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In 1996, Philippine rock band Orient Pearl released its second album, Orient Pearl 3, the follow-up to the successful Orient Pearl 1, an enjoyable album containing two songs which garnered strong radio airplay, "Kasalanan" ("Sin") and "Pagsubok" ("Trials"). Though this is the band's second album, it is purposely titled "3", reportedly in a superstitious attempt to beat the sophomore jinx. Maybe it helped, as the album is a solid effort, and is in fact more cohesive than the debut. Where the instrumentation on Orient Pearl 1 was a bit amateurish at times and not fully realized, the instrumentation is more polished on the new album, working in synergetic tandem with the vocals of Naldy Padilla, whose singing remains, as before, forceful and emotive. The searing guitar figure on the power ballad, "Maabot Ka Lang" ("Just to Reach You") adds distinctive flavoring to Padilla's emotive vocals. Another outstanding song is "Langit" ("Heaven"), which again features a stirring guitar figure as well as a contagious melody. "Shoot Me" contains a distinctive hook in the melody, sung a cappella at one point in an adventurous arrangement. The majority of the songs were composed by the team of vocalist Padilla and keyboardist Dexter Panlilio, including the power ballad "Cry in the Rain," which gained much radio airplay. Another song, "We Can Make It," is a re-recording of the smash hit, "Pagsubok," from the first album, this time performed using English lyrics. ~ David Gonzales, Rovi

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