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4.4 out of 5 stars
The Last Rose
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2011
This is a brilliantly recorded debut album with a high-quality content. Laura's voice, particularly in its lower registers, is particularly well suited to the traditional folk genre and her diction is perfect, allowing the words to be heard with clarity. Some of the arrangements, particularly towards the end of certain songs, force her voice into the upper registers for no apparent reason - other than to show her full capabilities.

With the exception of "Now Sleeps The Crimson Petal" (an excellent arrangement and performance of a Tennyson poem) and Lavender's Blue (delightful), most of the rest of the songs are fairly common on albums of this type. However there are atleast four outstanding versions of songs on this album; "Scarborough Fair" (where the haunting quality of her voice is well suited to a song about being in league with the Devil); "Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes" (where Laura's pure voice and the simplicity of the arrangement allow the wonderful words to speak for themselves), "The Ash Grove" (the best I've heard, lovely touches on the harp appropriate to a song of Welsh origin) and My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean" (wonderful sound and delightfully uncomplicated); the disc would be worth purchasing for the versions of these four songs alone. Excellent value too.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2011
Being a fan of All Angels I have known about Laura Wright for a while and she was one of my favouries from that group so when I heard she would be releasing a solo album I knew I had to have it and I'm very glad that I bought it. This album consistis of folk songs which may seem like a given for a classical singer, but what makes this album so good is the mix that is on it and also the orchestration which was done by Mealor and Rutter and others and it is done very well. The opening of 'The Last Rose' is very LOTR like which I love. I usually do a track by track, but I won't for this because lots of these songs will be familiar to most people, however I will pick out a few that are my favourites:

I Know Where I'm Going- this one was new to me, I had never heard it before, but it is beautiful
Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes- This again is one I had never heard, but again the melody and orchestration are beautiful
Lavender's Blue- I have not heard this song in a long time and it reminds me of primary School when we used to sing songs like this and The Skye Boat Song, both of these songs allow Laura to use her higher range which is a joy to hear.
Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal- I wasn't sure about this when I first heard it, but I have really grown to like this arrangement and the lyrics are beautiful.
Scarborough Fair- this is very good, its low which is a good contrast to the rest of the album and the guitar is a really nice touch, this one is not too orchestral as it is more stripped down with just srings and guitar.
O Wally Wally- many classical singers record this, but this one has lyrics I have never heard before and so adds something different.

Laura's voice is a really strong clear soprano and all of these songs suit her and show different aspects of her voice, I personally love folk songs and I think it is important to keep the tradition of them going especially the more unusual ones. This is an amazing album and really worth having- I would recomend it to everyone.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2011
I listened to this album as a dyed-in-the-wool folk fan, and was initially unsure if I would enjoy what I had read to be traditional songs arranged for a classical singer and full orchestra. This was a brave thing to do, to put a whole new twist on a sacred tradition but it has more than worked. There is an ethereal quality about these songs that brings their tradition into sharp relief, the stories even better for the telling through these alternative renditions.

The voice is beautiful, with a quality that stays with you - the songs in the lower register more than others when one feels closer to the singer. There is a delicacy to the singers voice and occasional glimpses of the depth yet to come. The arrangements by Rutter are superb, as is Scarborough Fair, those by Patrick Hawes work well but at times they make the singer's voice exercise itself unnecessarily in octave leaps for no apparent reason save to do something new with the melody.

Listening to this album I learnt more about folk music, saw it through new eyes and how wonderful to have such a young person championing this type of music through her own genre.

Overall a beautiful, intriguing and rewarding listen.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 4 September 2011
This album is everything the adverts said it was. The production is well balanced and you feel that Laura is in the room, singing just for you. Let's have some more.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 13 August 2011
What a surprise. I heard the title track on Classic FM (not my favourite radio station, I have to admit) and was pleasantly surprised by Laura Wright's voice and the orchestration of 'The Last Rose'. So far, so good, but my heart sank a little when I checked out the album on Spotify. 'Scarborough Fair', again? This song should be outlawed as it infests almost every classical/crossover album going that treads the water of traditional classics. And some of the sequencing leaves a lot to be desired ('I Know Where I'm Going' hot on the heels of 'The Last Rose' flirts dangerously close to 'familiarity breeds contempt' - and it's the second track on the album!). However, the orchestrations of these traditional songs are wonderfully restrained - no orgasmic OTT show-tune renditions here! - allowing Laura's voice to do all of the work. Sometimes, it has to be said, it's a voice that almost staggers under the weight of its own solo responsibility, but she has a beautiful, crystal clear singing voice and carries the familiar melodies to an original place.

I was pleased to see 'The Ash Grove' on here (a song I've not heard in years) and it's a real stand-out track, along with 'The Last Rose' and the charming inclusion of 'Skye Boat Song', 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean' and 'Lavender's Blue.'

I'm no fan of these sorts of albums. They are usually ill-conceived grotesque parodies of what they should be, but Laura Wright's solo debut album is a delightful, charming and welcome addition to any music lovers collection. 8/10
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 8 September 2011
Laura is a very welcome newcomer to our ears and her first album is a credit to her. Without doubt we British have the best female and male young artist in the world, but I must also include Hayley Westenra to that list.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 January 2015
Laura's pure voice is a rarity these days. Beautifully sung but I found the CD is just a little bit "samey" which is more to do with the production than the artist. Maybe this is something they will address for her next Alban?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2011
This tape brings back memories of school days, when we sang slightly different versions of one or two of the pieces! Bought primarily as a joke for my husband, but in fact we love the tape for it's beatiful content and lovely voice of Laura Wright.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 15 September 2011
Ordered one copy for personal use and one as a gift for my 14 year old grandson. A delightful selection. Most enjoyable . Received a "rave" from my grandson so must be good!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2011
I bought this CD for my husband as it is more his type of music than mine usually, but I did enjoy this and such a beautiful voice, ready for more!
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