Jenine Desiderio

Jenine Desiderio

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In 1998, Philippine female singer Jenine Desiderio released her debut album, Jenine Desiderio. The album is dominated by passionate, easy-listening love songs, a style of music quite popular in the Philippines, but there are also some modern numbers, including the spirited, "Naked Heart," the theatrical, "Not That Kind of Woman" and the soulful, "1065792."

Jenine Desiderio possesses a fine voice, pleasant and tuneful, and she approaches the material with confidence. While the easy-listening love songs do not pose much of a challenge, including, "Paano Na Lang" (trans: How About Now) and "Ngayong Wala Ka Na" (Now That You're Gone), among others, Desiderio pours her heart into the performances, and makes them worthwhile.

She ably handles the upbeat "Naked Heart," negotiating the song's twists and turns with verve. "Not That Kind of Woman" has a showy, theatrical air to it, and the lyrics are over-the-top: "People say that I'm easy/People say I sleep around/Some say that I'm sleazy/The one your mother warned you about."

The album has a hit-and-miss feel about it, due mostly to the erratic songwriting material, as well as the jarring sense of pacing, as the various songs and styles do not cohere into a well-balanced album.

Desiderio's finest performance comes on the ballad, "Hindi Ako Si Darna" (I Am Not Darna), a Philippine adaptation of "Superwoman," co-written by Kenneth Edmonds aka Babyface, and Antonio "L.A." Reid. Desiderio gives a heartfelt performance here, going beyond herself to give a majestic performance.

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