Rachel Alejandro

Dito Sa Puso Ko

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In 1999, Philippine female singer Rachel Alejandro released Dito Sa Puso Ko ("Here in My Heart"). Alejandro has an excellent voice and her interpretive ability is strong. Her previous album, Mixed Emotions, released on Warner Music Philippines, was an outstanding set and featured several upbeat, adventurous tunes in addition to substantive ballads, all of which were suavely handled by Alejandro. Unfortunately, Dito Sa Puso Ko consists mostly of the easy-listening love song style that is so popular in the Philippines, but which poses little challenge to a singer or a listener. Aside from one or two songs, the album is rather bland. The main problem is that the songwriting is weak. Alejandro has worked with weak material before, but she often made a song sound better than it should. For the most part, the material on Dito Sa Puso Ko is beyond repair, and a listener can sense that Alejandro would like to tackle something more substantive. The songs aren't very distinctive and tend to sound alike, a problem that plagues many easy-listening albums in the Philippines. One fine ballad, however, is the emotive "One Chance," composed by one Dan La Velle; this is a ballad even Mariah Carey might be comfortable singing. Alejandro makes "One Chance" bloom. "Parang Baliw" ("Like Crazy") has a bit of adventurousness, and contains an interesting saxophone fill. "Oh Why?" opens on an exceptionally spirited note, but then bogs down and becomes a nondescript, middle-of-the-road type song. It's a shame 1997's promising Mixed Emotions was followed by this boring album.

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