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Shine CD

4.9 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

Price: £15.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Aug. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B004T1OO5S
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,223 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Mary-Jess made front page news for being the British student who won a Chinese equivalent of The X Factor in 2010, voted the winner by an audience of 70 million. Her debut album, Shine, introduces the voice from the West with a sound for the East with a dreamlike sound-world conjured up by top producer Ross Cullum (the man behind hit albums by artists such as Tori Amos and Enya). Mary-Jess’ contest-winning song is, of course, included: "Yue Guang Ai Ren (A Love For All Time)", from the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, complete with chorus in Mandarin. Also features "An Angel Walking" (Michael Nyman’s haunting folk-theme from The Piano), and the self-penned "Stand As One" and "My Own Sunrise".

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When I heard some samples from this album I thought that it was nothing special and that I had heard it before, however after reading the reviews on here and hearing A Love Before Time in full I thought I would give it a chance and I am glad I did. I think I dismissed Mary-Jess too soon and after listening to the album it turns out that she has a beautiful voice and is very talented. On this album she has co-written many of the songs and I think all of the songs are well chosen for her voice and it is very cohesive as a sound and as a message and shine really sums up the message of the songs. I love how the album sounds very Enya like and I love the chinese influence on the album and the use of different instruments and percussion to get this sound.

Some of my favourites:

Are You The Way Home? This is really catchy, you can hear the chinese influence- a lovely song
Lighthouse of Mine- I love the message of this song
Glorious- I thought this would be boring after hearing a sample, but is really shows Mary-Jess' range.
A Love Before Time- it is worth buying this album for this song alone, Mary-Jess sounds even better in chinese than English, I think she should do a whole album of chinese songs- this is really atmospheric and really well done.
Burning Love- this has amazing orchestration- especially towards the end.
An Angel Walking- I think this is based on 'The Promise' from the film the piano- the lyrics are good and I love this melody.

This is just a few of the good tracks- the ones that stand out for me- Mary-Jess is very talented and she deserved to do very well. Buy this album and you will not regret it, Mary-Jess has real talent!!
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Format: Audio CD
Mary-Jess Leaverland is a student studying Music and Chinese at the University of Sheffield. Her course involved work-experience in China and it was there, singing in Chinese, she won a competition (the Chinese equivalent of X-Factor).

This debut album has twelve top-quality songs, with strong poetry in the lyrics; seven were co-written by Mary-Jess. Her voice is outstanding, her diction clear and the recording is excellent.

The opening track (the best of all in my opinion) "Are You The Way Home?" shows the Chinese influence in her music and Track 8, the delightful "Yue Guang Al Ren" (A love before time), is sung largely in Chinese. Track 2, "Glorious", with a strong orchestrated rhythm from percussion and strings, shows the full range of her capabilities.

Other particularly strong songs include; Track 3 "Lighthouse Of Mine" (heart-warming poetry), Track 4 "Rising From The Fire", Track 11 "Burning Love" (with a wonderful piano climax) and Track 12 "Heaven Is Empty" (where again the Chinese Influence is unmistakable). In fact there isn't a duff song on the album - the CD notes include all the song lyrics over which it is worth meditating. In common with the other reviewers. I have no hesitation in recommending this outstanding and unique album.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered Shine long before its original release and, nearly six months on, it is still my most played album; so much so that I recently bought a second copy to be sure of always having it available both in the car and indoors.
The album opens in style with the bubbly yet dreamy 'Are You the Way Home'. I also love the official video for this track.
'Glorious' has become Mary-Jess's trademark song, and definitely lives up to its name.
Brilliant as the first two tracks are, it is the third, 'Lighthouse of Mine', that is my absolute favourite from the album. Starting so simply, those first few notes always set my emotions reeling in anticipation of what is to come; frequently it sets the tears rolling down my cheeks.
Every heart-warming track is worth listening to in its own right, yet special mention must be made of the achingly beautiful 'My Own Sunrise' and 'Burning Love'.
Mary-Jess's beautiful voice calms me yet excites me. Its seemingly fragile quality at times just adds to the exquisite appeal of this album for me. Shining like a beacon, it keeps drawing me back towards it.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Crossover tends to gain negative press for having lack of creativity, vision and originality consisting of albums full of Nella Fantasias, Time To Say Goodbyes and Ave Marias. As sad as it to admit, the criticism is not unfounded in today's UK mainstream crossover.

Over the years, Decca has been one of the UK's worst offenders of churning out unoriginal, safe albums (though nowhere near as bad as Syco, to be fair). They seem to have a crossover track list of about 30 songs to choose from which they get out with every new crossover album. Uninspired releases like Joe McElderry's "Classic" and Laura Wright's 'The Last Rose' demonstrate they are not about to give up this tactic but Mary-Jess's 'Shine' (and Hayley Westenra's 'Paradiso') gives us that beautiful ray of hope that, as the UK's top crossover provider, we can still be presented with strokes of individuality and musicality in a genre that is constantly threatened by stagnation.

Every song on this warm and uplifting album is original, many of which Mary-Jess can claim writing credits. Most fortunately, Mary-Jess escaped Cowell's grasp when she auditioned for the UK X-Factor but was rejected. Chance led her to China's equivalent where she won in front of 70 million viewers. This is highly relevant to the ground works of this album as it infuses Western and Eastern sounds - and to marvellous effect. The Chinese influence is strong enough to give us something new, but not so strong that it alienates us. The album's stand out track, 'Glorious', has no obvious foreign sounds but still manages to sound exotic. The instantly catchy 'Are You the Way Home' does use very apparent Eastern sounds, but they are recognisable to us, enabling us to identify what we're are listening to so we're never uncomfortable.
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