Renz Verano

Basta't Mahal Kita

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Renz Verano released his fourth album, Basta't Mahal Kita (As Long as I Love You), in 2000. Verano's previous albums consisted entirely of slow-moving ballads, and the latest album is more of the same. Some ballads are less intense than before and can be called easy listening love songs. As before, the album contains covers of international songs, but this time two of the three covers use the original English lyrics, and only one follows Verano's prior practice of using new lyrics written in Tagalog, the Philippines' national language. The remaining adaptation was originally written by an Asian writer.

All ten songs are ballads, though the closing song, "Bigong Pag-ibig" (Unrequited Love), shows a touch of spirit, but it's hardly noticeable amidst the drabness of continual slow love songs. With every album consisting of ballads, Verano has not shown any range or versatility, and one wonders if he can do anything else. This is really a problem, and it's way past time for Verano to show some diversity. In addition, Verano doesn't seem as comfortable on the international remakes as before. His handling of Neil Sedaka's "Solitaire," for example, lacks the flair or fluidness heard on previous international remakes. "Solitaire" may be too delicate for Verano, whose strong voice and passionate delivery cries out for a meaty melody, as heard in his earlier adaptation of Bryan Adams' "Have You Every Really Loved a Woman." The Philippine love songs on Basta't Mahal Kita mostly lack substance and tend to sound alike. A very, very boring album.

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