Julie Anne goes deeper in new album
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - June 30, 2014 - 12:00am

Did you know that after pursuing it since she was a little girl, Julie Anne San Jose gave up her dream of becoming a singing star when she was 12 years old? This was after she joined the Little Miss Philippines contest in the Eat, Bulaga! TV show. It was her second or third attempt in the kiddie talent tilt, her first was when she was only three years old, and again she lost. So she decided, that was it and concentrated instead on her studies.

And then Popstar Kids happened. Julie Anne and her mother were shopping at a mall when they came across this kiddie talent search for Popstar Kids being conducted by GMA 7. She joined and was chosen to be a member of Sugarpop, a group that starred in its own TV show and did recordings for some years. What I remember most about the Sugarpop was the musicality of the members. The children could really sing and Julie Anne, who, incidentally, was named after Julie Andrews, was the best of them all.

Fast forward to today and whatever promise she evinced seven years ago has now been fulfilled. Julie Anne has just released her second album titled Deeper and expectations are running high. Why not, her first post-Popstar Kids outing from 2011, Julie Anne San Jose, was nine-time Platinum seller with four hit singles, I’ll Be There, Enough, Bakit Nayon and For Everything. Because of the success of the album, she easily sold out the Music Museum for her first solo show and she was tapped to open for visiting foreign artist David Archuleta. Deeper surely has to do better. There should be more and bigger hits in her second solo effort.

Deeper is a good album. The prospects are good. It landed the No. 1 spot on iTunes on its first day of release last June 1. It is a light, varied pop collection that should easily please her fans. What I like most about it though is that Julie Anne shows herself to be an adept songwriter. This, I think, is the quality that distinguishes her from other girl singers today. She started out writing two songs in her first album — When You Said Goodbye and Baby You Are — and even arranged the latter. She did not arrange anything in Deeper but she did compose a lot of songs. In fact, half of the album are very well-written originals in both English and Filipino by Julie Anne.

These range from light pop tunes like Blinded to rockers like Never Had You and powerful ballads like the piano-driven Deeper and If Love’s A Crime. I say that her songs have every right to be in the album and are among the best cuts. Baby You Are from her first release reappears in the line-up with a new mix and Blinded also gets an alternate mix. For variety, Julie Anne also wrote a rap song, Tulad Mo, and she raps in it. This distracts from the pop vibe of the rest of the collection but the song has a positive message and she does rap very well. So I say, let it be.

Also included are Christ In Us Our Hope Of Glory, the official theme song of the Eucharistic Congress; 1016 by Jay-arr Librando; Kung Maibabalik Ko Lang by Toto Sorioso; Diamond In My Eyes by Edmund Perlas and Jason Aruja; and the beautiful first single release Right Where You Belong by Agat Obar, where Julie Anne’s voice is at its sweetest. Her singing is, of course, the best thing about the album. This girl can sing and I like the way she places her high notes just within adequate reach and that she is not tempted to resort to over-singing just to impress.

Julie Anne is 20 years old. She is a senior Communication Arts student at Angelicum College. She loves to read, goes target-shooting, plays table tennis and is great at archery and Muay Thai. She appears regularly on GMA 7’s Sunday All Stars and in the Pepito Manaloto Show.

 Meanwhile, teen heartthrob Daniel Padilla, whose singing prowess remains under question, is still the biggest-selling recording artist of the past week. Here as per the sales reports of Odyssey Music and Video are the albums in the Top 10:

I Heart You by Daniel Padilla; The Nightingale Returns Lani Misalucha Sings The Great Filipino Songbook; Best of Praise & Worship Music by Various Artists; The Best Party Mix 2014 by Various Artists; By Popular Demand 9 by Various Artists; Ikaw Lamang, music from the TV series by Various Artists; Celestine by Toni Gonzaga; The Love Collection also by Lani Misalucha; Hits After Hits by Various Artists; and Acoustic Noel by Noel Cabangon.

As most of you will surely notice, budget-conscious music lovers are buying mostly compilation albums by various artists, oldies covers and the exception rather than the rule, I Heart You by Daniel. Good looks do get the privileged a lot of things, even a singing career.

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