In 1991, Philippine male singer Ariel Rivera released Ariel Rivera. The album is dominated by easy listening and middle-of-the-road love songs. Five of the album's ten songs are ballads, while four songs are moderately paced and "Mahal Na Mahal Kita" is spirited. Ariel Rivera has an excellent voice, full of depth and exuding much passion. The words seem to flow like honey from his mouth. A number of songs have substance, including "This Crazy Game," a sensuous ballad written by Filipino composer Tito Cayamanda. Also fine is the spirited "Mahal Na Mahal Kita" (I Love You So Much) by Filipino composer Benjie Carreon. Both "This Crazy Game" and "Mahal Na Mahal Kita" sound more modern than usually heard on easy listening albums by Philippine solo artists. The best song is "I'm So in Love," written by P. Cassano and Italian pop star Eros Ramazzoti. The moderately paced song contains a captivating melody sung with passion and strength by Ariel Rivera, who sounds like Elton John here. Another song written by Eros Ramazzoti, the moderately paced "Come Back to Me," is also an album highlight. "Pagmamahal" (The Love) is somewhat bland and sounds like an inferior rewrite of "Come Back to Me." "Ayoko Na Sana" (Hoping I Don't Want Anymore), "Sana Kahit Minsan" (Hope Even Sometimes), "Ayoko Na Sana," and "Sa Aking Puso" (In My Heart) are easy listening love songs. The album could use more upbeat numbers, but Ariel Rivera does a fine job on the material here.
AllMusic Review by David Gonzales