|JM De Guzman|
I’ve encountered JM De Guzman a few times during the past two Cinemalaya film festivals. What struck me odd was that I have yet to see JM in a theater role or see him perform live as a recording artist. The time finally came for the latter as I was able to see JM De Guzman, live and accompanied by a four piece band as he launched his sophomore album, Tensionado, via a short show at TriNoma Activity Area.
At the show, JM performed cuts from the album Tensionado, released by Ivory Music & Video. He started out with a relaxed and easy going rendition of Akin Ka Na Lang which is the album’s carrier single. Right from the beginning, JM’s dedicated fans club who call themselves Hukbong JM were all out in their support and provided constant screams that were heard not just throughout the entire performance area but also at the surrounding stores at the mall.
The screaming went on when JM literally carried on to the stage one very giddy female fan who probably got one of the most memorable moments of her life as she was serenaded by JM himself with Tensionado, the album’s title track. I admit that I got a bit worried that she might faint on stage but thankfully she didn’t. One of the guest artists during the show was Suy who joined JM for the song Terrified. Jayke Reyes and Kaligta served as the opening acts for the album launch. It pleased me a lot when JM performed with a live band and not just with a backing track. This proved that he isn't just one of those actors who think that they can sing but couldn't and would just rely on their popularity to sell records. Besides, JM has a solid theater background and has starred in Dulaang UP's Orosman at Zafira which is a musical.
Listening to the album, I noticed that after the mid-tempo Akin Ka Na Lang that featured Jaq Dionisio of Kiss Jane, things slow down and never pick up. The rest of the tracks are made up of slow, introspective and rather sedate ballads. The album is loaded with covers ranging from recent hits like Terrified, songs from a few years back like Tensionado and songs from more than a decade ago like Lost in Space, Have I Told You Lately and Don’t Give Up on Us. The album also offers two of JM’s original compositions namely Warrior and Stupidest and they are not the most cheerful of tracks. In fact, the album feels like there are gray clouds hovering above, probably reflecting a challenging time in JM’s life right now, hence the title Tensionado.
For someone like JM who has made out of the box career moves like the independent films he has appeared in for Cinemalaya and also in his theater work, this second album Tensionado, feels too safe and very much in the mainstream for me. Lastly, I wish for JM to cheer up, even for a bit.
Tensionado, released by Ivory Music & Video is now available in record stores nationwide. Akin Ka Na Lang and the rest of the tracks are also available for download via MyMusicStore
Mobile phone users can also get JM’s music by typing JM to 3456 for Globe and
Smart subscribers. Sun subscribers can get it by typing JM to 2346.
1. Akin Ka Na Lang
2. Have I Told You Lately
6. Lost in Space
8. Don’t Give Up on Us