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Album Review

In 2001, Philippine female singer Gabriela released her debut album, Gabriela. The album was produced by respected Philippine music figure Vehnee Saturno, who also composed eight of the album's ten songs. Vehnee Saturno's compositions have been hits for many Philippine solo artists, including some songs reworked here.

Gabriela sings in a rough-edged, sandpapery voice, and sounds similar to Bonnie Tyler, Philippine female artist Mystica, and group Aegis. In someone else's hands these songs would sound like easy listening, but Gabriela's intense, distinctive style gives the songs more of an edge, and they sound almost like rock ballads. The searing electric guitar heard on some songs also adds to this effect. There is a problem in that some songs tend to sound alike, as it sometimes seems as though Vehnee Saturno is rewriting his own catalog. However, the album is buoyed by Gabriela's passionate, sincere performances, and she sings as though each syllable might be her last. All ten songs on the album are ballads, and the album could use more diversity. Nonetheless, Gabriela shines throughout the album, including an album highlight, the passionate "Pinakot Mo Lang Ako." This song, however, sounds a bit like "Binago Mo" (You Changed), which itself sounds a bit like "May Mahal Na Ako" (I Have a Love) and other songs here. Gabriela's rendition of Bryan Adams' "Please Forgive Me" is also outstanding, and her style suits this song well. Gabriela is an important artist and she can make even more of a mark with more distinctive original material, as too many songs on Gabriela tend to sound alike.

Gabriela, Gabriela
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music
  • Released: 2001

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