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In “Biyaya,” Bayang Barrios brims with the blessings of musical maturity.

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JOEY Albert




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REVIEW
Bayang Barrios’ ‘Biyaya’ bound to become a folk classic

By Pocholo Concepcion
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:15:00 03/22/2010

Filed Under: Arts and Culture and Entertainment, Music, Entertainment (general)

Bayang Barrios
?Biyaya?
Produktong Mayumi ni Bayang Barrios

MANILA, Philippines--Better late than never. This was released in 2008, but does everyone know about it?

It?s actually the fourth solo album of the former female vocalist of Joey Ayala at ang Bagong Lumad. In ?Biyaya,? Bayang Barrios brims with the blessings of musical maturity borne out of perseverance and undiminished passion for her art. She gets ample support and shares songwriting credits with several people, including husband Mike Villegas who also plays acoustic guitar along with a spare lineup of sessionist friends.

The album?s acoustic sound pulsates with a lively, at times gentle, force ? a perfect match to Barrios? inspired singing. She?s very engaging, whether coaxing kids to seize the day in ?Lukso, Sigaw, Bitaw? or lullabying her own child in ?Mayumi?; persuading the lonely to have fun in ?Panandalian? or vowing to give environmental comfort to her mother in ?Paglaki Ko Inay.?

The ballads are nonetheless interesting ? the most wonderful of all is called ?Nangangalahati,? which ruminates about love and contentment without even using ?pag-ibig? in any of the stanzas. The only regretful thing is the absence of a lyrical translation of the Visayan songs. Otherwise this is contemporary Pinoy folk that?s bound to become a classic.

Young JV
?Ready or Not?
PolyEast Records

The son of former RAM soldier Red Kapunan reportedly told his father that he?d rather hold a mic rather than a gun. Young JV is into rap and in this debut CD he pours out his energies to prove that he can map his own route to hip hop recognition. Most of the tracks have an infectious dance groove; JV is fortunate to have good producers who lay in excellently programmed beats. ?That Girl? and ?I Bet They Can?t Do It Like That? are two fine examples.

JV?s vocal flow sounds good as well, although his lyrical attempts in social commentary are hampered by naivete. He?s no Gloc-9 and he knows that. But even if he says he wants to be part of a movement that would lift the country?s spirits through dance-oriented hip hop, JV might as well get busy, too, with the hard, complicated facts of life.

Here?s hoping that, in due time, he could expound on what he started in tracks like ?Kapayapaan? and ?Lipad Noypi.?

Jay R
?Jay R Sings OPM Love Classics?
Universal Records

Born in the United States, Jay R has been dreaming of recording an all-OPM album. Here he gets his wish and the result is quite impressive. The 13-track, all-covers CD starts off on a good note with Rivermaya?s ?Himala,? which Jay R interprets with a slower pace, but filled with grace and elegance.

The singer is gifted with a voice suited for classy, urban R&B and he practically breezes through most of the ballads. His duet with Nina in Gary Valenciano?s ?Muli? should make Nyoy Volante green with envy.

But it?s the love-lost tunes, ?Paalam Na? and ?Wala Na Bang Pag-Ibig,? that shine best under Jay R?s command. That?s the mark of a fine R&B/soul crooner ? how good he can give life out of sad songs.

It?s time for all the great Pinoy composers to write new stuff with Jay R in mind.

Joey Albert
?Songs of the Heart?
Viva Records

Now based in Canada, the always-delightful-to-listen-to Filipina pop singer named Joey Albert hied off to Manila and recorded an all-OPM covers CD ? some songs of which she said she had never heard of.

That could be Rivermaya?s ?You?ll Be Safe Here,? Cueshe?s ?Stay? and South Border?s ?Rainbow.? Joey?s versions of the first two are a bit disconcerting, especially for fans of the aforementioned bands.

But she acquits herself well in the rest of the tracks, sounding as good as the original voices in, for instance, Side A?s ?Forevermore,? South Border?s ?Kahit Kailan,? and The CompanY?s ?Munti Na Kitang Minahal.?

Joey Albert should do an all-originals album soon.



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