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Can Katherine do no wrong?,
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This review is from: Serenade (Audio CD)
Serenade, released in 2006, is the 4th album (excluding imports, which are largely the same as the UK versions) by Katherine Jenkins. Just like her previous albums this too enjoyed huge commercial success, reaching No. 1 in the classical charts, and in its first week of release sold 50,000 copies making it the fastest selling classical CD in the UK.
But these are just sales figures, which reflect only the popularity of an artist, so what of the selection of songs for this release?
The general theme of the last three albums has been retained - a selection of opera, classical, popular and traditional music, and while such diverse range of music will inevitably mean some listeners find something they don't like, it also helps capture a wider audience than, for example, an entire opera-themed album would. Some will say it's a case of playing safe, while others will welcome the opportunity to diversify their musical appreciation.
For me this is easily Katherine Jenkins' most accomplished studio album to date. The opening track is the Bryan Adams massive 1991 hit `(Everything I Do) I Do It For You' and is sung in Italian (with Adam's on acoustic guitar) to great effect. This is so much more suited to her voice and style than some of the choices (for example `I Will Always Love You') on her previous albums.
The modern classics such as `Nella Fantasia' and `Granada' are here, so too the traditional such as `Green Green Grass of Home' and `Lisa Lan' (folk song, Welsh of course), and they are sung with the usual effortless grace we've come to expect from Katherine.
The highlights, and they really are special I think, are the `The Flower Duet', which is sung to brilliant effect with Dame Kiri Te Kanewa, and the dreamy `Canon' by Pachelbel which is expertly transcribed by Simon Franglen for keyboards (which he plays), instruments and vocals. There are actually two vocal lines on this track, one high one low, both by Katherine, and the overdubbing is so carefully recorded that it works to spectacular effect.
For me there's only two minus points with this album, the first being one of the opera choices, `Chanson Boheme' from Bizet's `Carmen', which Katherine seems to struggle with on the `Tra la la' chorus. It's surprising really, for I've seen her sing this piece live and didn't notice any problems, but given her stunning appearance in flamboyant flame-red dress perhaps my concentration lapsed for a moment (!).
My only other issue is (again) the cover photo and enclosed sleeve artwork, which are credited to Bryan Adams. Bryan's a great songwriter, a great guitarist and can take lovely candid photos of Katherine. But world class fashion photographer he's not, and that's what the CD cover needed.
That aside, this is a brilliant album, her best so far I think.