Chino Romero

Walang Hang Mahal

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Philippine easy listening albums don't fare well on the international market. Many songs sound similar, as though cut from the same derivative mode, and many solo artists don't sing very well but get contracts because of their good looks or popularity. Chino Romero and his 1998 easy listening release Walang Hang Mahal (No Other Love) is a different story, however. Chino Romero is a genuine singing talent: his voice is strong, penetrating, and full of depth. The songwriting throughout the album is strong and distinctive. Put these two elements together -- excellent singing and excellent songwriting -- add strong production and strong instrumentation, and the result is an easy listening album with the potential to be distributed overseas. There are a number of fine songs, beginning with the opening title song, "Walang Ibang Mahal" (No Other Love). Chino Romero's singing comes from the heart and is sincere and purposeful. The searing electric guitar fill adds a gritty touch as well. "Ayaw Ko Na Sana" (Hoping I Don't Want Anymore) is another highlight, and Chino Romero imparts a warm, sincere touch, as he also does on "Ano Mang Nagawa Mo" (Whatever You Have Done) and throughout the album. All the songs are slow, but due to the strength of the songwriting the album doesn't suffer from a lack of diversity. Some songs, such as "Taya Ang Buhay Mo," (You Put Your Life in Danger), synthesize the best elements of Philippine easy listening music, but without sounding derivative or redundant. In fact, all the songs sound fresh. Walang Hang Mahal is one of the best Philippine easy listening albums ever made. Quite possibly, it is the best.