Mon David


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In 2001, veteran Philippine male singer Mon David released Soulitude. The album contains a number of tender love songs, although many are performed in a more substantive manner than the typical easy listening love song so often heard in the Philippines. Some songs here have an ethnic, Philippine vibe, as heard in the opening "Kahit Ano'ng Mangyari" ("Whatever Happened"). It has a sensuous, exotic tone and opens on the echo of percussion as Mon David sings a touching, somewhat folk-styled syllabic introduction. Later, when he sings the tender lyrics and melody, the words flow like honey from his mouth. He has a strong voice, full of depth and smoldering passion. Mon David composed nine of the album's 13 songs. One of the songs he didn't compose, "Bu'ang" (slang for crazy), is adapted from a George Gershwin composition, which goes unnamed. The song uses new lyrics in Tagalog, the Philippines' national language, and is more spirited than other songs here. Mon David performs a fair amount of scatting on this song, and does it admirably well. Aside from this, though, most songs are performed in the "tender love song with depth" mode. While the first several songs of this kind sound interesting, too much of the album mines the same territory, and it gets boring. One of the better love songs, "You're the Love in My Heart" might not get the appreciation it deserves, buried as it is in such a setting. While Mon David has an excellent voice, he needs more diverse material.

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