By Heart

Lea Salonga

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By Heart Review

by David Gonzales

Lea Salonga is one of the Philippines' most popular and best-selling artists, and she gained international acclaim by winning a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway hit musical Miss Saigon. While her local albums achieve huge sales in the Philippines, there isn't much of a market for them outside of the country. In Love (1998), for example, was released in several Asian territories, but sold in dismal quantities. Since Lea Salonga possesses a magnificent voice, the main reason for the lack of success is probably the less-than-thrilling easy listening material she likes to sing. In Love, for example, consisted of such Philippine-composed material. According to a source at BMG Records Philippines, Lea Salonga prefers simple love songs.

My Heart (1999) once again comprises easy listening, Philippine-composed material. The album offers no surprises and in general is pleasant and soothing. Her duet with local male singer Ariel Rivera on "I Don't Love You" is passionate and "Till I Met You" has a bouncy spirit. Once again, though, this album would have a hard time finding a market outside the Philippines.

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