superstar" show based in The Philippines (and now I have another music competition to keep my eyes on). Just as these delicious divas surely impressed the judges and their following of fans whenever they performed live in front of the TV cameras, they impressed me immensely—ten times over! The spectacular spectacle began with their sublime cover of the ONE REPUBLIC/Timbaland monster hit "Apologize". It was that sultry acapella harmony of them singing 'it's too late' right off the bat in the opening movement that had me sold that these ladies were the real deal, those voices packing some real powerful punch in the electrifying closeout moments. Even without the familiar chanted echoes of the 'hey' in the ONE REPUBLIC original, I am totally buying this all-female r&b version—it works! From that point forward, I'd realize that many of the other English-language cuts performed by this trio are also covers of past familiar hits, none more thrilling to me than their fabulous dance/pop spin on THE EMOTIONS 80's post-disco classic, "Best Of My Love". Hands down, this is the best jam I've heard all day, and it's gotta be the best remake of it that I've ever heard! The divas really thrown it down big time, especially the one who's got the lead duties and lifts off like a skyrocket showing off her high soaring chords. But I love them best when they're harmonizing together, delivering the words to the memorable chorus: 'whoa-oh, you've got the best of my love'—a WOW of a performance that just totally made my day! Yet the best of what these divas have to offer just might lie on a few of the other jewels sparkling on this album. Besides their sweet n' soothing take on Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours", there's a trio of touching, emotional slow jams that quite literally took my breath away: their reworking of Guy Sebastian's "Angels Brought Me Here" (begins innocently enough as a soothing, lofty piece before emerges into something mighty epic by the time it reaches the closing movements and the passionate, unified vocal explosion), their magical, show-stopping rendition of the DESTINY CHILD's hit, "Stand Up For Love" (wow—these David Foster productions are always thunderously grand masterpieces!) and the bittersweet "One Last Goodbye" (props for the production again with the song rising to a climax before ending with the soft, whispering vocals and the delicate piano, as if to say the man took the songwriter's final breath away from her already-broken heart). Even the tracks performed in their native tongue are a joy; basking in the melody and amooth flow of "Kasiping", the beautiful dreamy ambiance of "Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan" and the festive, almost Latin flavor of "Rosalina" (the energetic fast version is a monster jam!) is all my receptive ears could do with these, but it was more than enough to satisfy me! With this double-disc package, you get the bonus semi-instrumental 'Minus One' versions to every track, but the exclamation point to your entertaining adventure with these LA DIVA divas will have already been placed once your first 40+ minutes of music has completed:

CD #1

1. Apologize
2. Kasiping
3. Angels Brought Me Here
4. I'm Yours
5. Best Of My Love
6. Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan
7. Stand Up For Love
8. One Last Goodbye
9. Rosalinda (Slow)
10. Rosalinda (Fast)

CD #2

1. Apologize (Minus One)
2. Kasiping (Minus One)
3. Angels Brought Me Here (Minus One)
4. I'm Yours (Minus One)
5. Best Of My Love (Minus One)
6. Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan (Minus One)
7. Stand Up For Love (Minus One)
8. One Last Goodbye (Minus One)
9. Rosalinda (Slow Minus One)
10. Rosalinda (Fast Minus One)

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