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Album review: Charice's self-titled debut

Charice_240_ In the 2 1/2 years since Ellen DeGeneres featured this young Filipina singer on her popular talk show, Charice has racked up an impressive number of friends in high places: She's made several appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," sung duets with Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion and signed a record deal with David Foster, the soft-pop impresario behind Josh Groban and Michael Bublé.

Today she's scheduled to appear on "Oprah" yet again, this time alongside Justin Bieber. (Like Bieber, Charice built an initial following on YouTube, where displays of precocious vocal talent are outnumbered only by videos of babies tasting lemons.)

Charice's self-titled international debut contains input from some of those powerful pals, including Foster, the set's executive producer; "Replay" singer Iyaz and such A-list songwriters as Ryan Tedder, Diane Warren and Carole Bayer Sager. Inevitably, the result darts somewhat haphazardly from sleek dance-pop tunes aimed at girls Charice's age ("I Love You," "Pyramid") to schmaltzy slow jams seemingly intended for those girls' moms ("All That I Need to Survive," "Note to God").

If "Charice" lacks any kind of stylistic focus, though, it also feels like an honest showcase of the singer's voice, with relatively uncluttered arrangements and limited vocal processing. There's nothing especially interesting about that voice beyond its technical sophistication; any character is a product of inheritance, not invention. But its strength lives up to that of her collaborators.

—Mikael Wood

Two stars (Out of four)

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Comments () | Archives (58)

Send her album to Netherlands, please! The people is waiting.

Finally, I got the one of the last two albums left on the shelf at Target Stores before unsuccessfully trying to get one from QVC(16 tracks) and three nearby Target Stores.

I disagree Mikael due to Charice has unique voice that when she sings, she will get your attention and your body becomes numbed and will struck your heart.

Did you delete your rating of 2 out of 4 because you saw that this album has reached the #1 spot on itunes in less than 36 hours of its launching?

Go for it, Charice!

I really think you need to check out more of her videos. Just like others, I totally disagree on what you have said. It's obvious you really don't know much about music. better clean your ear!!! tell me if there's nothing special about her voice after watching this


We'll prove you wrong in the future!!

And thank goodness, an album that brings me back to the days when there were Celines, Whitneys, Mariahs and Christinas. Are you seriously looking down on this girl's talent by saying the collaborators are the strength of this album. Finally, somebody who could sing even better live! Straight up real vocals! I mean have you seriously seen the VH1 2009 divas - pathetic. I suspect had she been white and born here - everybody would be raving about her.
About the album, I just loved all the songs and my kids even love them too. No track skipping here, so I give it 4 out of 4 stars...


"Seemingly intended for those girls' moms"?

Really? I don't know how old you are, Mr. Wood, but, if there was a textbook definition for gender bias, this piece you call a "review" would be it.

Where was the review on melismatic tones, vibrato, lyrical style, pitch control, voice quality?

Instead, we were served with such protocol: Google the album track, trace the writers and wikipedia the artist bio, then add a dash of two or three highfalutin words and voila, review! Maybe I could take your meager paying job as equally effortlessly.

Two stars is quite surprising. Well, I lied, actually. Not really, considering you rated the mediocre "Drive-By Truckers" a 3 out of 4 whose band members can be replaced by anyone who can hold a mic. Typical. Stick to your own genre. You lack one stylistic focus. Touché.

I don't see the credibility of this review. I think Mr. Michael Wood lacks the auditorial sophistication and I question his (dis)ability to assess music. I wonder if his background has to do with his music appreciation or his own (or lack of) understanding of what music should be. Who is this guy? His assessment is a borderline manifestion of his deafness and senility to what is truly a phenomenon to be reckoned in our times. I am hard to be pleased myself but this girl is growing in me with her musicality since I saw her in Oprah this week. I searched for her other performance since I don't know her. She is the IT. So please Mr. Wood before you cast the stone do your homework first.

Whitney and Mariah used to have this kind of album too. It's called pop! A collaboration of great producers, songwriters and topping it off with beautiful true vocals. Do we still have that kind of music now? No, mostly singer songwriters with okay vocals and mostly pop artist generated by the Disney or Nick machine with autotuned vocals. So I very much love, love my dose of Charice. Thank you! Her music and voice are just pure heaven compared to most artists out there. 4 out of 4 stars for me!

