Yeng in love

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil - The Philippine Star

Given the scarcity of rock chicks in mainstream media hereabouts, I would have preferred it that singer/composer Yeng Constantino stayed rocking really hard all the time. This was what I thought while listening to the girl’s latest album All About Love where she still rocks. But only a bit because the album is really more in the pop mode.

If you want a comparison, the sound now is more Taylor Swift than the punky Pat Benatar. Rock fans are asking, where oh where is the new Hawak Kamay? Or maybe even a new Chinito? As for me, I dread the thought that there might come a time in the future when Yeng would be singing like Angeline Quinto.

Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with the way Angeline sings. It is just that Yeng’s rocker sensibility is so rare that I would much rather have had her stay the way she was when she started. But things change. It can’t be helped and in Yeng’s case, you cannot really fault her for being happy and gloriously in bloom. And as a result is therefore tempering the rock beats. Yeng is in love and engaged to be married soon. Given that state of things, I know it can be difficult to rock the joint while she is off floating on clouds. So, let us all be happy for Yeng and accept her new sound.

Ikaw, one of the songs which Yeng composed in the all-new and quite different album, shows her state of mind nowadays. A soaring ballad, it was obviously written by somebody in love and might just be Yeng’s wedding song. Imagine her walking the aisle to these words: “Ikaw ang pag-ibig na hinintay/ puso ay nalumbay nang kay tagal/ ngunit ngayon’y nandito na ikaw/ ikaw ang pag-ibig na binigay sa akin ng Maykapal/ biyaya ka ng buhay/ ligaya ka sa buhay ko, ligaya’t pag-ibig ko’y ikaw.”

These same romantic sentiments permeate the rest of the album with songs like Dance Without The Music by also composed by Yeng; Shining Like The Sun, Your Love Is My Relief and What’s Up Ahead written by Victor Christian Asuncion, who happens to be Yeng's fiancé, Dito Ka Lang Sa Tabi by Toto Sorioso; Feels Like by Gus Abarquez; So Beautiful by Jonathan Manalo and Ferris Wheel by Jed Dumaual.

Even rocker Ebe Dancel is in a love eternal mood with Una’t Huling Pag-ibig that he wrote for Yeng. “Habang buhay/ sing linaw ng langit na bughaw/ hanggang sa dulo ako at ikaw/ iginuhit na ng tadhana/ na tayong dalawa ay maging isa.”

All About Love is well-produced and beautifully packaged with gorgeous pictures of Yeng. The first single Ikaw has a strong commercial hook and should become a big hit soon. I also see single potential for Dito Ka Lang Sa Tabi and Ferris Wheel. There is a lot to like here. Save, of course, that I hope Yeng had kept more of her usual rock vibe in it.

Speaking of love songs.  These are also the focus of Ronnie Liang’s latest album titled (what else?) Songs of Love. Coincidentally, Ronnie came in second runner-up to Yeng in the Pinoy Dream Academy reality TV talent competition. Since then, he has gone into modeling, product endorsements, concerts, TV appearances recording and motion pictures. He was last seen in tours with Anne Curtis and Sarah Geronimo and in the movie, Esoterika: Maynila.

Songs Of Love mixes originals and pop standards. For his new songs, he has chosen sweet ballads by Marlon Barnuevo, Liwanag and by Vince Katindoy, Ngayon Lamang and Hiling. All three are strong commercial singles that should go big with young listeners. Vince also wrote Ronnie’s first big hit Ngiti, which is included as a bonus track in the CD.

Songs Of Love makes for pleasant listening and Ronnie has a light, expressive voice that goes very well with romantic tunes. Also included are She’s Always A Woman, Nothing Can Stop Us Now, Dance With My Father, Looking Through The Eyes Of Love and Unchained Melody.

As the year nears its end, here are the videos that currently dominate the Pinoy MYX Countdown of the past week: Somebody To Love by Darren Espanto; Pangarap Na Bituin by Lyca Gairanod; Dedma by Abra and Julie Anne San Jose; Mr. Antipatiko by Nadine Lustre; Parachute by Jay-R; Chinito Problems by Enchong Dee; Businessman by Gloc-9 feat. Vinci Montaner; Runaway Baby by Juan Carlos Labajo; Islands In The Stream by Kean and Eunice Jorge; Iyong Araw by Chicosci.

Tayo Lang Dalawa by Rivermaya; Simpleng Tulad Mo by Daniel Padilla; Awit Ni Ginny by Toni Gonzaga; All Of Me by Sabrina; Miss Taken by Blue Ketchup feat. Danita Paner; Habang Buhay by Glenn Jacinto; Basta’t Nandito Ka by Jennylyn Mercado; Jacuzzi by Tanya Markova; the Kwek Kwek Song by P.A.R.D; and We Are All God’s Children by Jamie Rivera.


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