Maalaala Mo Kaya

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A powerful voice goes a long way, as evidenced by Maalaala Mo Kaya (Do You Remember), a collection of songs recorded by female singer Dulce for Philippine independent Vicor Records. The most memorable aspect of this collection is the soaring, powerful voice of the singer, highlighted throughout the 14-song set. Some songs are simple easy listening, but much of the music consists of sophisticated middle-of-the-road love songs. The opening title song, "Maalaala Mo Kaya" (Do You Remember), for example, starts on a refined, attractive melody and builds to a grand, sweeping conclusion, given full weight by Dessa's soaring voice. Seven songs were composed by respected local composer George Canseco, whose songs often have an exquisite, sophisticated touch to them. His composition, the delicate and sensuous "Ako Ang Nasawi, Ako Ang Nagwagi" (I Am the Loser, I Am the Winner), sounds like something famed American songwriter Harold Arlen might compose. Dessa treats the lyrics of this song with tender care before imparting a grand, majestic touch. Not all is fine, however, as several songs sound derivative, including "Mula Ngayon" (From Now On) and "Buhay Ko Binuhay Mo (My Life You Make It Alive) as though heard before in some variation on other albums, and on this album itself. Nonetheless, this collection is a good overview of Dulce's music.