Thursday, November 19, 2009

Susan Boyle: Who'd A Thunk?

From AP: "The upcoming debut album by British singing sensation Susan Boyle has become the largest global CD pre-order in the history of Amazon.com. Boyle's album "I Dreamed a Dream" will be released Nov. 24 by Sony Music. It is the first album since the 48-year-old church volunteer from Scotland took the Internet by storm with her unlikely star turn on the TV show 'Britain's Got Talent' in April. Amazon says that Boyle's album is not only the top CD pre-order in the U.S., but also the biggest around the world in the 14-year history of its web site."

I'm listening to the album now, and I must say, the studio version of "I Dreamed A Dream," while more acoustic, more thoughtful, sans the fab bravado, is as potent as that original live performance that made her a worldwide sensation... while the rest of the disc is more to my liking than I imagined. Frankly, I could live happily without ever hearing yet another version of "Cry Me A River," but "How Great Thou Art" makes me feel downright reverent (and that's saying something), while "You'll See"—a Madonna cover(!!)—demonstrates this lady's heartfelt intensity to the core. Acoustic Monkees' "Daydream Believer"? Bizarre. "Amazing Grace" and "The End of the World"... odd as hell, but somehow, curiously appreciable, if only for her accessible, endearing warble.

This is definitely an adult brunch album, but the production is appreciably huge, primarily orchestral, and has absolutely nothing to do with what's popular in the American marketplace—the ultimate compliment! I have no idea what could be released as a single in Europe, possibly "Proud," a beautiful ballad, or luscious, anthemic "Who I Was Born To Be," being touted as a song written especially for Boyle.

In any case, she will certainly never be called an underdog again. Chew on that, Lady GaGa.