Listening to Jed Madela’s new CD, The Classic Album made me realize how European is the timbre of his voice. His latest release is made up of ballads that date back to some 40 or more years ago and what came off best are those from European composers. The French Francis Lai should hear how romantic Jed does his Where Do I Begin, the theme from the ’70s tearjerker Love Story. So should Italian Nino Rota, who did A Time For Us, theme from Zefferelli’s Romeo And Juliet. These songs are standouts in the album as Jed’s sweet tenor smoothly blends in with the Old World charm of these melodies.
I would rank Frank Sinatra’s comeback tune from retirement, Let Me Try Again as another one of Jed’s best recordings here. I was initially surprised. No Lai or Rota in this song. But then no wonder, like My Way, Sinatra’s retirement theme, Let Me Try Again was originally a French song given new lyrics in English by Paul Anka. Like the Where Do I Begin and A Time For Us, Jed approached this song in a straightforward manner. No embellishments in these cuts. Just plain singing, which, I think is just how it should be, the better to show off his clear, graceful tones.
Like most of today’s young singers, Jed has this tendency to play with the notes. Something like, flex here, bend there, circle all others, and then flex again. A sort of let me show you what I can do vocally. Watch A.S.A.P. or Party Pilipinas on Sundays and you will find a lot of singers doing this, at times straying too far from the melodies with their adlibs and are next unable to find their way back to the songs. Jed is not one of them. He is one of those who knows how to hit the right notes. Still, I like him best when he is simply singing.
Truth to tell, I know a lot of people who just adore the vocal calisthenics and who think those singers are good. It is like the performer giving them their money’s worth. Those who do will find much to like in The Classic Album. Still, whether Jed adlibs or not is immaterial to CD buyers who love the old songs. I can honestly say that here are some of the most beautiful songs ever written and I can just imagine how great he felt about being given the chance to record these immortals for his own CD.
Aside from those mentioned earlier, The Classics Album by Jed also includes What I Did For Love, I Believe, It’s Impossible, Portrait of My Love, Softly As I Leave You, An Affair To Remember, Times Of Your Life, You Will Be My Music, Walk Away, Somewhere, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Love Is A Many Splendored Thing and Moon River. As before ex Neocolor Ito Rapadas turned in a well-produced, enjoyable album.
Incidentally, in case you have forgotten, Jed’s last pop album was the also all-cover Songs Rediscovered 2. Subtitled The Ultimate OPM Playlist it was a good showcase of hits from the ’70s and ’80s written by Filipino composers and all in English. Check out this one too if you are discovering Jed for the first time. You know what they always say, may kurot sa puso pag OPM. You can feel that here.
Among those included are Sharon Cuneta’s To Love Again; Raymond Lauchengco’s I Need You Back; Can’t We Start Over Again by Jose Mari Chan; Ric Segreto’s Give Me A Chance; Basil Valdez’s Let The Pain Remain and others.
You want more Jed Madela? He also has this wonderful Christmas album, which is once more out in the stores. It is titled The Voice of Christmas. Give a listen and I am sure you will agree. This guy has just the right pipes for those soaring Christmas songs.
So what can we next expect from Jed? So now, here I am, just thinking. Maybe or better yet hopefully, Jed’s next CD release in a year or so, will be made up of all-new works by Filipino composers. A hit original would be great for him and OPM can surely use the boost.