Way to Your Heart

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In 2000, Philippine female singer Kyla released Kyla. The music is soulful and is influenced by such American soul/rhythm & blues-styled singers as Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and Mary J. Blige, among others. However, where the music of these international stars is often tuneful and interesting, Kyla is often stuck in a boring rut. Nine of the album's ten songs are slow and the melodies seem cut from the same mold. The syncopated backdrop heard on many songs has a tendency to sound alike. The album cries out for diversity and needs more upbeat songs. Stronger melodies would also give the songs more distinction. Kyla has an enchanting, sensuous voice and is comfortable in the high register where she mostly stays.

The album starts on a promising note, as Kyla puts forth a silky, sensuous effort on the soulful ballad "Bring It On." Yet, the song begins to sound redundant before it has even finished. "Nasan Ka" (Where Are You), "Lost in Paradise," "All I Need Is You," "Blind," "Summertime," and "Something Special" are lackluster, and it's not Kyla's fault. The songs tend to sound alike and utilize nearly the same arrangement. "Hanggang Ngayon" (Until Now), however, features a different arrangement than the syncopated backbeat heard elsewhere and is a tuneful, pleasant ballad. Another fine song is the exquisite, soulfully melodic "One More Try." Unfortunately, it's easy to overlook this song amid the density of slow numbers. Kyla marks a welcome step toward modern, soulful music in the Philippines, but the music needs to be better.

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