J Brothers comprises five members, three of whom are brothers with the last name of Jimenez and who handle, respectively, lead vocals, guitar/vocals, and drums/vocals. A keyboardist and bassist round out the group. In 1996, the Philippine band released their debut album, Inay (trans: Mother).
J Brothers sing with much passion and sincerity, and this is perhaps the group's strongest trait. The material is mostly acoustic in nature and leans towards easy listening, but there is an intensity that makes some songs more substantive, as heard on "Sana'y Bigyan Mo Ng Pansin" (trans: Hope You Give Me Importance), "Tunay na Nagmamahal" (trans: Truly in Love), and "Miss Kita (Kuwento)" (trans: I Miss You). These songs can even be called "folk."
Other songs, however, are pure easy listening, including "Miss Mo Rin Ba Ako?" (trans: Do You Also Miss Me?) and "Special Girl." The album has some variety, and "Dear Ana" features a Beatles-esque ambience, as heard in the song's tuneful melody and the fanciful piano playing.
J Brothers' singing is very distinctive and, as noted earlier, emotive and sincere. There is also a nasal quality to much of the singing, which sometimes goes over-the-top but most often augments the sincerity. The brothers share vocals, and one voice is deep and resonant.
While this album isn't a blockbuster, there is something unique about J Brothers' music. Seven of the album's ten songs were composed by the producer, Nonoy Tan, and some might think less of the group for not writing its own material. It isn't such a bad thing, though, and J Brothers are worth a look. ~ David Gonzales, Rovi