Awit Ng Puso

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In 1997, Philippine band Crossroad released its debut album, Awit Ng Puso (Song of the Heart). The music is pleasant and easy on the ears, a course followed by many Philippine bands, but Crossroad's music has some substance as well. Crossroad is fronted by two female vocalists, and also includes a keyboardist, guitarist, bassist, and drummer. Importantly, all instrumentalists sing backup. The keyboardist, Ray Fernandez, is the band's driving force, as he produced and arranged all the songs, composed all the melodies, and co-wrote the lyrics. The band's sound is distinguished by the attractive interplay and harmony of the female vocalists, which is complemented nicely at times by the backing male vocals. "Iba Na Naman" ("Different Again") features a spry backbeat and spirited singing, and also contains searing lead guitar fills that give the music an adventurous touch. The one misfire occurs on "I Should Have Said It," where the attempt at soulful, R&B-styled singing sounds amateurish. The album's overall direction and positive tone reminds one of '60s vocal group the Fifth Dimension, which also featured female vocalists blending smoothly with male singers. This album may not break any boundaries, but it gives easy listening a good name.