Sweet Sugar For The Soul

A young singer from Miami makes his debut.

You've probably never heard of Don Philip, unless you're a Britney Spears fan - the young singer collaborated with the teen queen of pop on her first album "...Baby One More Time" in the duet "I Will Still Love You". Now he's out on his own, and it's time to see if he lives up to the attention he's been getting.

Philip's self-titled album is peppy and nicely packaged. The 23-year-old from Miami has a good voice, which does justice to the well-written lyrics, and the album showcases his talent well - clearly, this young man is more than just a flash in the pan.

The album consists of a wide variety of songs. You may already have heard "Sugar" from the teen flick "Drive Me Crazy"; there are many more like this, all running along the same vein - listen to "I Don't Like You Any More" and "Faith", and you'll see the similarities in the material.

Philip also proves that he can sing sentimental ditties with "Tenderly" and "September Love" (incidentally Richard Marx has both written and done the background vocals for "Tenderly"). His voice is well-suited to the task; it has a fair amount of emotional range, although some of the songs do betray a lack of maturity in their saccharine melodies, and seem destined for the Boyzone-clone heap.

Despite this, Philip seems to be able to handle himself well - he succeeds in hitting quite a few high octaves, and also seems comfortable with the lower notes...unusual for a male soloist. The album is expertly mixed, with good instrumentals, and has a fair mix of fast and slow cuts, holding the listener's attention throughout. Buy this one!

This article was first published on 03 Oct 2000.