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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Angels actually live amongst us
I'm not much of a 'Crossover' fan and a lot of Classical or Opera renditions leave me cold-especially from their unintelligible diction.
Many 'Famous' Divas I think, are past it because their "so called" professionally trained voices are harsh, unnatural, strained and brassy.
Hayley Westenra is quite simply, An Angel, sent down here to show us puny mortals that...
Published on 19 Oct. 2007 by Mr. Kevin Gallagher

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars This album is not so good comparing to her other
I own and have listened to nearly all albums made by Hayley. Unfortunately, Odyssey is not her best album, and I can give it only three stars. If you are looking for her best, better buy Pure special edition - her best 5 star album, My Gift to You or Treasure - 4 stars both or a decent compilation of best songs - River Of Dreams - The Very Best Of Hayley Westenra. Hope...
Published on 21 Dec. 2010 by Eugene


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Angels actually live amongst us, 19 Oct. 2007
By 
Mr. Kevin Gallagher (Wadebridge, Cornwall United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Odyssey (Audio CD)
I'm not much of a 'Crossover' fan and a lot of Classical or Opera renditions leave me cold-especially from their unintelligible diction.
Many 'Famous' Divas I think, are past it because their "so called" professionally trained voices are harsh, unnatural, strained and brassy.
Hayley Westenra is quite simply, An Angel, sent down here to show us puny mortals that heaven really does exist.
Her rendition of "Laudate Dominum" is the best I have heard in many a year and I'm 57. She has a soaring, effortless, golden voice which I can never tire of, I have had the above song on 'repeat' for Days!!!
One small critique; I thought the cellos were over-amped as they seem to
'Grind' like a worn gearbox but apart from that, 10 STARS.

Kevin Gallagher
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful voice, 28 Dec. 2006
By 
M. Eesa "damascene" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Odyssey (Audio CD)
I have only heard about Hayley Westenra a few days ago, so I thought I'd give it a go. I wasn't disappointed. Actually, I was impressed. This is a five-star album and Hayley has a really beautiful voice.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album!, 4 April 2006
This review is from: Odyssey (Audio CD)
Being a huge fan of Hayley Westenra I was delighted to see this new release. Having heard a clip of The Water Is Wide on her official website I can't wait to hear the full version. It is a song that is so suited to Hayley's voice and she performs it beautifully. Keeping some tracks from the original release of Odyssey and adding some new ones is a fantastic idea, the result being a more classical feel and I know that this new version is going to be even better than the previous release. This album has a look and the feel that is closer to Hayley's outstanding debut album Pure and I'm sure that Odyssey will repeat the phenomenal success of that album. Another great album from one of the most talented young voices in music today.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Voice of the Purist Kind ........., 7 Dec. 2010
By 
M. Hendry (Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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Some would suggest that Hayley Westenra has the voice of an Angel ..... and this might be so. For me though, and because that description is based on an ideological viewpoint, I would prefer to say that this beautiful singing voice is one of the purist I have ever heard.
The two standout tracks are now firmly established in my all-time favourites, and they are 'Prayer' and 'Quanta Qualia'. The latter is such an amazing performance, the listener could easily be forgiven for confusing Hayley's astonishing tones with those of a high pitched wind instrument at times, and the end result leaves a calmness and peace that is difficult to create through most musical arrangements.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hayley Westenra, Odyssey, 21 April 2006
By 
This review is from: Odyssey (Audio CD)
I really love the album and this re-release has a great variety of tracks.

I absolutely adore the Quanta Qualia track written by Patrick Hawes. It really shows off Hayley's voice and range to great effect. I hope she records more classical tracks like this in the future as it's simply stunning!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aural Bliss, 18 Mar. 2008
By 
Mukundan (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Odyssey (Audio CD)
Hayley Westenra's voice is breathtakingly soulful, and the choicest of superlatives I can think of fail to do justice to her music. 'On Both Sides Now' is delightful, soothing the listener with a gentleness one can hardly ever grow tired of.
'Prayer' is fantastic...and I could go on like this for ages....Hayley is surely a phenomenon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent album, 12 April 2010
By 
This review is from: Odyssey (Audio CD)
I've only recently come across Hayley and I have to say that I have really enjoyed listening to her music. The combination of her voice, song selection and instrumental accompaniment is so pleasing to listen to. Although I've bought 12 of her albums (most export), Odyssey is probably my favourite. There are so many good songs on this album (Decca have released this in three different versions - but I prefer the UK one). Songs 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12 & 13 are my favourites, if I had to choose one song it would probably be Quanta Qualia, since I think Hayley shows what she is really capable of with this song.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hayley at her best - so far, 24 Oct. 2008
This review is from: Odyssey (Audio CD)
The version of Odyssey I'm revieweing is the original one with the photo of Hayley on the seashore, but it's basically the same album as this one. There are a couple of track changes, but all the ones I've referred to are present on this version. The record company has an annoying habit of releasing different versions of the same album to make a new album sale for the sake of a couple of extra songs.

