Brown Style

Himala Ka

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    8
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On the innovative 1999 release Himala Ka (You're a Miracle), Philippine rap group Brownstyle weds emotive balladry to a rap and hip-hop ambience. The arrangements are all styled in the manner of hip-hop and feature a syncopated backbeat, strong basslines, and deep, sultry grooves. The album is enjoyable throughout. There is a brief introduction, appropriately called "Intro," during which a Brownstyle rapper introduces the album's rap-ballad concept. The opening song proper, "Hindi Ko Kaya" (I Can't Take It), immediately sets the pace. It starts on a slow, sultry backbeat over which Brownstyle's members (who are all male) sing a tender melody. There is some rapping heard in this song too, and it blends in well. "Ikaw Ay Nag-Iisa" (You Are Alone) is different from the other songs in that it contains much more rapping than singing. Nonetheless, the background string work is simply gorgeous and the short-sung melodic figure is pretty, hypnotic, and catchy. "Isang Tanong Walang Sagot" (One Question No Answer) is a beautiful song and features a warm, sensuous melody sung over a strong hip-hop backbeat. It's too bad the album didn't receive the recognition it deserved, as it is truly a deserving effort.