Sharon Cuneta

All I Ever Want

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In 2001, Philippine female artist Sharon Cuneta released All I Ever Want, her first album for BMG Records Philippines, after recording many albums for local independent Viva Records. Aside from being a popular singing artist, Sharon Cuneta is also a popular film actress and television personality. Of the album's 13 tracks, 12 are ballads. Ten songs are by Western composers, and the remaining three songs were composed by Ryan Cayabyab, one of the Philippines' most talented music figures. The material on All I Ever Want is uniformly excellent, some of the best ballads ever assembled for a Philippine album. Most anyone who hears the beautiful "If Ever," "My Disguise," "You're the Only One," and "The Same Sad Song," for example, will be captivated by the quality of the songwriting. Two songs -- "Where's the Good in Goodbye" and "In Your Eyes" -- were composed by American pianist/songwriter Jim Brickman, who also produced, arranged, and recorded the two tracks. He also plays piano on "Where's the Good in Goodbye." Sharon Cuneta's singing is better and more poised than heard on her previous album, 2001's Nothing I Want More, released on Viva Records. However, her singing still lacks the strength and charisma needed to make these songs memorable. This was also a problem on the earlier Nothing I Want More. As with that album, Sharon Cuneta's voice can sometimes be hard to hear, as though too weak and easily overpowered by the instrumentation. All I Ever Want might be better served by another Philippine female singer, Jaya, whose depth and poise is always assured. Nonetheless, the quality of the songwriting makes All I Ever Want quite listenable. The moderately spirited "Love Is On," for example, is a delight, though not all will appreciate Sharon Cuneta's coy, innocent (and thin) approach. Still, BMG Records Philippines is to be commended for assembling such strong material and avoiding the derivative easy listening material so often performed by solo artists here.

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