Lloyd Zaragoza

Lloyd Zaragoza

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This 2001 self-titled album, by Philippine male singer Lloyd Zaragoza, features a soulful, distinctive sound, and benefits from strong and imaginative songwriting. The songwriting is more modern and features more variety than the easy listening love song often performed by Philippine solo artists. Zaragoza often sings in a sweet alto, and he's also strong in the middle register. Yet, he doesn't always sound natural, and his delivery sometimes sounds forced. He hasn't yet found the style that suits him best, and he is searching for the right fit. He's also off-key at times, as heard in the ballad "Sa Piling Mo" ("In Your Arms") and others. Still, he displays more mettle than usually found in the Philippines, and there are times when he sings in a strong, wonderful manner. One of the album's best songs is the soulful, pop-inflected "Paano Ba Sasabihin" ("How Will I Say"), which contains a sweet, distinctive melody and sounds like something the Backstreet Boys might like to sing. The song's composer is Vehnee Saturno, who often writes redundant, easy listening love songs, but his songwriting here is outstanding and modern, and Zaragoza puts forth an impressive performance. Another fine song is the passionate ballad "Dahil Ikaw Lamang" ("Because It's Only You"), and this artist once again is in control. The album has variety: "If You Rock With Me" is a funky, upbeat number, reminiscent of Michael Jackson's "Rock With You," while "As Long as There's Still Tomorrow" is influenced by Michael Jackson's balladry. The soulful and funky "So in Love" is another standout song. Nonetheless, Zaragoza's singing often lacks the charisma needed to make most songs sound vital.

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