New Kid On The Block

Kid Camaya
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The rightful owner of the Pinoy Idol title didn’t win the Idol show staged by GMA-7. He wasn’t even in the TOP 3.

Kid Camaya, was hands down, the best vocalist in the bunch. He, along with co-finalist Sue Ellen (also not in the TOP3) also exuded star potential. And yet, Kid had to endure the beatings of the 3 judges week after week, until he was prematurely eliminated.

Pinoy Idol crowned its winner, the show was forgotten, and everybody moved on.

And then one day Kid Camaya comes out with an album. Released under Ivory Records, the album Soul Sessions takes Kid to the route taken by many other industry newbies before him (and also, the route of many of the biggest names in Philippine music) – the route of the all-covers album.

Kid’s album of 8 remakes is a pleasant surprise. If you can look past its horrific album cover (in low resolution images), Soul Sessions is in fact, an excellent record. The competent re-arrangement of the songs, the selection of the tracks, the proficiency in Kid’s vocal techniques – all these contribute to making it stand out from the other karaoke-type compilations of predictable tracks.

“Come on Over,” a Christina Aguilera original, is the album’s opening track, re-arranged in a way to fit Kid’s soulful style and to respond to the demands of the country’s acoustic music-voracious market. Up Dharma Down’s “Oo”  also assumes a new haunting and heartfelt form in this album, defining the kind of music Kid should be making, should he decide to record new material in the future. This track, easily, is the best song in the album.

Kid’s vocals also shine in “Kung Wala Na,” a song that even its original owner Jaya admitted to be a piece that’s so hard to sing. When he sang this on Idol, he was chastised by the judges, and with the studio version, Kid proves that he can do the song justice.

Kid’s version of “Miss You Like Crazy” also challenges that of the current ballad ambassador, Erik Santos. His strong voice soars with dynamism and his carefully mapped out vocal acrobatics.

Of course, there are still the predictable overdone crowd-pleasers such as “Break It To Me Gently” and “Till My Heartaches End” but the arrangers did a good enough job of tweaking the versions a little. But then, kid’s style obviously does not suit all kinds of music as exhibited in the smooth, calm and soothing Bob Dylan song “Make You Feel my Love,” which became a little warped and hard to understand with the curls and oversinging.

The Soul Sessions album is a good jumping board for Kid Camaya. Hopefully, in the future, the rightful Pinoy Idol could convince more people that more than a bar/lounge/mall singer, he can be a breakout performer, with the right material and right exposure.


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