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The Good just got Better
on 8 November 2007
Rejoice is the 5th studio album (excluding imports which are largely the same as the UK versions) by Katherine Jenkins. The album stands apart from its predecessors for two reasons: Katherine's new image, and the style of music represented on this latest release.
Firstly the image. Gone is the girl next door look (`Premiere' album cover) to be replaced, thanks to the photographic skills of `Rankin', with an appearance that now does her full justice, as anyone who has seen her live or on TV will probably agree. The cover and sleeve booklet images are in a league above anything seen on her previous albums.
Also, the front cover does show a striking resemblance to Andrea Bocelli's `Sacred Arias' 2002 album, notably with the lack of eye contact and similar smile, and this I think can only be regarded as a compliment to Bocelli. (Incidentally, the 35 x 35cm poster included with the limited edition CD version is from the same photo session as the cover, but this time with eye to camera contact).
Second is the style of music, which is a diversion from that of the previous albums. Until now the song choice has been predominantly classical, opera and traditional mixed with some popular pieces. This time it's completely reversed, with the majority of the album consisting of (relatively) modern popular music, including many songs written specifically for this album.
The new songs such as the title track `Rejoice', `How do you leave the one you love', and `I will Pray For You' are romantic ballads by Steve Mac and Wayne Hector (Westlife, Il Divo, Leona Lewis, Kelly Clarkson songwriters). Other new compositions like `Shout in Silence' and `Viva Tonight' are contributions by Gary Barlow of Take That.
The classics, and of course there should be some, include `Sancta Maria' (Intermezzo from Mascagni's opera Cavelleria Rusticana) and `Be Still My Soul' (Finlandia by Sibelius).
The unusual are `Somewhere' by Leonard Bernstein, `Secret Love' by Sammy Fain for the 1953 film Calamity Jane, and the 1995 Seal hit `Kiss From a Rose'. These are inspired choices which really do add originality and variety to the album.
The surprises are `I (Who Have Nothing)' based on the traditional Italian love song `Uno dei tanti' (One of the Many) made popular by Dame Shirley Bassey, and perhaps not so surprising is the live `Green Green Grass of Home', complete with enthusiastic cheers and wolf whistles from the Millenium Stadium fans. Great stuff to make you smile.
The special, and my favourite of the album, is the heart rending `requiem for a Soldier' which I think reveals Katherine Jenkins at her emotionally deepest and vocally accomplished. This is a special song for a very special album.
Rejoice will no doubt exceed all previous album sales, and deservedly so, for I think it easily surpasses anything Katherine has released so far.