Having two of Viva’s rising stars on one duet seems like a match made in heaven — especially when pairing up the joint talents of Rob Deniel and Janine Teñoso.

Over the past year, both musicians have found breakthrough success in the mainstream, with a string of several hit tracks dominating both the airwaves and the hearts of their devoted listeners. There’s no escaping Deniel’s “Rom Com” or “Miss Miss” online (and rightfully so), while Janine’s “Hulaan” could easily be considered as one of the best ballads of 2024 (so far).

With their career trajectories at such a high momentum, the news of a collaboration track from two of the local industry’s most promising musicians seemed like a guaranteed recipe for success — well, up until the song was released.

Distansya” is by no means a bad track, but it feels like a missed opportunity for both Deniel and Janine to utilize their strengths together. While it is catchy, it leaves little room for either of them to demonstrate their best work, as it lacks the impassioned and confessional aspects of their solo music — almost as if it trades these elements for something that plays it a bit too safe.

Though the blend of the duo’s voices in the chorus results in pleasant melodies, it still feels distant, with little chemistry conveying the spark that is needed from a track like this. The bridge offers the perfect avenue as a meeting point for the harmonization between the two, yet it ultimately buckles under the weight of their joint talents, falling flat in its execution.

Yet still, there are several glimpses of promise from the two within the track. Janine delivers a powerful and soulful performance that complements Deniel’s emotive crooning, which appropriately highlights both their vocal prowess. The lyricism is apt enough, longing to make an impact that can resonate with its listeners but feels diluted to adjust halfway, leaving little room for further interpretation beyond one’s first listen.

Ultimately, the end result of “Distansya” is a duet that plays too pleasant, if not plain. It may be a sure bet to satisfy longtime fans of the two vocal powerhouses, given its radio-friendly nature and easy listening aspects — although it leaves little impact to make any sort of statement or demonstration of what both artists are fully capable of.

Listen to Rob Deniel and Janine Teñoso’s “Distansya” below: