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Christian yearns for a little change
You will hardly notice the changes. But listen more closely and you will hear a different Christian Bautista these days. He's not the same guy who sticks to those tried-and-tested ballads anymore.
What you hear instead is an artist brave enough to veer from his comfort zone. And it takes Captured, his new album under Warner Music, to achieve this.
One moment, Christian is all suave vocals and syrupy ballads in songs composed by Martin Nievera and Ogie Alcasid.
Then, you notice him taking brief sojourns to the realm of country music, R&B and other genres he never thought he'd venture into as a product of a talent search years back. That balladeer voice gets slightly playful as he duets with Sitti in Captured, the title track.
Creation, written by Andrew Fromm, the same guy behind Christian's big hit The Way You Look at Me, has a little R&B. Hope, which Christian's brother Joshua made, is acoustic (it's also Christian's favorite track).
But the signature smooth ballads which sing of love and longing are still there. That, you can't take away from the guy.
"I'm looking for a new sound. I've been in the business for five years and I'm more confident about experimenting. It's about time I grow as an artist," he admits.
Part of that growth sees Christian going a wee bit upbeat in the track I Want to Be the One. He still croons all right. But he's not above swaying with the beat or standing up from his chair and trying a little footwork.
No, Christian doesn't want to do a Gary Valenciano (his idol). All he wants to do is try something new for a change. But the change won't be as drastic embracing something as foreign to his image as rap or hip-hop.
"The music must fit my appearance," he reasons out. Can you imagine Christian, for instance, in loose, grunge attire, rapping "Yes, yes, yo" on stage?
Not in your wildest dreams! So he's careful not to stray too far from his comfort zone.
"I'm just getting influences from other artists," he explains. "I'm not the type who will plunge headlong into a genre I know won't fit me."
The good thing is, Warner Music, his recording studio understands. The bosses gave him the liberty to come up with his choices for the album's tracks. After all, it's his fourth, and Christian has proven what a hitmaker he is many times over.
And mind you, not a single song in the album is a remake or revival. They're all original, never-before-heard songs.
In this day and age when everybody else is going into revivals, why did Christian stick his neck out with an album of original songs? Does he want to rock the boat? Or does he just want to shake people out of their complacency?
"Why, you can still please listeners with non-revivals," he explains.
Here is one risk taker who will put his career on the line for what he believes in. Besides, if artists of Christian's status won't take a chance in breaking a trend, who will? Someone has to stand up and face the firing squad, if needed to bring back those glory days of original music. And Christian doesn't mind being the one.
Yes, the stakes are higher, the pressure greater. But he's not complaining. In fact, Christian enjoys the new challenge.
Captured must equal, if not surpass the success of the smash hit album Completely, not only in the Philippines but elsewhere, like Indonesia, where Christian is lionized.
This, plus his upcoming stint as Tony the male lead (opposite Karylle) in Stages' production of Westside Story, keep Christian's days full. He also needs to master the art of swinging from pop (for his album) to classical (for Westside Story) singing with ease.
That's where Christian's voice coach for the musicale enters the picture.
This is also one reason why, many months after he and Rachel Ann Go broke up, Christian has yet to find a new love.
"I'm single," he announces.
Christian did not say, however, if he's looking for someone new or not. From the looks of it, he's so busy to even give dating someone a thought.Besides, if he can croon those sweet love songs in Captured and still remain the heartthrob that he is, why bother? In love or not, Christian Bautista will keep us starry-eyed with dreams of ever-after and promises of bliss never-ending.