Pops Fernandez

Shindig Live

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In 2001, Philippine female singer Pops Fernandez released Shindig, which consists of songs recorded live at two concerts called Shindig. Pops Fernandez is often called the Philippines' "Concert Queen," and her concerts draw large crowds. On her last album, 1999's Moments, which was a studio album consisting of remakes of mostly international songs, Pops Fernandez's voice sounded weak and lacked depth, a problem that surfaces on many of her studio recordings. On Shindig, she sounds assured and her voice is remarkably strong. One almost wonders if this is the same person who recorded Moments. The audience is very much a part of Shindig and enthusiastically responds to her periodic requests to "join in and sing." Only one of Shindig's 15 songs is Philippines-composed, the easy listening "Minamahal, Sinasamba" (Loving, Adoring). The high number of American and European songs reflects the Philippines' taste for foreign music. The album is entertaining and often energetic, as heard in the opening two-song medley, which smoothly combines the upbeat and melodic "Bring It All Back Home" with the Jackson Five's classic, "I Want You Back." Later, she handles Ronan Keating's beautiful hit "When You Say Nothing at All" with aplomb. Pops Fernandez duets with guest star Kempee de Leon on the Smokey Robinson-composed "Cruisin'," a number one hit for Huey Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow. Side two of the cassette contains much upbeat music, including Gloria Estefan's "Party Time" and Jennifer Lopez's "Let's Get Loud." A nice album, but it's sad that it relies so much on foreign music.

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