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Review

In 2000, Philippine female singer Jolina Magdangal released On Memory Lane. The album consists entirely of remakes of originals from the 1950s and 1960s, including Dave Clark 5's "Because," Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me," and Connie Francis' "Where the Boys Are." All but one of the 16 songs are covers of international tunes, while "Sweet Sixteen" is a Filipino remake. Magdangal's version of "Crying Time" (composed by Buck Owens and recorded by Ray Charles, among others), was the first song pushed into radio (there are no singles in the Philippines), and it gained much airplay. Remakes of international songs were very trendy at this time, and other artists in the Philippines also had success with covers. This doesn't bode well for the local songwriting scene, though. Nonetheless, Filipinos have always been fond of Western music, particularly songs that are easy to sing along to, and those on On Memory Lane fit that description. The young Magdangal does an excellent job here, and her voice has matured impressively since 1998's Jolina; her delivery is polished and self-assured. Perhaps if she had sung these tunes first, she would be an international star. They don't stray much from the originals, though her rendition of Gary Lewis and the Playboys' "Save Your Heart for Me" is slower, and her version of Herman's Hermits' "The End of the World" is faster. Despite consisting entirely of remakes, this is an enjoyable album, showcasing Magdangal's impressive development. ~ David Gonzales, Rovi

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