This article lacks substance from an unknown writer who wants to be known. I rate this article as 0.25 out of 4.0.

And this is called an “Album Review”? Where is it? All Mikael Wood talks about is Charice’s influential entourage (with a hint of jealousy perhaps?) Nothing written in that article would help me decide whether I should or not buy the album. This looks more like gossip than anything else. where does it talk about the songs, the lyrics, the musical quality, etc… This is definitely a useless waste of ink and paper space. And by the way “There’s nothing especially interesting about that voice beyond its technical sophistication”; Mikael Wood obviously never heard Charice sing live or he needs to have his hearing checked (or maybe change the batteries in his hearing aid) as well as researching scientific musical & vocal studies. And “any character is a product of inheritance, not invention”; where in the world did you get that from??? You lost me right there. Are you sure you're writing in the proper column?

This Album is 10 out of 10! Why limit to 2? out of 4? Recommended to people ages 8 -to 88. For people who are happy, depressed, in love, out of love, lonely. Wholesome lyrics (sorry I am not a poet) and meaningful verses. Charice is filling the big void of authentic singers that Whitney and company used to fill. After suffering through light pop music permeating the airwaves , this comes as a relief. Finally, I can be motivated to actually purchase an album (several copies I might add) because it is worth my hard-earned money and I can listen to all the songs without cringing at the lyrics. I don't have to censor my children and yeah they can download it in their ipods and I don't care if they listen to it day and night like I do. Cheaper than therapy, I tell you and won't make you fat since it is zero calories. Even negative calories if you dance with the tune.

i am one of those girls moms u mentioned.oh boy if u only know how old i am then u will be shocked that i am totally loving the album. i cried listening to the girls moms songs and i practically danced to the young girls songs as well. where can u get that kind of a deal?

well, it's only charice who can put together this kind of album because she can deliver any kind of music genre... watch her sing live and u will be shock how this little girl can deliver and will make u cry when she sings love songs and will make u dance when she sings the little girls songs.. i suggest u buy her album and listen to it first before u comment..

I'm an african american guy and Charice has the power, stamina and character of a true singer and not molded from other less talented vocalists of the youth today. I think this Mr. Wood guy is more concerned about her being a protegee instead of her vocal talent. Big names in the big wig adores Charice talent but what about you Mr. Woods? Do you know how to sing at all?

Ouch! I was just about to comment on Mikael Woods' review as disappointingly generic with just a dash of abstraction towards the end that left me confused as to what exactly he was saying or not saying. Then I started to read other people's review of his review, and was shocked. Shocked! Why, because most actually made more sense and were simplistic enough and direct to the point.
I must say though I liked the album for it showcased her amazing voice with - In this Song and Note to God. Her other songs in that album like Nobody singing to Me is very catchy and of course Pyramid. So there you go. I give it an A+ or 4/4. Mikael Wood's review? I don't know, I'm still confused as to what he means when he rambles on about sophistication and inheritance and invention... I suppose they are beyond my ken :) but what do I care, I love the music and the album enough to buy it and be proud to possess it - and for me, that's all that matters!

Hellooooooo Mr Woods, I really don't have anything more to say because everybody has said it. But I have a question...are you really a music reviewer? An authentic one? or just TH (trying hard). Are your eardrums defective? Please see an ENT doctor specializing on ear defects. Another question...did you do your homework well? I believed you did not. If you are using a computer there's a lot of search engines to use to make your homework perfect because you did it HAPHAZARDLY!

Wow, I think the comments here speak for themselves that the author of this article is clueless!

" But its strength lives up to that of her collaborators."
If you have not realized yet (since your research seemed lacking), may I let you know that Charice's popularity WORLDWIDE started with a video of her first Star King appearance, where she sang And I Am Telling You with just a karaoke music to back up her voice. That video caught the attention of EDG then Oprah. These people knew Charice was meant to be a star, and she already had a big fan base to start with...it was not even a gamble to take her under their wings; they just had to make it happen. Lots of people were already clamoring for her to have her own songs. These collaborators you were referring to have finally found a talented artist they would all just be so proud to write music for, because they know she can not only give justice to the songs, but make it BIG.

