Double A [Split CD]

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In 1999, Philippine record company NEO Records released Double A, which features music by two artists on one album: Philippine female singer Norieva (born Norieva De Vega) and pop band R18, which is fronted by a female singer. The music on Double A is pop inflected, with a light and breezy tone.

Norieva opens with the light and pleasant "Kulang Ba" (Not Enough). She sounds fine here, at ease and emotive. The song has spirit and one believes Norieva could develop into a talent of some worth. That belief fades away on the following "Matitiis" (Can't You Handle It), where Norieva's voice lacks depth and fluidity and sounds amazingly amateurish. On the rest of her songs, she never regains the same level of charm and fluidity as shown on the opening "Kulang Ba."

As for R18, from their opening notes, one knows this is a band that needs more development. This assessment doesn't change for the rest of the band's performances. The singing, which is performed by lead singer Weena Magsumbol, has some good moments, but there are too many unsteady ones. The band plays light and breezy pop music, which includes two remakes of foreign songs: America's "Sister Golden Hair," which uses new lyrics written in Tagalog, the Philippines' national language, and England Dan and John Ford Coley's "Just Tell Me You Love Me." The band needs more polishing and better singing to have a future.

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