Susan Boyle: The Gift

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Posted December 7, 2010 by J Matthew Cobb in Reviews 1.0

Scottish singer Susan Boyle goes for easy-listening, predictable Christmas magic on sophomore LP

It’s hard to not like Susan Boyle and it’s easy to not take her serious. A product of a reality-TV show usually discredits an artists’ rise to fame, but Boyle isn’t your typical pop star. By the way – depending on who you ask – lumping her into pop simply because she’s a Billboard 200 superstar feels tacky and cruel. But with her homely look and her angelic vocals – smooth enough to serenade Michael Buble and Josh Groban followers into a nap – the Brit reality-TV star has found some clever way into our hearts and on our radar of interesting music.

The Gift, one-half designed as popera versions of inspirational pop standards and the other pulling on holiday carols, bears nothing new or refreshingly imaginative to what we have so easily generalized for Boyle’s albums. And for a holiday album, you really don’t expect her to be ambitious. Staying true to the warmth and predictability of traditional holiday albums, “Away In a Manger,” “Auld Lang Syne” and an acoustic “O Holy Night” are injected, along with a duet with Amber Stassi on “Do You Hear What I Hear.” Boyle injects some creme de le creme into her hot mocha using Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and a Vienna Boys-esque rewrite of Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” The album’s crowning moment, no doubt, is her interpretation of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day;”- injected with posh piano executions reminiscent of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

For a quick picker-upper for the holidays after enduring the memory-lane sob stories culminated from long bouts with egg nog and cognac, The Gift is sure to be an excellent addition to the holiday disc changer. Its tranquil, therapeutic energy shouldn’t be so easily downgraded as being boring, even if it’s sorely predictable.

J MATTHEW COBB

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HIFI DETAILS

  • Release Date: 08 November 2010
  • Label: Syco/Columbia
  • Producers: Steve Mac
  • Track Favs: Perfect Day, Do You Hear What I Hear

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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