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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A gallery of champions

A gallery of champions

A gallery of champions ...

It was only a few months ago when Rachelle Ann Go unleashed the rocker in her with the album Rachelle Ann Rocks Live. Public reaction to the collection of well-loved rock classics and the singing champion's sudden and I must say risky change of pace proved to be excellent. Her version of White Lion's Honestly instantly became a huge hit. Her second single Aerosmith's Cryin' is now fast climbing up. To top it all there are more single materials in the CD.

So it is only to be expected that the Search for a Star grand champion and silver prize winner at the Asia New Singer Competition of the Eighth Shanghai Music Festival would decide to take more rock risks as a follow-up. This is the Rachelle Ann Rocks Live DVD from Viva Concert Series. This is the very same performance heard in the CD, which was recorded live at 19 East in ParaƱaque. This time around though, there are visuals of the show directed by Robert Quebral plus behind the scenes footage, music videos of her other hits, a photo gallery from Rachelle Ann's private album and additional songs. These are After the Rain a big hit for The Nelsons and To Be With You from Mr. Big.

Silver prize winner at the Asia New Singer Competition at The Ninth Shanghai Asia Music Festival and Search for a Star in a Million finalist Jimmy Marquez is very happy and proud about all the positive feedback that his new CD By My Side, has been getting from listeners. He feels that he has finally found his niche and the all-original package produced by Christian de Walden has just the kind of classy, top quality, radio-friendly sound singers aspire for.

The first single Why is Love Amazing sets the sexy, make out mood. This is picked up later by Touch Me Tonight. The sound also goes sweet and easy with the title cut and the boy band influenced Save Every Minute and Everytime You Pass Me By, which should make great singles. Why it even powers up some dance grooves with By My Side, My Imaginary Love, Pretty Face and Passion.

Star for a Night runner-up Mark Bautista also has a new album. Titled I'll Be the One and also produced by De Walden, the CD shows Mark at his best vocally. Though known earlier for singing dramatic ballads, he now takes the lighter pop route. I guess it is thanks to the success of his all-covers collection, Every Now and Then, that there is now more confidence in his approach to the all new materials. And great news, I'll Be the One introduces Mark as a songwriter. The album includes Why Can't We, his very first composition co-written with Vito and Alberto Mastrofrancesco and Lori Barth.

The first single out is Eternally. The other titles included are Sana'y Dinggin Mo, a new original by the L.A.-based Filipino songwriter Jimmy Borja, Too Slow, Stuck in My Heart Now, Take a Chance, Everytime I Close My Eyes, Love And Affection, I'll Be the One, Just Look at Me, I Don't Wanna Say Goodbye, Somehow I Knew and Don't Tell Me About Heartaches which features his favorite singing partner, Sarah Geronimo.

Jimmy and Mark are joining Sarah later this year for a tour of Europe that will start in beautiful Monaco. And as for Sarah, the Star for a Night champ continues her full schedule for the rest of the year. First off, there is a new edition of her latest album Taking Flight. This one includes her version of the old favorite A Very Special Love, the theme from the movie of the same title, which stars Sarah with John Lloyd Cruz. Incidentally, the Taking Flight CD has garnered three Awit nominations, Song of the Year for Ikaw, Female Pop Vocal Performance also for Ikaw and the much-coveted Album of the Year Award.

Set for an August date in the stores is her new De Walden album. Remember, their team-up did remarkably well with Becoming, which had a big hit in the Jimmy Borja song I Still Believe in Loving You. Simply titled Just Me Sarah, it has an all original line-up including I'll Be There, her duet with Howie Dorough of the Backstreet Boys. Then to cap, 2008, Sarah will release her first ever Christmas album, produced and arranged by Ryan Cayabyab.

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