Rachel Alejandro

May Minamahal

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    5
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In 1993, Philippine female artist Rachel Alejandro released May Minamahal ("My Beloved"). Alejandro is the daughter of popular veteran Philippine male singer Hadji Alejandro, and is a popular television/film celebrity in her own right. The album is dominated by easy-listening love songs, a style of music quite popular in the Philippines, but there are also three upbeat, dance-inflected tracks. The quality of songwriting on May Minamahal is nothing special, and Alejandro delves into the songs and makes them sound better than they deserve. She does this over and over again on such ballads as "Kahapon" ("Yesterday"), "Much Longer," and "Babalik Balikan" ("Always Coming Back"). It takes someone special to do this, and Alejandro is indeed a special talent: She possesses an excellent, versatile voice, brimming with depth and emotion.

She also confidently handles the album's three upbeat songs -- "Sa Puso Ko" ("In My Heart"), "Ba 'T Di Mo Pa Sabihin" ("Why Not Say It") and "Sinasayaw Mo Ang Puso Ko" ("You're Dancing With My Heart") -- and shows an affinity toward such adventurous material. The three upbeat numbers are interesting album tracks, but again, the songwriting isn't strong. Still, Alejandro's interpretations and energy again elevates the material to a higher creative plateau. Her performance on the album's title track is relaxed, intimate, and confident. It is truly amazing that Alejandro achieves such excellent performances on such average/weak songs -- one can only imagine the results if she were given strong material.

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