OPM albums from Jennylyn, Julie Anne & Jessa

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil - The Philippine Star

Is OPM dead? It is if you will consider how the band scene died because the newer groups refused to learn how to write, play and produce music. There are rules about these, you know. It is because plenty of radio stations like to pretend they are in LA playing bad American Top 40 and talking in even worse English. It is dead because local singers are made to scream out foreign songs in TV variety shows.

On the other hand though, TV might just prove to be OPM’s savior. The networks keep churning out soap operas and this means a constant need for theme songs. Also these telenovelas are proving to be an excellent spawning ground for stars. And stars here, whether they have the voice or not, must be able to sing. Again, that means, they need songs, preferably OPM. This week alone, I came across three new albums of Filipino songs all born out of television.

Forever By Your Side by Jennylyn Mercado. A product of a TV talent show and initially a singer, the pretty and talented Jennylyn is now better known as an actress. Remember how unforgettable she was in the movie Rosario? She is also a good singer and an even better performer but her schedule does not allow her to do this part of her career more often. Thankfully though once in a while she would find time to go back to the studio to do an album.

Forever By Your Side is her latest effort and it includes Hindi Ka Mag-iisa, the composition by Arnie Mendaros, which is the lead single from the CD. Of course, because Jennylyn is basically a TV star, it is also the title song of her new soap series on GMA 7, where she plays opposite Sid Lucero and Frank Magalona.

Included are a variety of new songs that Jennylyn does very well. Forever By Your Side, adapted from the Japanese song Kizuna by Wency Cornejo; Parang Kailan Lang and Ganun Na Lang Ba, new originals by Francis Salazar; Mahal Na Mahal, which was composed and arranged by Nyoy Volante; and Halik Sa Hangin written by Gabby Alipe, the lead singer of the rock band Urbandub.

Also out of the Kapuso network is the album Julie Anne San Jose by who else but Julie Anne San Jose, star of Together Forever and Daldalita. And how nice to discover that this girl not only sings, she also writes songs, creates arrangements and plays the guitar and other instruments. She composed and arranged the song Baby U Are and also played the guitar in the recorded track. She also wrote the sweet ballad When You Said Goodbye. No masterpieces these songs, but Julie Anne certainly shows lots of promise.

The carrier single is I’ll Be There, a new song by Agatha Obar, who also composed When I Close My Eyes. Also included are Bakit Ngayon and MSB My Sweet Boy by Barbara Jeanne Bufete Ponciano; Enough by Toto Sorioso; For Everything by Rebel Magdagasang; Glad It’s Over by Soc Villanueva and Jungee Marcelo; and covers of light hit ballads, Let Me Be The One composed and popularized by Jimmy Bondoc and Hold On, the first hit by Side A, written by Dingdong Eduque.

Pag Wala Na Ang Ulan by Jessa Zaragoza. I do not know if Jessa is in the cast of any TV series nowadays. What I am sure of is that she sings the theme song for one, which coincidentally is also from GMA 7. Nasaan, the lead single of her latest album, comes from the soundtrack of the soap opera, Kung Aagawin Mo Ang Langit. The song was written and produced by the prolific Vehnee Saturno, who, by the way, gave Jessa her big-selling classic, Bakit Pa.

Jessa’s CD is a good showcase of new works that shows off her versatility. She has been singing for 15 years and has definitely gotten better voice-wise and in choosing her materials. She has a very good mix in the album. Also included are Pag Wala Na Ang Ulan, composed, arranged and produced by Jimmy Antiporda; Ayoko Na, a song by Jessa’s husband Dingdong Avanzado; Antiporda also did Napatawad Na Kita, an R&B breather in the album that features Kris Lawrence; and Buti Na Lang by Elmer Blancaflor and Romer Timbreza which Jessa co-produced.












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