The Company

Stretch

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    4
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In late 1996 the Philippine vocal group the Company released Stretch, its sixth album overall and its first for major label BMG Records Philippines. The group was formerly signed to local independent label Ivory Records. Their Ivory albums contain a mix of easy-listening/middle-of-the-road music, styles quite popular in the Philippines, and more adventurous material. Stretch contains some daring music, but it's dominated by easy-listening and tepid middle-of-the-road tunes. A welcome exception is the jazz-inflected rendition of the Beatles' Eleanor Rigby, featuring a challenging vocal arrangement. Another daring song is "Bawal Ang Goodbye" (trans: It's Prohibited to Say Goodbye), which opens on a jazzy, walking-bassline followed by languorous trumpet; the vocals have a mysterious air to them. Another song, the spirited, bossa nova-styled, "Lemonade Afternoon" is perky, middle-of-the road fare. Most of the material on Stretch is far less adventurous than "Bawal Ang Goodbye," "Eleanor Rigby," and even "Lemonade Afternoon." The album's mellow opener "Nawawala Ang Puso Ko" (trans: My Heart Was Lost) sets the album's easy-listening tone. The vocal arrangements on Stretch are more straightforward this time, and, for the most part, they don't exhibit the ingenuous harmonies that distinguished the previous albums' vocal arrangements, which were often distinctive even on middle-of-the-road tunes. Songs here such as "This Moment and You," "After You," "Blush," and others are pleasant, but lack bite. The group is capable of much more.

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