In 2001, Philippine female singer Jaya released Unleashed. Jaya sings in a relaxed, confident manner, and performs middle-of-the-road songs that mostly have depth and quality. Jaya mostly foregoes the soulful embellishments that were plentiful in her first two albums, 1996's Jaya and 1997's In the Raw, although every so often she adds a few unwritten notes in a passionate, soulful manner. She approached her last album, 1999's Honesty, in the refined manner that she furthers on Unleashed. The opener, "Noong Ibigin Ka" (When I'm in Love with You), is a pleasant middle-of-the-road song, and not very challenging, but may appeal to a wide range of Philippine listeners. Jaya handles the more substantive middle-of-the-road "Paulit-ulit" (Over and Over) in a sophisticated, suave manner. The introspective "Beauty & Madness" was written by foreign composers, and sounds like something American country star Faith Hill would sing, as does the tender "It's You I Cannot Do Without," composed by first-rate Philippine female composer Trina Belamide, who also composed the upbeat "All That." "Umasa Ng Labis" (Depends Too Much) is a derivative easy listening tune composed by veteran Philippine songwriter Vehnee Saturno, who seems to be rewriting his catalog at times. Jaya covers Roy Orbison's "Love Hurts" and John Lennon's "Love" in an understated, yet enjoyable manner. Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly" features an imaginative, bass-heavy arrangement. Jaya has shown in the past that she can perform upbeat, soulful songs, as heard on 1998's A Love Album, a reissue of songs released in the late '80s and early '90s in America and Japan, but on Unleashed she has opted for a more sophisticated approach, and the results are fine.
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AllMusic Review by David Gonzales