Lea Salonga

Live, Vol. 1

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Lea Salonga's (one of Broadway's most marketable personalities) first live album seems long overdue. Recorded live at the Philippine International Convention Center, it includes material performed during two separate evenings. The opening entry of "Someone's Waiting for You," following the overture, is from the 1977 Disney film The Rescuers. What might seem like a strange selection makes sense when we hear the insertion of a young child's voice backed by instrumentals from a fuzzy record. No mistake about it, it is a child who would later do wonders for the stage, and she is singing the exact same song. In no time, the adult Lea Salonga takes over and thus begins an hour of classics and standards, including a "Carpenters Medley," a "Disney Medley," which includes the artist's own song, "Reflection," from the film Mulan. There are two entries, "Even If" and "Can We Just Stop and Talk Awhile" from Lea Salonga's solo albums. "Happiness" is a duet with her brother Gerard Salonga, who also played piano throughout the selections and produced the album. While the song is a chipper, likeable little tune, Gerard's talent is best left at the ivories. Lea's voice is right where it belongs, on stage in front of a live audience. While Vol. 1 does not feature the most inspired of musical choices, they are all capable offerings evidently respected by an even more capable singer.

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