More of the same from Susan Boyle
The music of Susan Boyle answers to a certain demographic of music buffs who get their fix from prettified, decelerated versions of ballads and standards that either soothe frayed nerves or put their listeners to sleep.
But, the 50-year-old “Britain’s Got Talent” alumna’s lovely mezzo-soprano voice deserves more than the cloying ennui that ensues after listening to her too-similar-sounding repertoire. So, she and her artistry need to evolve and “diversify” to give her music a boost of adrenaline.
Boyle is still a hit—but, her presence on the music charts is no longer as formidable as it used to be: The No. 4 bow of her third album, “Someone To Watch Over Me,” on the Billboard 200 is a far cry from the chart-topping debuts of “The Gift” and her first recording, “I Dreamed A Dream,” which sold 701,000 copies on its first week! The new album managed to push “only” 132,000 copies when it opened last month.
To be fair, the new disc features a few out-of-the-box innovations that turn New Wave into New Age via Depeche Mode’s strangely appealing “Enjoy The Silence,” and rehash Adam Lambert’s ethereal cover of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World.” But, for the most part, the lineup is more somnolent (“Lilac Wine”) than sunshiny (“This Will Be The Year”).
Boyle’s devotees will be pleased to find more of the same: In fact, if you still haven’t had your fill of “I Dreamed A Dream,” you’ll be more than happy to listen to “You Have To Be There,” originally written by Abba’s Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus for the Swedish musical, “Kristina From Duvemala.” The show tune channels Fantine’s aria from Boublil and Schonberg’s “Les Miserables.”
This time, you’ll likewise hear the talented quinquagenarian using more of her chest tones, as she demonstrates in the second half of “Return.” But, it’s interesting to note that, as the measure speeds up, she sometimes goes out of sync.
Other familiar tunes include Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” the title track, “Someone To Watch Over Me,” and the emotionally charged “Unchained Melody.”
For edgier vocals, listen to “This Will Be The Year,” which, the singer says, reflects her renewed level of confidence: “The performer in me is now more mature and at ease. This song shows how I’ve grown from a wee, scared girl to a full-fledged performer!”
It took Boyle decades to get people to “listen” to her—but, she’s raring to continue evolving. She muses: “Singing is my sanctuary—it’s my bubble, where no one can harm me!”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.