latest chrismasss hits from susan boyle
|Play||1. Perfect Day||Susan Boyle||$1.29|
|Play||2. Hallelujah||Susan Boyle||$1.29|
|Play||3. Do You Hear What I Hear?||Susan Boyle and Amber Stassi||$1.29|
|Play||4. Don't Dream It's Over||Susan Boyle||$1.29|
|Play||5. The First Noel||Susan Boyle||$1.29|
|Play||6. O Holy Night||Susan Boyle||$1.29|
|Play||7. Away In A Manger||Susan Boyle||$1.29|
|Play||8. Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace||Susan Boyle||$1.29|
|Play||9. Auld Lang Syne||Susan Boyle||$1.29|
|Play||10. O Come All Ye Faithful||Susan Boyle||$1.29|
The Gift, Susan Boyle's sophomore album, presents the listener with another set of masterful performances by an artist who shows herself to be in complete command of her instrument. Every song is superbly crafted to showcase Boyle's satiny soprano to absolute perfection.
Once again, as with her blockbuster debut I Dreamed A Dream, a somewhat eclectic mix of songs has been assembled, offering Boyle the chance to transform unexpected selections with her unique interpretations. Each song is delivered with delicacy and emotion. Boyle always manages to find the emotional core of her material, whether it be a pop classic like Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah or an oft-recorded Christmas standard. She is a master at eliciting an emotional response from her listeners that mirrors the feelings she expresses in song. Steve Mac, who produced both albums, understands that her voice should be the focal point of every song, and as with her debut he gives her the ideal setting to showcase her skills. The result is an album replete with songs polished to gem-like perfection.
Boyle's version of Lou Reed's Perfect Day is another stunning reinterpretation along the lines of Wild Horses from her first album. Her sensitive and nuanced vocals elicit both the joy of remembered happiness and the melancholy longing for lost love. To the three pop songs offered - Perfect Day, Hallelujah and Don't Dream It's Over - she brings depth, subtle power and unexpected passion. The rich instrumental and choral accompaniment provide the base above which Boyle's sweet soprano soars. She builds to the climax of every song through intense yet controlled emotion. Boyle understands, as many do not, that the power of a performance can come as readily from a singer's expression of the complex emotions a song evokes as it can from the raw power of her voice.
Even on what must be the millionth cover of Cohen's Hallelujah, Boyle manages to bring a surprising freshness. It is another song of love and loss, and her vocals are suffused with a regret that is tinged with anger. The result is an achingly beautiful rendition, the equal of any who has gone before her. Don't Dream It's Over is a more hopeful song, delivered with sensitivity. It is worth remarking that at the end the line, "We know they won't win," is repeated several times, as if to emphasize the singer's own determination to triumph in spite of the bullies and the critics who at times have tormented her. Just as with her version of Madonna's You'll See, Don't Dream It's Over is an affirmation that she has proven her detractors wrong, but in place of the former's angry intensity there is quiet assurance.
The other songs in the collection are for the most part Christmas classics. All of them are sung with a lovely reverence. O Holy Night and Away In A Manger are a standouts. Boyle's crystalline voice soars to worshipful heights, sweet and pure without being cloying. A traditional Scottish version of Auld Lang Syne offers a beautiful new interpretation that reinvigorates the Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) standard. The album ends on a grace note with an utterly beautiful rendition of O Come All Ye Faithful. To sum up, in The Gift Susan Boyle offers us a captivating album that provides a feast for both the senses and the soul.
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This newest album presents a triumph of managers and controllers. Susan is allowed to sing only slow, mournful songs in a strength barely above a whisper. Where she is allowed to expand a bit, the electronically-enhanced choir and the electronic accompaniment are elevated in volume to a level which all but eclipses Susan. This isn't fair to her. One has the impression that the handlers and managers are afraid of her breaking loose. I re-looked at her first performance on that stage in the talent show. She showed personal strength and character, and she put herself into that song. But even the same song professionally-reproduced in her first album simply has lost -- well -- Susan's own personality. She has power and personality. These should burst forth and bring goosebumps to us on such songs as "Hallalujah!" and "O Come All Ye Faithful". Instead, the latter song -- which should be the glorious wrapup to the album -- instead is a mournful dirge which ends, as one might say, not with a bang but a whimper. I don't think the producers have been fair to Susan, and I think their slick marketing of this album shows they're more interested in their suffocating production than in their showcasing of a fine performer. Just leave Susan to her own enormous talent on the next one. Remember, she stood alone on the stage when she gave the best performance of all.
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