Jessa Zaragoza

Siya Ba Ang Dahilan

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Philippine singer Jessa Zaragoza's third album, Siya Ba Ang Dahilan (Is She the Reason), is dominated by passionate, easy listening love songs. There isn't much diversity, and the album suffers as a result.

Nine of the ten songs are slow love songs. This love song formula has brought Zaragoza multi-platinum sales in the past, and perhaps she and her label are afraid to try something different. Nonetheless, Zaragoza once again brings a professional attitude to the making of the album and instills much passion into the songs.

The slow love songs have a tendency to sound alike, a problem that could be helped by more upbeat material, as well as more distinction in the songs themselves. As it is, the one upbeat song, "Nahuli Kita" (I Caught You), is only moderately upbeat and presents nothing special.

Zaragoza has an excellent voice and brings much raw talent to the proceedings. Her delivery and poise are improving with each album, though some development is still needed. She is already one of the country's best singers, and she has the potential to achieve even more (although she needs to seek out different types of material before attempting an international career).

Two standout Philippine love songs are "Mapansin Mo Sana" (Hope You Notice) and "Walang Iba" (No Other). She also does a creditable job on two international remakes included here, "First Love" and "Meet Me Halfway." She sings in an unusually low register on "Nahuli Kita" and "Pagkakataon" (Opportunity); she usually stays in the middle register.

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