THE LATEST ALBUM RELEASES RATED AND REVIEWED
JOHN LEGEND A LEGENDARY CHRISTMAS ★★★★★
FROM the very first note you can tell this is going to be a modern classic Christmas album... What Christmas Means To Me even has Stevie Wonder on harmonica – talk about starting strong!
Silver Bells is equally as great, and it makes you wonder why it has taken so long for the multiplatinum singer-songwriter to record these classic tracks. The upbeat funkiness of the first two tracks drops with a smooth and jazzy Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas featuring singer and bassist Esperanza Spalding and this continues with the rich and bluesy Merry Christmas Baby. The whole tinsel-strewn affair is rounded off with a bouncy and fun rendition of Merry Merry Christmas.
BROODING, disconnected, an ever-present sense of dread and paranoia... it’s easy to see why Luca Guadagnino, the Italian director behind the new remake of 1977 horror classic Suspiria, wanted Thom Yorke to write the soundtrack. The 23-track album – the Radiohead singer’s first full film score – features some insanely beautiful songs. Open Again is a smothering slow-roller enveloped by swirling delay loops, while Unmade – a fragile falsetto piano ballad that shatters into tiny fragments – could easily have made it on to a Radiohead record.
THIS new album reminds the listener that the Italian singer’s voice is as beautiful and as powerful as ever.
What makes this record exciting is Bocelli’s work with a range of artists. Fall On Me, a duet with his son Matteo, is a moving piece, similarly, Bocelli’s collaboration with Ed Sheeran seamlessly blends the voices and styles. Other pairings are less successful. Dua Lipa is drowned out by Bocelli and, while Raphael Gualazzi’s piano accompaniment is impressive on Vertigo, his style seems to clash with Bocelli’s vocals. On the whole Si is beautifully classic: simple, yet astonishing. Perhaps just a few of those collaborations could have been solo efforts.