We say it often, and truth to tell in these shores it is true: many of our less talented singers have albums, and many of our more talented musicians are without jobs. But what of the non-singer, someone who doesn’t sing at all, gathering a strong enough following for her CDs that she’s now on her fifth (count that!) solo album—and yes, that’s not counting the one she did with her son, and another about the rosary.
Welcome the celebrity CD! At the center of which is Kris Aquino. Judy Ann Santos began this kind of production with Ang Kuwento ng Buhay Ko (2007) where her TV show and movie theme songs were interspersed with her recorded thoughts about particular times in her life. This album had an all-Filipino, all-original set of songs that still made it original Pilipino music (OPM) by all counts, over and above Judy Ann.
But Kris, unlike Judy Ann, began this enterprise not to do a retrospective on her life, which would’ve meant just planning one CD. Instead, tied as the industry of celebrity is to selling the personal, Kris immersed herself in doing self-help albums, which is what most of these are. But unlike self-help albums done by experts in some form of counseling or other (think Dr. Phil on CD), most of Kris’ albums are only about her: when she came out with first CD Songs of Love and Healing, there was soon after a public marital crisis and pregnancy difficulties; when her mother Cory died she did The Greatest Love (2008), a tribute album; when her brother Noynoy was running for president she came out with Blessings of Love (2010), which was filled with nationalist and campaign songs.