A big "yes" for Grace Nono

Fresh from the success of her third album earlier in the year, Filipina singer Grace Nono continues to develop her art and music. Her latest album, Hulagpos -- Breaking Free (Tao Music, Philippines, 1998), is a strident and passionate set of songs based on poetry written by women.

This is a brave move on Nono's part after the success of her third album, Isang Buhay (BMG, Philippines, 1998), one would expect her to follow-up with more of the same, following the usual commercial formula. But not Nono, whose determination to get these songs out led her to release them independently through Arugaan Ng Kalakasan, a support group for women victims of violence, and which is also the project's Executive Producer.

The main theme of the poetry used by Nono is the struggle to stop violence against women. Get active, shatter the typical myths and stereotypes, these are the messages Nono tries, very successfully, to get across.

Her passionate and haunting voice drives the music and she pulls no punches. The songs work best when the arrangements are simple, leaving Nono to tell the story. The entire package is packed with information in both Tagalog and English. The best so-called Songs-for-life album I've heard this year.

by John Clewly
Bangkok Post
16 October 1998


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