Celine: Nandito Lang AkoUnbridled Potential!

Celine: Nandito Lang Ako
Genre: POP, OPM
CREDITS: 2002 Celine, Cesar Lirio Sr., CELKOR AD
Track Listing:

  1. Nandito Lang Ako
  2. I Made It Through The Rain
  3. Just The Way You Are
  4. Please Don’t Break My Heart
  5. One Boy
  6. More Than Ever
  7. Hoy, Magnanakaw!
  8. I Want To Give It All
  9. Love Will Keep Us Together
  10. Always There

I’m writing an opinion for this album because a certain mischievous urge just engulfed me. I have no idea if this is still out in the Philippine market, but I got this CD courtesy of a former officemate who happens to be Celine’s brother-in-law. Bob Santiago can be seen in the credits as one of her back-up singers as well as the cover designer. The reason why I am not sure if this record is still available in the market is because I have learned about some very sensitive production issues that have never been resolved. This resulted in the pulling out of the carrier single, Nandito Lang Ako, from the airwaves. For a debut release, it becomes apparent that Celine has a lot of unbridled potential. With Celine being a young lass not older than 15, I was taken aback with the sheer power of her voice. Match this up with her sweet, angelic face, anyone would suspect that she wouldn’t find it difficult to climb her way to the top—especially in the Philippine market where people live for the kind of killer combination that Celine possesses.

Nandito Lang Ako consists of 10 tracks, majority of which are revivals that my parents would’ve been familiar with. There’s a weakness in this record, however, and it isn’t in Celine’s cherubic voice. The selection of songs didn’t suit her too well. Perhaps it is because she needs to mature a little more, both as a person and as an artist. The effort reminds me of Jessica Simpson, when the gospel singer was introduced through a repertoire of songs characterized by pitches that were all at the extreme right of the scale. Yes, we could guess that she probably has a 5-octave range, but we need not be stuck listening only to the upper ones. Lower octaves are important too.

The accompaniments sound quite thin. The choice of instruments made me think this was recorded in Karaoke King instead of an actual studio. This much is painfully obvious in her revival of the Billy Joel hit Just The Way You Are.

Of course, Nandito Lang Ako isn’t lacking in winning material. The carrier single itself would’ve been a certified hit in a country where people are eternally in love with melodrama. Another is I Made It Through The Rain, an old Barry Manilow ballad.

I sure hope this isn’t the last I’m hearing from Celine. I would definitely love to see her grow and improve on her craft. We’ve seen it happen to other artists, why not her too?

Rating: 6/10

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