Seriously. No, I mean SERIOUSLY: How many Record-label weasels and
fan-clubbers, can one review hold? Do any of you realize how many
"artists" are laying claim to some "number one" spot, SOMEWHERE?
You shills are trying to pass this person off as the "next" Streisand.
Besides, I'll take Mr. Wood's informed OPINION, long before those belonging to a couple of played-out and insignificant talk-show "hostesses" ANY DAY.

I enjoyed the CD after listening to it for the 3rd time and the melodies are very catchy. The atrangements is technically very good and its showcases her voice without belting it out in every song which I think everybody is expecting. With all the comments that this article has recieved only goes to show how much she is appreciated as an artist withour resorting to any gimmicks other than just singing her heart out.

How is it posible that L.A. Times my very precious papaer can employ people like Mr. Woods! And I have to include the Entertainment Editors who allowed it to be published.

What a shame. They just reduced its circulation . A reviewer he is NOT !

To settle the issue , and no more arguments pls . For final re- review ( you owe us an apology for the gaff ) SEE

You Tube " charice a moment in time live asap '" ( she was in red dress )

You Mr.Woods and your editors have done the paper great disfavor
. Empty cups.

I am not a Charice fan BUT when I heard PYRAMID, I immediately searched it in iTunes and purchase it. She will make it BIG, so haters, be ready =)

We are all entitled to our opinions. Fans should not resort to dirty tactics and question the credibility of the author. If you are not happy with the author's views, fine but please respect it. It is the opinion of the author. You cannot do anything about it.


I totally agree with this review. Charice needs to stop her fans from ruining her career. These people don' t know how to accept negative reviews of their most adoured pop star which is quite a bad thing since she's just starting to emerge from the biggest music industy in the world. People should know her ups as well as her downs. She's got talent yeah, but she's not perfect. You need to just accept that reality and get your own lives.

LOL @ all the fans throwing a hissy fit.

It's really obvious all the comments are from fans who can't handle it when their Chosen One is criticized. Comment-bombing is not going to stop people from having different opinions from you. Our diversity is what makes our world so awesome. Grow up and accept it.

To all you crazy Chasters, would you please wake-up and smell the coffee. While I am a die hard fan of Charice and am okay with the Album, I do believe that the review is correct. Just look at what People Magazine said and other reviewers on the same issue. Quote from People Magazine, "But Charice is torn between being a begowned diva and acting her age on songs like the Iyaz-assisted single "Pyramid." This review refers to it as "stylistic focus." In essence, the Album seems to be all over the place living up to DF’s strategy of trying to make music for all ages (nutz). There is only one question that should be front and centre to our concern. Was this the right strategy to employ as it pertains to sales?

From a logical standpoint, I think it was the wrong approach in the context of a new artist trying to break into the market. Chasters if you want Charice to succeed, you must understand that this strategy cannot and will not work. If you think I am wrong ask yourself this, why did Charice sing a remix of "I Love You" at the B104 concert (which was awesome), and why did she cut another fast upbeat song? I think the answer is very obvious. They are finally beginning to realize that the songs in the Album will not work for the majority of the teenagers as a whole and in concert atmospheres like B104. Please let us not live in denial and get back to the real world.

You Chasters have to realize one thing, big names and awards etc at the end of the day mean nothing. The only element that will rule the day are numbers (i.e. sales) and if they are lacking, then someone messed up and we all know it wasn’t Charice. Please understand these reviewers are not criticizing Charice. In fact, all the professional reviews point to her vocal abilities, so kindly exercise your energies towards more positive endeavours as opposed to ranting like a bunch of crazy fans. I know you guys have fan sites, so perhaps one of you brave souls will cut and paste my comment onto your site in the hope that it will bring some objectivity to your world. Remember forget this notion that big names will guarantee you success. The only thing that can do that is the music. We already have the most important aspect of the equation in Charice. Now, it is time for DF to realize the problem and rectify it immediately – Peace.

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