On The Download: Charice

Where has Whitney Houston’s voice gone? It’s the question on everyone’s minds right now.

Apparently, it may just have reincarnated itself in to the body of a young Filipina girl, named Charice.

Charice Clarice Relucio Pempengco, who just turned 18 this week, released her debut self-titled full-length album on Tuesday. Working with an all-star team which included producer David Foster and songwriter Diane Warren, her first effort represents a decent debut which could even signal the beginning of a bright career.

Think you’ve heard Charice’s name before? No, it’s not just from her being the girl who dragged David Archuleta into a gay bar. It’s probably through her appearances on Ellen DeGeneres’ or Oprah’s talk shows. Both hosts have championed the young talent since seeing her on Asian singing competition shows in 2007.

Her debut U.S. song, “Pyramid,” featuring Iyaz, is a catchy little diddy, which peaked at the #2 position on the Billboard Dance Singles charts, thanks to some quality remixes. The song stands on its own as a single, although it never seemed to catch on at radio. Pairing the ingenue up with fellow up-and-coming Warner Bros. Records label-mate Iyaz was a wise move though. Their distinct and talented voices complement each other quite nicely on this debut track.

There are at least a few other hits on the album. Track #2, “Reset,” is as strong as its predecessor on the album. Track #4, “Nobody’s Singing to Me,” is another stand out.

And the Warren-penned “Note to God,” is a poignant ballad, sung by a young girl seemingly seeking answers to life’s larger questions.

The rest of the album is filled with fairly generic songs about love, which seem odd coming from a girl her age. Still, as a launch into the U.S. market, “Charice,” succeeds.

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