J. Bamba

Ikaw Ang Iibigin Ko

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In 2001, Philippine female singer J. Bamba released J. Bamba. The album is dominated by easy listening love songs, which are very popular in the Philippines. J. Bamba contains one remake of an American song as well, "If I Could Reach You." J. Bamba possesses a fine voice, full of depth and strength. While the easy listening material doesn't pose much of a challenge, she takes each song to its fullest, soaring high on the ballad "'Di Na Muling Iiwan" (Will Never Leave You Again) and bringing passion to another easy listening tune, "Wagas" (Tender). The album opens on "Ikaw Ang Iibigan Ko" (You're the One I'm Going to Love), one of the better Philippine easy listening love songs to be found here or elsewhere. While Filipino easy listening love songs tend to sound derivative, there is enough variation in these love songs to keep things somewhat fresh, although "Huwag Sana" (Hope Not) sounds like it's been heard before in some form or another. It wouldn't hurt if the album had more diversity, as easy listening love songs get boring after awhile. The most adventurous track is "Can't Wait Forever," which has an American country ambience and also incorporates an Irish-sounding violin line. Significantly, J. Bamba handles "Can't Wait Forever" with confidence and could probably handle even more adventurous material. One of the album's best songs is the opening ballad, "Ikaw Ang Iibigin Ko," on which G. Bamba delves into the delicate, engaging melody and imbues much strength and passion. J. Bamba handles the remake of the Fifth Dimension's "If I Could Reach You" with flair. The album has some fine moments, but needs more diversity.

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