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Quezon City, Philippines
Universal Records is the NUMBER ONE independent record label in the Philippines. Bringing you quality music for the past 30 years, we are home to artists like: Jose Mari Chan, Gary Valenciano, Ogie Alcasid, Regine Velasquez, Lani Misalucha, Jed Madela, Christian Bautista, Jay R, Billy Crawford, Kris Aquino, Edu Manzano, Marian Rivera, Mark Herras, Nina, Ronnie Liang, Gail Blanco, Sam Concepcion. Our band roster includes: Parokya Ni Edgar, Kamikazee, Sponge Cola, Imago, Silent Sanctuary, Kenyo, Paraluman. We are equally committed to bring you exciting international releases covering various genres like pop, jazz, new age, classical, alternative, indie pop, rock, electronica, dance, r&b, and hip-hop. Name it, we definitely have it!

December 6, 2010

Mla Bulletin | Balladeer gives own spin to holiday classics

Audio Junkie
by Punch Liwanag
December 4, 2010, 6:03pm

MANILA, Philippines – ‘A Wonderful Christmas,’ Christian Bautista, Universal Records

Christian Bautista gets into a holiday-state-of-mind with this 15-track CD that has the usual Christmas Yule classics: “The Christmas Song,” “Christmas Alphabet,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” etc.

However, Bautista’s distinct way of delivery and exceptional musical arrangement save the collection from becoming yet another humdrum affair.

This is noticeable right at onset. While there are several versions of “The Christmas Song,” the warm and mellow sounding piano, guitar and orchestral arrangement, coupled with Bautista’s gentle interpretation, breathe new life into the classic. The same treatment is used on “Angels We Have Heard On High” and “Silver Bells.”

If you think nothing good would come out of including a melodically repetitive carol like “Little Drummer Boy” here, then think again. Producer Ito Rapadas, the arrangers, and, of course, Bautista, did a swell job in making this classic sound even classier.

Bautista also delivers these originals: “Christmas Time,” a nifty little Yule ballad written by the singer; “Nakaraang Pasko,” the only Tagalog song in this selection (written by Tats Faustino and originally recorded by Kuh Ledesma); and “The Gift Of Christmas,” written by Michael Chan and sung as a duet with Liza Chan-Parpan.

The record also includes “What A Wonderful World” and “Amazing Grace” in its track list though, what this standard and song of redemption, respectively, are doing in this Yule-themed album is anybody’s guess.

The poppy take on “Christmas Alphabet,” and the vocal ensemble treatment on “Last Christmas” and “All I Want For Christmas,” put Christian Bautista’s mellow-sounding pipes to good use.

Nothing superfluous, just good ol’ fashioned first-rate singing, and delivering the right interpretation as songs require, compel us to make this recommendation: On Christmas eve, go Christian B.


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