South Border

The Live Album

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In 1999, Philippine band South Border released its third album, The Live Album. Long known as a popular Manila show band, The Live Album captures South Border at a major concert held on January 30, 1999, at the spacious Araneta Coliseum. The band's two prior studio albums are mostly boring affairs, dominated by slow-paced songs that dull the senses. The Live Album, on the other hand, has much more energy, particularly side one, which contains the upbeat "Mr. Love," recorded for the band's second album, and the engaging, moderately upbeat "Losin' My Mind," from the band's first album. Side one of the cassette also contains a Jackson Five medley, on which the band smoothly handles the Jackson Five's "Music and Me," "Ben," "One Day in Your Life," and "I'll Be There." The live material on side two comprises all slow-paced songs originally recorded on the band's two earlier albums. Side two also contains two new songs evidently recorded in the studio (called bonus tracks here), the ballad "Once Again" and the upbeat "Non-Stop." The ballads on side two have more energy and sound better than the studio versions, particularly "Love of My Life," but the predominance of ballads once again becomes stifling, similar to what occurred on the original albums. The ballads still aren't the best material in the world, and more upbeat numbers should have been included on side two to provide a more entertaining balance.

Nonetheless, The Live Album is South Border's best album to date. In addition, the success of the concert reaffirmed South Border's position as one of the country's most popular bands, which was in doubt with the earlier departure of original vocalist Ferraris. New vocalist Luke Mejares is more than up to the job.

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