Regine / Regine Velasquez

Regine

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In 2001, one of the Philippines' most popular and best-selling singers, Regine Velasquez, released Reigne. In contrast to her previous studio album, 1999's R2K, which was comprised entirely of remakes of Western hits, there is only one Western-composed song on Reigne. The other 17 songs are by Philippine songwriters. In a nutshell, Reigne is a marvelous accomplishment, an adventurous set that pushes borders not by crashing through them, but by navigating them in a quiet, delicate manner. The album's few upbeat songs are an integral part of the overall sound, and do not overpower the rest of the music. Reigne is dominated by ballads, but these ballads have much more depth than typical easy listening love songs. Even the few songs that border on being derivative, such as "Dadalhin" (Will Bring) and "Bukas Sana" (Hoping Tomorrow), gel successfully by incorporating more of an edge. There are many delights to choose from. The beautiful Latin-tinged ballad "Could It Be," for example, gives shivers down a listener's back. The songwriting is of a high quality throughout the album, and lays a firm foundation for the talented Velasquez to confidently strut her stuff, as heard on the beautiful and tender "What You Are to Me." One of the album's more adventurous songs is the urban-inflected "Nasa Puso" (In the Heart), in which the jagged percussion and minor-key vocals give the song an edgy tone. The splendid "My Destiny" alternates between soulful balladry and a spirited chorus. The album is a cohesive affair, as shown in the well-thought-out song order. Reigne is one of the best Philippine albums ever made.

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