THE KING’S UNCHAINED MELODY, A CLASSIC RESURRECTED AND A SONGBIRD’S PRIME.

UNCHAINED MELODY by ELVIS PRESLEY.




The final shot of Baz Luhrmann’s ELVIS has a seamless transition between Austin Butler as the King performing his triumphant take on Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody and the actual footage of Mr. Presley from 1977, in what is historically his final bow before his mortal coil snapped.

The physical toll that life on the road had taken on him, the exhaustion, the way he could barely hold his breath as his body had invariably changed in his forties are sobering reminders of our impermanence as merely human beings. But as he hits his notes, plays the piano and delivers a masterclass in terms of emoting every bit of the melancholy and simultaneous hope this classic song enshrines, we know why his name, his identity is etched till the end of time.

UNCHAINED MELODY, like his transcendental cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER, is reclaimed as his gold standard. As a companion piece, listen to Kacey Musgraves’ serenely effective take on one of the King’s definitive classics CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU, another melancholic, hopeful and subdued romantic journey that graces the Elvis OST circa 2022.

https://youtu.be/dkihGsS-PZQ

***

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST- A 30TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION.

ABC’s latest tribute broadcast of a classic work of art that has stood the test of time is something that befits this season of cheer.

I mean, who hasn’t been charmed by this tale, by its ubiquitous title track, by the triumph of true love in any form over figures of beauty alone?




With Rita Moreno as the auspicious host, this special is pure delight for everyone. Just listen to the rendition of Beauty and the Beast by renaissance queen Shania Twain, with original musical mastermind Alan Menken on piano and her haunting vocals will sweep you away in the sheer innocence and purity of her storytelling.

Consonant with her take is the duet by H.E.R. and Josh Groban who lend their voices to the beloved tune, as the titular characters.

Of course, these are just a few bits of what the original special achieved overall as it originally aired in its entirety back in the USA. But it’s wonderful that the interweb can have some of the most joyous parts reach us in other parts of the world. I am so grateful for that.



***

STAY WITH ME by SAM SMITH Circa 2022.



STAY WITH ME is a piano-backed classic that is etched in our minds, with Sam Smith’s signature blend of falsettos and plangent phrasing propelling his journey into our hearts.



Close to a decade after that song, his breakout debut album IN THE LONELY HOUR( boasting of other two standouts in I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE and LAY ME DOWN), Grammys and an Oscar to his name, STAY WITH ME has amassed a truly symbolic value. As Smith performed it at The White House in the event of President Joe Biden signing the Marriage Equality Act, further strengthening the idea of love without frontiers of gender binaries or racial constructs, our hearts were awash with the song’s enduring emotional connect, tracing our memories back to that very first moment in 2014 when we made it our own.

It’s still like that first moment. A declaration of liberty and equality deserves a statement of vulnerable sincerity such as this one.

**

MY HEART WILL GO ON(LIVE) by CELINE DION.

Ms. Dion has only recently shared her health struggles with the world and graciously opted for more hope even as debilitating physical pain consumes her.

We have to give her the time and healing she so judiciously needs. We must then uphold the courage in her artistry that has always found ways to mould that phenomenal voice to reach our souls.






This live performance of the titanic classic MY HEART WILL GO ON from 1998 is her personal testimony, her gift to the world where she shares her heartfulness and gratitude for a song that will continue to endure for the longest time, forever and always preserved in the hallowed vaults of modern history.

We wish you health and may all our blessings work like panacea, just like your voice has for decades, for all of us across the globe.

***

HERO(LIVE) by MARIAH CAREY





Ms. Carey will forever be embedded in my heart with this song above all. The veritable songbird’s vocal register and enunciation completely goes in sync with the inspirational core of HERO, an emotional tribute to the resilience within us that is more than just a construct, more than a phase or a superficial homily.

I remember each word, each musical cue, the use of piano, the classic tune and the way she soars in the last half especially. The live iteration of HERO cements its legacy as a favourite. It’s always humbling to hear it and sing along with each line, the outpouring of sincere emotion articulated by Ms. Carey giving it a lifetime worth of musical heft.

***

HOPELESSLY DEVOTED TO YOU by PINK ( LIVE AT THE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS, 2022)






Pink never leaves anything to chance when it comes to her consistency as an excellent performer. We know she possesses one of the best, most individualistic voices of our generation but it’s in the manner in which she makes each song her own that allows her the rare feat of being a great interpreter.

All of those qualities are in supple, resonant evidence in her tribute to the late, great Olivia Newton John at the AMAS, 2022.

Hopelessly Devoted to You is her signature tune from the all-time blockbuster GREASE and Pink brings it grace, sensitivity and a far-reaching visibility so that those who want to discover Ms. Olivia’s corpus will be compelled to do so.

That’s the magic of music that always stays relevant.



***

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s