Kuh Ledesma

A Long, Long Time Ago

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In 1994, Philippine independent Vicor Records released A Long, Long Time Ago, a compilation of songs recorded by Philippine female singer Kuh Ledesma for the label in the 1980s. The album is dominated by middle-of-the-road music and easy listening love songs performed in a sophisticated manner by Kuh Ledesma. Ledesma possesses an impressive voice, and imbues much passion into the songs. The songwriting, per the middle-of-the-road style, is strong throughout the album, and might even find a small audience outside the country. This type of music sells in large numbers in the Philippines, but often has a hard time finding an audience outside the country. All 12 of the album's songs are slow, which doesn't make for much diversity. Still, there is enough distinction between the songs that they don't blur into one another, as is often the case in easy listening Philippine albums. Still, 12 slow songs in a row can become tedious for a listener. The opening song, "A Long, Long Time Ago," immediately signals a high level of sophistication, and sounds like something Barbra Streisand might sing. Kuh Ledesma sounds strong here and throughout the album, relaxed and confident. "Sino Ang Baliw" (Who Is Crazy) is an interesting number, and opens on a Baroque-styled motif played on strings, which leads to a dramatic, minor-key melody. The song contains several dramatic pauses, as well as emotive, almost histrionic piano and string accompaniment in parts of the song. There is also a searing electric guitar solo, and toward song's end there is a fascinating, post-modern pastiche of sound.

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