Ella May Saison

So In Love

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In 1997 Philippine female singer Ella May Saison released So in Love on the Philippines-based independent label Kat's Eye Entertainment. Recorded in both Manila and the U.S., and produced by American Andrew Rollins, So in Love overflows with R&B, a style of music that suits Saison's talents just fine. On 1996's Best of Ella May Saison, the singer often gave the songs a soulful interpretation, making even the easy listening material sound good. But on So in Love, Saison shows what she can really do, and she can do plenty. The opener, "Never Had a Chance," grooves on a heavy, syncopated backbeat and features soulful male backing harmonies, while Saison gets sensuous, her powerful voice moving gracefully and with purpose. "Got Lovin' for You" features swirling, funky guitar and finds Saison opening forcefully on a gospel-like call-and-response theme sung with the female backing vocalists. "I Believe" is a beautiful, wonderful ballad, and Saison handles it with poise and loving care. Also featured is a polished, soulful remake of Phoebe Snow's 1975 hit "Poetry Man" that does the original proud. Another standout is "Read My Mind," which features a funky guitar line straight out of the Stax/Volt songbook of '60s Memphis. So in Love is an excellent album, but one gets the feeling that Saison and company can do even better.

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