South Border

The Way We Do

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In 2001, the soulful, urban-styled Philippine group South Border released The Way We Do, their fourth album since 1996 (including one live album). While South Border's previous two studio albums were heavy on tedious ballads, 2001's The Way We Do has much more diversity. Even the ballads are more enjoyable this time out. "The Way We Do" is a ballad performed in South Border's trademark soulful, smooth style. While before this release this sound often meant a bland affair, "The Way We Do" has more to offer, including a rumbling musical undercurrent on part of the song. "7 Years" is another substantive ballad, given weight by Luke Mejares' soulful vocals. "Habang Atin Ang Gabi" (While the Night Is Ours) is a pretty ballad rooted in the smooth and easy (some might say "bland") sound heard on past South Border studio albums. However, the song avoids being maudlin, and remains interesting and entertaining. The five songs that follow the opening instrumental are all slow and soulful, which is probably why "All I Want Is You Today" begins to wear thin. Things, however, get amazing on "Looking Glass," a pop/rock -styled outing on which the vocalist gives the pretty melody a gritty edge. Actually, the song sounds like something in the style of 1960s British band Badfinger. The dramatic "She" is Latin-tinged and features smooth singing and a gritty rap, while "Before Tomorrow" is an engaging pop tune that Michael Jackson might enjoy singing. South Border has proven themselves capable of musical growth and adventurousness, and the maturity is most welcome.

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