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Customer Review

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best of, 27 Sept. 2005
This review is from: The Very Best of 1990-2000 (Audio CD)
Sarah Brightman crossed over from showtunes to ethereal pop over the years, changing her image with nearly every album. From the velvety grandeur of "Eden" to the sparkling "La Luna" to the surreal "Fly." Several of the best songs from the 1990-2000 period are included here, and except for a few omissions, it's a top-rate collection of singles.

It kicks off with two songs from her early pop period, the epic "Question of Honour" and organ-dominated "Heaven is Here." There's also a cover of the Bee Gees' "First of May." Then she dips into the melancholy "Who Wants to Live Forever," the rich "Tu Quiere Volver," the rich "Just Show Me How to Love You" and the pretty duet with Andrea Bocelli, "Time to Say Goodbye."

Then it's time for a look at Brightman's more recent creations. These songs tend to be more textured and symphonic, and less spacey. There's the hymnlike, vaguely sexy "Eden," ethereal "Nella Fantasia," the soaringly earthy "Deliver Me," and the aching "Only an Ocean Away." Taking on a more ethereal sound is the soft "Scarborough Fair," and richly psychedelic "Whiter Shade of Pale," followed by live versions of of "Captain Nemo" and "Mer." It wraps up on a sweet note with the silky, murmuring "The Last Words You Said."

Brightman has a good enough track record -- and a long enough career -- that it's hard not to wish for a two-disc set of her best songs from that era. With this release, Brightman has a chance to smooth over some of her odder past songs (like that Tom Jones duet) and focus just on the best she did in every album during that ten-year period. Some of her songs seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle. For example, where is the beautiful "Desert Rose"?

However, the musical arrangements are impeccable -- there's some electronica, orchestral pieces, and "Tu Quiere Volver" is lorded over by an acoustic guitar. Brightman also gets to show the full range of her vocals -- she sings sweetly or richly, and launches into operatic solos in songs like "Question of Honour."

And unlike a lot of "best of" albums, this is also a good place for newbies to start checking out Brightman's work. Die-hard Brightman fans will have everything but the live tracks, yet this is still a good collection.
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