on 8 December 2013
I've always liked Girls Aloud and Kimba, so when she released this album I was super excited. I'm aware this is a stupid stereotype, but as a gay bloke the pairing of a Girls Aloud singer and musical theatre tracks is a match made in guilty pleasure heaven.
Kimberley's voice is smooth and calming, she gives each rendition her absolute best and the track list contains some real classics. My favourite tracks are 'On My Own' and 'Defying Gravity'. Kimberley does add her own spin to some of the songs, but the production still works wonderfully.
All in all this is a fab, relaxing listen, perfect for anyone who likes Kimberley. xx
on 8 February 2013
Ever since Nicola Roberts went solo, i've wondered why Kimberley has never ventured out on her own, as she has a beautiful voice, and personality. So this, her debut studio effort, may be a collection of covers, but for that fact alone you can't pass on it, because you have to base it on the quality of the covers themselves.
ONE DAY I'LL FLY AWAY: The album begins with this show-stopping cover of the original from Moulin Rouge!. Despite it being a complete reflection of the original, Kimberley's adaptation is not something to be passed over, as in many respects, it reworks the original with magic and flair. (5/5) ON MY OWN: Kimberley's adaption of the original from Les Miserables completely outshines the original. It breathes life into a track which i've always regarded as dull, with littered production. But Kimberley manages to somehow find light in the darkness, and turn this into a beautiful ballad. (5/5) SOMEWHERE: Not my first choice for a musical covers album. Although it suits the narrative of West Side Story perfectly, it's not something that really works out of context. But saying that, it's not a failiure either. It just lacks a little spark as a solo outing. (4/5) FALLING SLOWLY FT. RONAN KEATING: Keating's voice brings homage to the original masterpiece from Once, as the pair take off this classic duet with poignance and style. A beautiful ballad, which reflects both of the performers voices with bright, beautiful tones. (5/5) MEMORY: The deep, subtle guitar chord at the start of the track really sets the premise, and it continues by being built upon with Kimberley's layered, yet startling vocal performance. A pleasing take on the original from Cats, and something that should keep the original writers of the piece happy. (4/5) DEFYING GRAVITY: The first up-tempo number on the album, and a pleasing change from the otherwise ballad-swamped first half, although i'm not saying that's a bad thing at all. A very Girls Aloud-esque number, in similar in many ways to the girls' cover of "I'll Stand By You". Would like to see this released as a single, as i'm sure it would perform well in the charts. (5/5)
I STILL BELIEVE FT. LOUISE DEARMAN: I was surprised when i discovered that 'I Still Believe' would be covered for the album, as it in it's original form, it is a masterpiece, and that Kimberley would even attempt to cover it. And the results, frankly are a bit lackluster. All of the originality is lost, and to go as far as saying that the track is a reworking is an insult. It's just a bit too much musical karaoke for me. (2/5) DREAMS CAN LEARN TO FLY: One of the two original numbers on the album. Tight production and strong vocal ability allow this track to fit amongst all of the others, as if it were taken from a musical itself. In fact, at some point in the future, i can imagine some big wig playwright snapping this up for the next hit broadway musical. (5/5) ANOTHER SUITCASE IN ANOTHER HALL: The choral addition to this wonderfully reworked ballad, that blends a strong mix of guitars and drums, is just a taste of perfection. Kimberley truly makes this track her own, just how the rest of the album should be carried off. (5/5) HUSHABYE MOUNTAIN: Another reason to be skeptical about this album. It's just one of those songs that is destined to stay in a musical, and not really suitable for being remade into a solo album track. I'm not really sure by this point if Kimberley made the right choices as to which tracks to record for the album, as they're are plently of better tracks to cover. (3/5) AS LONG AS HE NEEDS ME: And then we move into a cabaret-style piano and tamborine piece, that looks like it was taken directly out of the jukebox from an American adult establishment. When i first read the tracklisting, i thought of so many different avenues which can be explored with this song, and sadly, Kimberley has failed to explore any of them. (2/5) YOU LOVED ME FIRST: The album's second original song, and closing piece. A pleasantly surprsing number, which is rumoured to be this year's entry to the Eurovision song contest. And if so, i think we have a great chance of winning this year. It's a beautifully structured piece, which has elegance and grace, as well as excitement, to allow it to stand out. (5/5)
So all in all, i think the album is very mixed in creation, with amazing covers, such as "One Day I'll Fly Away" and "Falling Slowly", other outstanding moments such as "Defying Gravity" and "You Loved Me First", but is sadly let down by some lackluster covers, mainly being "As Long As He Needs Me" and "I Still Believe". So, as much as Kimberley wants to hold Centre Stage, perhaps it should only be for a short time, as Girls Aloud is a much better day job than churning out cover albums, which, as this, fail to quite hit the mark in all areas. A good effort, however.