Nonoy Zuniga

Pure and Golden Love Songs, Vol. 1

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Easy listening love songs rule the roost in the Philippines, and 1997's Pure and Golden Love Songs, Vol. 1 collects 14 of them sung by local singer Nonoy Zuniga. Each of the songs is as smooth as honey and Nonoy Zuniga croons them to the upmost. His voice is velvety, suave, and well suited to this type of love song. Some songs sound derivative, as though heard with slight variation on other Philippine easy listening albums, but others sound a bit fresher, including "Ngayong Kapiling Ka" (Now You're in My Heart), on which Nonoy Zuniga's singing is mixed with piano and saxophone lines. "Napakaganda" (Very Beautiful) glides on a mildly bouncy backbeat and contains a spirited female backing chorus. Nonoy Zuniga gets so involved in the song that he exclaims, "Wow!," at one point. "Mutya ng Pilipinas" (Philippine Lady) is a standout song, one of the best on the album, and Nonoy Zuniga's croon is heard to its fullest, most romantic effect, especially on the song's hypnotic chorus.