In 2000, popular Philippine female singer Regine Velasquez released Regine Live: Songbird Sings the Classics. Regine Velasquez's nickname is "Songbird," hence the album's title. American music is very popular in the Philippines, and a majority of the album's songs are famous American tunes. Not everyone considers Barry Manilow's "Even Now" a classic, but it is time-honored and not many will argue its inclusion here. "Autumn Leaves" is surely a classic, and its chord changes have provided the impetus for many instrumental jazz interpretations. The arrangement to "Autumn Leaves" here is accordingly jazz-inflected, featuring a syncopated, mixed-meter backbeat. Velasquez's voice is difficult to hear on the beginning of "Autumn Leaves," a problem which plagues other songs here, including "Sometime Somewhere," "If You Go Away," "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life," and "(I Wanna) Run to You," among others. Her voice finally blooms in many of these songs, but it is frustrating waiting for this to happen. She sings in a very high, thin register in the beginning of many songs, and this probably contributes to the problem, but the technical mixing could have been better, too. Nonetheless, she shines on the sensuous "With You I'm Born Again" and soars on "Somewhere" from the musical West Side Story. In the end, the album still lacks the excitement that a live album should generate, and perhaps more audience reaction should have been included.
AllMusic Review by David Gonzales