In 1997, Philippine female singer Chedi (born Mercedes Yrastorza), released her debut album, Chedi. Though this was her first solo album, Chedi, 19 years old at the time of release, had already gained recognition in the Philippines as a member of popular teenage singing group, Smokey Mountain. She tackles a variety of styles on Chedi, including the passionate balladry of "Just the Same," the rhythm'n'blues-tinged "You Never Done It Like That," and the evocative, ethnic-styled "Nasa Puso" ("In the Heart"). Also included are passionate, easy listening love songs so popular in the Philippines, but presented here with a bit more substance than usual. She also sings remakes of three international songs, the soulful "Betcha by Golly, Wow," an early-'70s hit for American soul group the Stylistics, "Alone Again, Naturally," an early-'70s hit for British singer Gilbert O'Sullivan, and "You Never Done It Like That," co-composed by pop icon Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield. Chedi's performances vary from track to track. She sounds comfortable and within her range on several songs, including "You Never Done It Like That" and "Nasa Puso," but sounds unconvincing on such tracks as "Just the Same," "Love Is Just a State of Mind," and "Betcha by Golly, Wow," where her voice needs more depth and assurance to bring the songs to full bloom. The performances aren't bad, they're just not as good as they could be. Chedi is an artist still looking for her range and style.
AllMusic Review by David Gonzales
feat: Side A