Various Artists

Songs from the Heart, Vol. 2

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As with Songs From the Heart, Vol. 1, Songs From the Heart, Vol. 2 is a compilation of love songs assembled by EMI Philippines from its artists' catalog. Many of the artists no longer record for EMI Philippines, nor any other label. When this album was released, the Philippine music scene was suffering from the effects of CD piracy. Even in the best of times, local artists often struggle due to the preference in this country for Western artists, and when piracy is thrown into the mix, the outlook is even more dismal. As a result, many labels were cautious and often resorted to releasing easy listening/middle-of-the-road music by its local artists, of which the Philippine marketplace never seems to tire (the marketplace is more receptive to adventurous music made by Western artists, in addition to Western-made love songs). Also, record companies released more compilations, such as Songs From the Heart, as a competitive response to pirate compilations. Songs From the Heart, Vol. 2 compiles 16 love songs recorded by 15 local artists and one Mexican artist, female singer Thalía, who sings the Philippine evergreen "Tell Me" in its original English. She was very popular here in the mid-'90s due to the success of the Mexican soap opera Mari Mar (dubbed for local consumption), and she recorded a top-selling album. Thalía's enunciation of English is a bit awkward, but she still handles the song with flair. Local female singer Jasmine Soriano puts forth a very nice "I'm So Lost Without You," which sounds like it belongs on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. While most songs are slow middle-of-the-road fare, Put3ska's ska-influenced "Love" is a spirited, excellent song, as is Kulay's funk-influenced "Let Your Love Rule." This is a worthwhile compilation.