Vina Morales

Total Control

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

In 2001, Philippine singer Vina Morales released Total Control. The album is dominated by adventurous, dance-related music and is a big change in style from her last album, 1999's No Limits, which was dominated by easy listening love songs. The ballads on Total Control sound modern. Morales has shown a penchant for performing dance material in the past. For example, her debut album, 1995's Easy to Love, contained a number of upbeat songs. Succeeding albums, however, lessened the dance quotient and relied more on sophisticated balladry and easy listening songs.Morales has one of the best voices in the Philippines, and Total Control lets her show what she can do. The opening, "On the Floor," sets the pace immediately; it is an upbeat, dance-oriented number on which Morales repeats the melodic hook, "on the floor," with verve and panache. Six songs are upbeat dance tunes, and six are urban-oriented ballads. The quality of songwriting -- which is Philippine-composed -- varies throughout the album, and while it is above average, most of it doesn't reach the international standards it aims for. But at least the songwriters took risks, and the songs are much more adventurous than the easy listening love songs so often heard in the Philippines. Morales puts forth a stunning performance on the soulful, well-written ballad "Pillow," and sings with maturity and poise. She sounds confident on the dance numbers, although some of the songwriting could be more imaginative.

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