One could probably understand why Regine Velasquez was seemingly annoyed that in one TV show where she’s judge, jury and executioner, so many aspiring singers try so hard to get that Moira effect, the kind of airy, whisper-y, sleep-inducing soothing voice, that makes insomnia-cure heaven out of soft-strummed guitar or ukulele. Everyone wants to be like Moira. She’s the flavor of the month. But given the decades she’s been in the industry, Regine should’ve understood, things like this happen all the time. In the 90s, bands and labels were after the Seattle sound: Nirvana, Pearl Jam, anything with distortion and teenage angst. Locally, it’s anything like Eraserheads (good luck with that), anything alternatib. In the 00s, it was The Strokes and the rest of the The The bands. Even during her prime, I’m sure a lot of aspiring singers wanted to be able to birit like Regine. Like it was some gold standard or something. But then maybe, part of her gripe isn’t just the fact the there are so many Moiras, perhaps it’s also that that Moira is a so-so artist for others to emulate—aside from being a so-so judge as some people say. Not sure about Moira being so-so. Maybe she’s like Yeng Constantino. Maybe not. That is, it’s too early to say. Too early to dismiss her. But this: Malaya, her full length debut is a so-so record. Containing 13 cuts, the best songs in Malaya are tucked in the end, treated as if they’re bonus tracks (Sundo, Torete, Titibo-tibo). And probably they are, since most people heard and knew them already, from the internet, radio or TV. Another highlight is “Tagpuan”, which you might probably first heard in a movie. Outside of the usual suspects, the album offers not so much. Moira is in her usual MO (We & Us, Tagu-taguan) more often than not (Before It Sinks In).