Singer Corrinne May performing at her March 23 concert. Photo: CANDICE CHANSinger Corrinne May performing at her March 23 concert. Photo: CANDICE CHANCatholics and non-Catholics alike flocked to the Church of St Mary of the Angels on March 23 for Corrinne May’s It’s a Beautiful Life concert.

May is a Singapore-born and bred Catholic singer-songwriter who is currently based in Los Angeles.

Of the 13 songs presented that night, 10 were from May’s latest album, Crooked Lines.

During the concert, she shared her inspirations for her songs. She also spoke briefly on Lent, and how it is about prioritising and spending quality time with family and friends, before performing 24 Hours, my personal favourite from her new album.

The line that stands out the most in this song poses a reflective question to me: “If I had only 24 hours to live, what would I do?”

Indeed, if it were your last 24 hours, what would you want to do? This song struck a chord in my heart when I first heard it on her recorded version, and hearing it live was indeed a whole new experience altogether.

The song that followed was Sight of Love, which had the phrase, “We were made in love, and back to love we will return, someday”. It was another song that touched my heart.

Halfway through the concert, May introduced her band, which included her husband and keyboardist Kavin Hoo.

If audience reaction was any indication, songs from her previous albums were the popular choice at this concert – such as Five Loaves and Two Fishes from her Beautiful Seed album.

I felt that May should have mentioned the title of each new song that she was performing, as most of the audience seemed unfamiliar with her new album.

The microphone also seemed to be too soft and her voice sounded muffled when she was talking.

I also felt she could have moved around a bit as she was most of the time confined to the stage and switching between the guitar and piano.

However, she made a good attempt at lightening the atmosphere by sharing a few witty jokes, and occasionally showing concern for the crowd seated outside the main church, who could only watch the concert on a screen.

The evening started to come to a close when she taught the crowd an audience-participation song. Everyone got to sing at certain parts as she performed one of my favourite songs, the upbeat number Just What I was Looking For.

The audience wanted more, and was eventually satisfied with two songs, The Birthday Song and On the Side of Me, from previous albums. The former was dedicated to May’s mom as it was her birthday.

Having listened to Corrinne May’s songs since the launch of her first album, Fly Away, I feel that her latest, Crooked Lines, is the most meaningful yet, because her young daughter, Claire, sings in one of the songs.

The other songs and album design also draw inspiration from this addition to the family.

I am glad that May’s songs still revolve around her Catholic faith because this is what makes her music so special.

The night’s concert was free but donations were collected for the restoration of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd. n

Corrinne May’s latest album, Crooked Lines, is now on sale at music stores islandwide. The writer is a Mass Communications student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

by Clara Rachel Lai

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