Nerissa

Nerissa

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    6
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In 1999, Philippine female singer Nerissa released her self-titled debut album. Though she is a teenager, she sings with depth and has more maturity than most young Philippine female singers. The songwriting is also stronger than usually found on albums recorded by Philippine female singers, who are often saddled with bland, monotonous material. As expected, much of Nerissa consists of the easy-listening love song so popular in the Philippines, but the tunes have more substance than usual. The album also displays some welcome diversity, and includes the spirited "Ako Pala Ang Mali" ("I Am the Wrong One") and the dance-inflected "Hirap Na Puso" ("Tired Heart"). The opening arrangement heard on "Huwag Nang Ipagpabukas Pa" ("Don't Postpone Until Tomorrow") is interesting, and features Asian-sounding gongs and an ominous bassline. The song itself, though easy listening in tone, has a substantive melody, which Nerissa sings with gusto and passion. Nerissa carries herself well and her voice is an impressive, versatile vehicle. It's obvious, however, that she is young and there is room for development: her voice doesn't match the awesome maturity of such teenage prodigies as LeAnn Rimes, for example. While Nerissa probably wouldn't yet qualify for a record contract in the United States, she qualifies in the Philippines, where the market often expects female domestic artists to be young, regardless of whether or not their singing is developed. Nerissa, however, has talent, and is someone to keep an eye on, perhaps internationally as well.