Agot Isidro

Winds of Change

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In 1997, Philippine singer Agot Isidro released Winds of Change. She dramatically changes musical directions here, and performs acoustic, rock-oriented material instead of the easy listening love songs she performed on 1996's The Best of Agot Isidro.

Isidro's voice is pleasant and tuneful, and Winds of Change is mostly succeeds. Her sincerity and desire to do a good job pervade the material, bringing depth to such songs as "Winds of Change," "Feel So Strange," and "Too Good for You," among others.

That said, her singing could use more warmth and emotional investment, as some performances seem calculated, as though she is too distanced from the lyrics. Nonetheless, the music is generally commendable. The songs are acoustic-based and lithesome, and the music, if not the lyrics, appears influenced by such international female singers as Alanis Morissette and Sarah McLachlan. There is an acoustic Tracy Chapman ambience to "Too Good for You" as well. Unlike those artists, however, who often explore varied and topical subjects, the lyrics to most songs here deal with love. A notable exception is the title song, "Winds of Change," which deals with introspection and the exhilaration of self-discovery -- Morissette's tendency toward self-examination can be felt here. Highlights include "Feel So Strange," with its spirited melody and catchy chorus; "Wishing You Were Here," which works off an enticing piano chord progression; the emotive, "Taga" (no translation), where Isidro soars, and the compelling, "Winds of Change." Isidro has created a fine album here, worthy of being considered for international release, though her singing needs a little work and some additional warmth.

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