Orlando Nuevo

Rehas Na Bakal

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Orlando Nuevo (born Orlando Macaspac) released Rehas Na Bakal (Steel Cage) in 2000. The music is rendered in a Filipino folk-styled manner, akin to the "harana" and "kundiman," two time-honored Philippine folk styles (these styles, however, have no identifiable rhythms; one gets a feel for the music from the acoustic guitar and passionate singing, and the lyrics often tell of love and courtship).

One also hears the influence of respected Philippine singer/songwriter Freddie Aguilar, who pioneered the Philippine acoustic folk/rock genre in the 1970s. The type of music heard on Rehas Na Bakal is rarely performed, as Filipinos prefer to imitate modern Western styles. However, the Philippines desperately needs its own voice and style, and Rehas na Bakal is gladly welcomed. Besides, it sounds good.

Orlando Nuevo sings expressively and has depth, and his delivery is self-assured and poised. He doesn't care if his music isn't modern and hip; he enjoys playing it, and his passion is contagious.

He writes much of his own material and has a knack for catchy, sincere melodies, as heard on "Rehas Na Bakal," "Bukang Liwayway" (Dawn), "Karayom Ng Katarungan" (Needle of Justice), among others.

The acoustic guitar plays a prominent role, though sometimes a string section is heard (probably played on keyboard synthesizer). The drums, whenever played, utilize tasteful restraint, while the piano adds a nice touch to "Bukang Liwayway" and "Kaya Mo 'Yan Kaibigan" (You Can Make It, Friend).

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