I've been looking forward to hearing more from Paul Potts for a long time, and was not disappointed by this wonderful ten track album, which kept me entertained and uplifted for all 38 minutes of its running time. Is that too short for an album? Those who don't like Paul Potts would say it's too long, but let's not talk about them anymore. Thanks to there being such a good variation of music across the album I'd say that the running time is just right.
The album starts off well with a rousing version of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, except of course that it's in Italian. I expected to think of the English words when listening to it, but he really makes it his own, and that's no small challenge. The next song is Sei Con Me - a duet with the lovely Hayley Westenra, and has fast become one of my favourite classical duets. Next comes the haunting string introduction to Un Giorno Per Noi, and when his voice comes in, Paul does the rousing melody of this song full justice. Il Canto is the perfect choice for a follow on song, but then we get to A Whiter Shade of Pale (or, if you translate the Italian title back into English, Without Light), which I didn't feel worked as well turned into an aria as the next song - Memory. Memory is the one song I thought before listening could be a disaster - not because of its translation to Italian (it's been done before, and excellently sung by Sarah Brightman), but because I couldn't imagine it being sung so deeply. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself really enjoying it.
The next three tracks - Mamma, Tristesse, and especially the beautiful song Bellamore - show a tenderness to Paul's voice, as - in quite a different way - does the heartrending finale E Lucevan Le Stelle, which doesn't so much end the album on a crescendo but on a feeling of loss and regret. I don't see how anyone could regret buying this album though, as Paul has a wonderfully rich and heartfelt voice. He may not be liked by some people, whatever their motives may be, but if you like his voice then I feel that you will really enjoy this album. I'm genuinely glad I bought it.