This is Hayley Westenra's most accomplished album so far. Her previous international album, Pure, showed a singer with real talent but recorded too early in her career, with expressiveness and diction insufficiently developed. Both faults are magnificently corrected on Odyssey, with Hayley singing with subtlety and richness and a warm clarity that brings the songs alive and brings her individual qualities over very strongly.

The choice of songs works very well, and the arrangements are lush without being overdone. In particular the production uses exactly the right amount of reverb to bring warmth without losing clarity, and because of that the instrumentation can be sparing enough to focus on individual instrument sounds and to provide a real sense of climax by subtle use of dynamics. The value of this becomes clear when contrasts are made with the much weaker follow-up album Treasure.

I'm not going to discuss every track, but merely note some highlights.

The opening song (on the original version of this album), Prayer, is quite simply stunning. Having heard the Pure album I really wasn't expecting anything this beautiful and powerful. I actually heard it for the first time when I played a copy of the CD that Hayley had very kindly signed as a present for my mother. I played it to check it was ok, and also because I was a little curious to see if the potential of the singer on Pure had blossomed. It certainly had, and I bought another copy of Odyssey for myself, which I certainly hadn't been expecting to do.

Everything about Prayer is perfect - Hayley's voice and expression, the arrangement, the production. This is a singer who can open up vistas of feeling with a single, carefully placed word or a perfectly phrased line. It's clear from this song what Hayley is capable of, given the right songs and the right arrangements and production.

There are many more highlights - Never Saw Blue, Both Sides Now (Hayley makes this song her own, which is no mean feat) - but special mention needs to be given to What You Never Know. Hayley is given a co-credit as a writer for this song, which is a little bit misleading. The song already existed and had been recorded before Hayley sang it, which puts Hayley in a bad light when people discover that fact. The fault is with the people who compiled the CD booklet, of course, and not with Hayley herself, but because she's the artist it reflects on her. A little more care along the lines of "With additions by Hayley Westenra" might have looked a lot better. But the important thing is, this little problem tends to obscure just what Hayley achieved with her addition. Quite simply, she totally altered the meaning of the song with a simple addition and took it into wholly new territory. As it stands, it isn't much of a song, but by adding a section around the inspired line "I'm falling for you" she changed the song into a much more complex analysis of conflicting emotions. What the person addressed will never know is the singer's hidden love, which she fears will be emotionally painful for the person she loves. That opens up whole areas of emotion, transforming Hayley's entire performance into an expression of mixed love, uncertainty and vulnerability. It's a stroke of genius, quite simply.

In my review of Treasure, the album that followed Odyssey, I expressed the view that Hayley is a person with great talent, held back by record company policies that keep her in the narrow confines of a particular style and range of appeal. She could transcend those limitations without losing most of her existing fan-base, keep the people who loved Odyssey but were disappointed by Treasure, and add many new people who don't listen to her at all because of the kind of songs she's known for singing. Odyssey is a glimpse of what Hayley can do. There could be so much more, and I strongly hope she'll be able to develop her undoubted talents without being sidetracked. She deserves respect from people who currently write her off as a naff singer for the granny market. And the interesting thing is, my mother, who should be part of that narrow market, agrees with this assessment. She said exactly the same things to me without knowing my views on the subject. I'm certainly glad it was this album Hayley signed for her. Thank you Hayley.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Odyssey, 28 Dec. 2011
By 
Amazon Customer (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Odyssey (Audio CD)
I own a few of her albums already, so I was expecting a very high standard of singing and composition. I was not disappointed. If anything I think this is the best album by her that I have listened to. Her voice is so good that it has a haunting feeling to it that makes you want to play it over and over again. Every so often I come across a singer that makes me stop in my tracks and listen. This album certainly achieves that and left me thinking "Wow that was great!" I should point out that I avoid listening to hymns of any kind and their inclusion in albums of this kind tends to put me off straight away. I was so intent on listening to her wonderful singing that I completely missed the fact that she was singing a hymn. I can only say that I was totally mesmerized by the whole experience. Any singer who can do that to me has got to be good. I would even put it into my top 10 albums of all time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Voice..., 12 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Odyssey (Audio CD)
Ever and again, Hayley mesmerizes with a voice of purity I have never encountered elsewhere. The arrangements are delightful, and sung with her trademark pure tone and genuine emotion. Beautiful lady, gorgeous voice, lilting and soothing, there is much to love. This album includes "May It Be", a song that moves with power and yet subtle inflections, and Hayley's signature style of "She Moves Through The Fair", and "The Water Is Wide". All have been covered by other great artists, but Hayley brings to each a unique touch only her own. Any weak tracks? No, but her number with Andrea Bocelli feels a bit unbalanced, his power shading Hayley.
Recommend? DEFINITE!
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Odyssey
Odyssey by Hayley Westenra (Audio CD - 2006)
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