Susan Boyle, The Gift
While the winner of 2009’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ was dance troupe Diversity, it’s Susan Boyle who has gained world-wide fame, and her loyal fans are buying records by the truck load. On her second album The Gift, Boyle and producer Steve Mac take a huge chance by putting together a mix of traditional Christmas carols and popular rock-pop songs.
The gamble really pays off. Not only are the carols really easy to enjoy and excellently arranged but the covers are completely over-produced and polished. Usually, this is a very bad idea, but Boyle’s vocals are so extravagant that they demand this kind of grand production. Lou Reed’s “A Perfect Day” is turned into a triumphant and soaring ballad and “Do You Hear What I Hear” is remixed with swirling echo effects. I was hoping for a dense club beat to kick in midstream but, alas, perhaps on the next Christmas album.
Saying all that, The Gift is no grand slam; Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”doesn’t quite fit Boyle’s peppy persona and the middle begins to fall flat if you actually sit down and critique it. But really, The Gift is just meant to be pleasant backround music as you get ready for the holidays. Nothing new here and, for now, that will do just fine. (Columbia Records)
Rating: 2/5 Stars