Various Artists

Music for Life: The Best OPM Hits

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Released in 2000, Music for Life: The Best OPM Hits compiles 14 songs recorded by various artists for the Musiko Records label of BMG Records Philippines. There are a number of well-known songs and artists on this album. Starting things out is the enjoyable light pop outing "A Smile in Your Heart," performed by singer Ariel Rivera, one of the Philippines' most popular artists. Rivera is known as a balladeer of easy listening love songs, but "A Smile in Your Heart" is more pop-inflected than usual. One of the nicest songs is Dingdong Avanzado's rendition of the soulful Western-composed ballad "Maybe This Time." Another highlight is singer Yman and his performance of "Sa 'Yong Mundo" (The World Is Yours), a love song with an adventurous arrangement, including the imaginative use of a string section. As might be expected in a country that craves easy listening love songs, there are a number of them here, including Lea Salonga's "Can We Just Stop and Talk Awhile," the J Brothers' passionate "Wait for Me," and Agot Isidro's "Panaginip" (Dream). Also nice is "Patricia's Lullaby," a tender keyboard instrumental performed by renowned songwriter and producer Louie Ocampo. Rock music is represented by RiverMaya's bouncy, vaudeville-like "Rodeo." Music for Life: The Best OPM Hits is a nice, well-rounded compilation.