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Secret Symphony

4.7 out of 5 stars 161 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 Mar. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Dramatico
  • ASIN: B005M61PGA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,623 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

Secret Symphony, Katie’s fifth studio album, is an exquisite collection of songs that perfectly showcases that unique, instantly recognisable voice. Those songs include ‘All Over The World’ (Françoise Hardy), ‘Gold In Them Hills’ (Ron Sexsmith), ‘Nobody Knows You’ (Jimmie Cox) and ‘Moonshine’ (Fran Healy). Katie’s also written her own song ‘Forgetting All My Troubles’, and she teams up with manager and producer Mike Batt on ‘Heartstrings’ & ‘Lone Wolf’. Batt also contributes title track ‘Secret Symphony’, ‘The Walls Of The World’, ‘Better Than A Dream’ and ‘The Bit That I Don’t Get’. The result is a collaboration that imbues the songs with a distinct personality that could only be the work of this creative team. The record allows Katie’s distinctive voice and the songs to truly shine.

BBC Review

For her latest album, Secret Symphony, Katie Melua embraces songs old and new, cleverly chosen and winningly sung. She makes each song her very own, so much so that one wouldn't know that her cover versions hadn't been written for her. She is ably assisted by Mike Batt, whose long experience as a songwriter and producer is evident.

The earliest song here, Nobody Knows When You're Down and Out from 1923, presents a timely lyric on the theme of the transitory status of wealth while it swings gently in a Dixieland arrangement with tuba emphasising the revivalist spirit in the bassline. Other singers may have tapped deeper into its New Orleans roots, but Melua's expressive handling of the lyric is just as affecting for being understated.

The gentle nature of many of these songs suits her lyrical, youthful voice. There's a prevailing air of optimism to many lyrics of open country, which are complemented by imaginative arrangements that don't distort the spirit of the originals. The opener, Ron Sexsmith’s Gold in Them Hills, and the lovely Heartstrings, written by Melua and Batt, both tap into this vein; likewise Françoise Hardy's All Over the World, a trip down memory lane to 1965, but perhaps she should have sung this in its original French language.

The whimsical lyric to Moonshine, a gentle rocker with acoustic colouring, suits Melua to a tee. A song of her own, Forgetting All My Troubles, avoids the maudlin through a sleight of hand in the harmony. Another new song, The Bit That I Don't Get, is a cautionary tale with a country edge in the instrumentation, recalling a similar scene in the Rogers and Hart torch song It Never Entered My Mind. Overall, this is a very relaxing album to while away an hour, and it's beautifully recorded.

--Adrian Edwards

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Whilst I admit to being a fan of Katie Melua music I had lost touch with her for, what I would like to say was, a couple of years but may have been even longer. It was in this context that act of booking to see a live performance in the magical environs of Hampton Court was made in act of good faith. Oh but how this act was repaid. It was not so much the old favourites that captivated the audience but, even more so, the new songs. Songs that contained a Katie Melua signature; but as if they were a left handed signature from a right handed person. Familiar, and yet hauntingly different. Secret Symphony is now my favourite Katie Melua album and i hope that I do not have to wait quite as long for the next one; although as she is about to get married I suspect that i might have to.
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Format: Audio CD
I've always liked Katie Melua's voice and have all of her albums - in particular I loved `Piece by Piece' but found `Pictures' a bit of a slog, so was pleased with the change in direction with the William Orbit produced `The House'. For the `Secret Symphony', KM is back with Mike Batt and I feared a `Pictures 2' but how wrong I was. This album has excellent production, coupled with some great songs, that showcases KM's voice and talent superbly. This is perfectly illustrated by the excellent cover of `Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out' - now officially my favourite Katie Melua album.
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Format: Audio CD
After the last album caused so many to argue she's lost it,trying to change her style a little,she comes back with something closer to what she's known for.
Personally,i loved THE HOUSE,but i'm also very much into the softer side of Melua,so this is fine by me.
Stand out songs for me are GOLD IN THEM HILL and THE BIT THAT I DON'T GET,but there's nothing on here i don't like,plus her voice is as beautiful as ever.
Now this is what i call a singer,you can keep your AMY WINEHOUSES or MARIA CARIEYS,KATIE MELUA beats them hands down in my view.
It seems a few found this dull,perhaps if they let it grow on them so that the tracks become familiar,let's face it,after THE HOUSE,people said she needs to back to the softer stuff,but now this is too bland for them,she just can't win. But saying that,she's still a winner in my eyes ...and ears.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Back to where she started. Good songs , beautifully sung , with excellent backing / orchestration.
No "rocking rubbish". Also back with the depth that Mike Batt brings.
Lovers of melody and "Close to Crazy" - this is for you.
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Thi latest CD from Katie Melua is absolutely great. If you like her style of music and sultry tones this CD won't disappoint.
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Format: Audio CD
I have always admired the talents of Katie Melua but looked forwarded to this release with a little apprehension. Her last CD "The House" was an interesting experiment but sadly did not work and so it with joy that she returns to working with Mike Batt. This CD is probably the best she has made in her career. They work so well together, it is perfect harmony. I've only listened to the CD twice and already I have several favourites. "The Bit That I Don't Get" is sheer brilliance - I've been there and the song says it all. "Nobody Knows When....." is a classic of another age and Katie realy brings her jazz influences to the fore. With just 11 songs I know that each of them is going to become a personal favourite. The only "complaint" is that the version of "All Over The World" is just a straight copy of Francouise Hardy and I would have liked some personal influence rather than copying the original - I can see why they selected it though, the voices are so similar. Welcome back Katie, this is a really superb CD, a truly gifted relationship between Katie and Mike Batt.
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I wont review this track by track as others have already done a fine job of this previously. All I have to say is Katie is back at her supreme best doing what she is good at. Attempts at being a rock chick I am glad to say have been dropped.

Instead beautifully crafted songs sung with absolute clarity and pure emotion. Just put your feet up, pour a large glass of wine and let the music flow over you, this album is superb!!
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Secret Symphony well maybe we all like secrets I'm sure I'm in love with this album. Not just because it is a beautiful album but also here is a secret Katie Melua, I met in Birmingham, 2006 I knew nothing of her only what she told me that day. I was looking for my bus at the time and was struggling as I'm partially sighted and was having problems finding the bus station. I saw this lovely young lady across the street could only make out her outline until she crossed over and came close to me to chat. She had lovely dark hair like silk. And was about same height as me. I suppose you could say in a word I was spellbound especially by her eyes but I never said anything about them of course how amazing they were. Instead I asked where the bus station was. She said she didn't know, she was not from the area. But to cut a long story short I asked other questions; where was she from, what does she do and where she presently lives. She said she is from Georgia originally, (next to Russia) that she sings and presently lives in London. I just couldn't think what else to say, after all what did I know about music? Not much. Though I thought of number of things, but knew they could sound daft. I wanted to make good first impression because she was so lovely. So maybe she saw I was awe struck and smiling she pointed to where buses were coming from. Then she said politely "I really must go now". I thanked her for her kind help and hoped I would see her again someday, then several month later my friend who was autistic wanted to learn to play guitar and we found a free guitar website called justinguitar and there I saw Katie's picture, Justin had taught her to play guitar from scratch. I have since been to see Katie 3 times in concert. And gladly bought all her albums and recent single. Katie, never told me she was famous of course, but maybe she knew I might find her again.
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