Dingdong Avanzado's 2002 release on Star Records, Here to Stay, contains some fine easy listening and middle-of-the-road music. The songs are more distinctive than heard on most Philippine-made easy listening albums. For example, his own "best of" collection for EMI Philippines, entitled The Story of Dingdong Avanzado, contains mostly bland, derivative material. In contrast, the ballads on Here to Stay sound modern, although two songs, "Walang Kapalit" (No Replacement) and "Ikaw" (You), are of the derivative type. Here to Stay contains 12 songs, of which only one, "Just Because," is upbeat. However, the material is distinctive enough that the album doesn't suffer much from the lack of diversity. The songs have depth, and are also touched by tenderness and sincerity. The songwriting is uniformly excellent, which contributes to the album's enjoyment. Most songs are by Philippine composers, and one, "I Don't Want You to Go," is by a Western composer. Dingdong Avanzado has a fine, versatile voice, and puts it to good use throughout the album. Highlights include "Love Is Here to Stay"; "Paalam Na" (Goodbye Now), which features enchanting piano and cello; and the mesmerizing "You're Still Here." The dance-inflected "Just Because" is also a winner and shows that Dingdong Avanzado can handle adventurous material.
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