Regine Velasquez

R2K

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In 1999, Philippine female artist Regine Velasquez released R2K, which, in keeping with the country's infatuation with Western popular music, consists entirely of remakes of international material. This includes interpretations of the Beatles' "The Long and Winding Road," ABBA's "Dancing Queen," and Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." "Dancing Queen" is rendered in an uplifting acoustic fashion, and Velasquez's singing is relaxed and confident. "MacArthur Park" is given an edgy, futuristic tone, perched atop a hip-hop-styled, syncopated backbeat and also features a rap by a guest male vocalist. Other songs are more middle of the road, including "Lost Without Your Love" (composed by David Gates of Bread), "Music and Me," and the Marvin Hamlisch-composed "Fallin'," the latter featuring an endearing pennywhistle line played by Tots Tolention. One of the album's more dramatic moments occurs in "Music of Goodbye," which has a penetrating, edgy feel. While Velasquez's singing is self-assured, it is also unimpressive: there is no magic in the air, nothing that makes one stand up and take notice. Velasquez has voiced international ambitions, but as time goes by (her first album was released in 1987), it is doubtful these ambitions will ever be realized. Nonetheless, R2K, was a very popular album, reaching platinum (40,000 units) in two weeks. In addition, the first 15,000 CD copies of R2K came with a video compact disc (VCD) featuring six Velasquez videos accompanying album material; this marks the first time a Philippine artist released a VCD.

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