In 2001, Philippine rock band Rivermaya released the four-song EP Alab Ng Puso (Blaze of the Heart), which is subtitled "Music From the Movie 'Buhay Kamao'" (Fist Life). Three of the four songs are different edits of "Alab Ng Puso," while the remaining "Alab Peanut Butter" (Blaze Peanut Butter) is a remix of the song, performed by Squid 9. Rivermaya was previously signed to BMG Records Philippines, and this is its first release on Philippine independent Viva Records. Rivermaya is known for its imaginative and creative approach to making music, and "Alab Ng Puso" is no exception. The song tells of the challenges that confront a boxer, and the rewards that await him, set in metaphorical terms that can be applied to anyone's life. It starts on a thumping drum beat and a flashy instrumental line reminiscent of the memorable line in Gary Glitter's early '70s hit "Rock 'N' Roll Part 2." The song contains a sinuous vocal line sung by its composer, Rico Blanco, who has a talent for melody and imaginative songwriting. "Alab Ng Puso" contains elements of both. Another part contains a mellifluous vocal line sung in earnest harmony, and there is interesting guitar work as well. As interesting as the song is, however, it isn't as catchy as some of Rivermaya's earlier songs, and there is really no need for two other versions. The radio edit, for example, leaves out some of the studio adornments heard in the full version, but it's difficult to tell the difference. The remix version leaves heavy doses of the original melody intact, and as one would expect in a remix, there are creative instrumental and studio garnishes added.
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AllMusic Review by David Gonzales