She’s sold more than 19 million records worldwide, she’s worth £22 million, she’s best friends with TV’s mister nasty, Simon Cowell, and now she’s releasing her sixth album. That’s right folks, the Britain’s Got Talent runner-up Susan Boyle is back and this time she’s loaded with a series of covers.
Her sixth album Hope, which is out now, features songs from the likes of John Lennon, Simon & Garfunkel and the legendary progressive rockers, Pink Floyd among others. Boyle has said the musical choices centre around what she believes are the two most important qualities to have: Inspiration and Hope. We here at Red Carpet Biz got our hands on it and here’s what we learnt:
1) Rewarding reworkings
The album opens with her strangely rewarding reworking of Pink Floyd’s classic Wish You Were Here, which is surprisingly one of the album’s highlights. Boyle’s voice fits Roger Water’s lyrics perfectly to create something quite beautiful. Her reworking of the popular Christian Hymn, Will The Circle Be Unbroken? makes for one of the album’s standout pieces too, a showing of her true skill as a vocalist.
2) It could do with a little bit more excitement
Five years ago Susan Boyle shot to fame as the runner-up of the third series of Britain’s Got Talent and subsequently became a worldwide phenomenon. Unfortunately the excitement and buzz she carried then has been lost in some of the tracks of her new album. Her cover of one of her all-time favourite songs, Sarah McLachlan’s Angel, is a bit like eating a lukewarm sausage roll, it’s good, but it’s nothing special. The same occurs on her cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, she just fails to bring any of the magic she once did.
Boyle makes her bread and butter on covers of classics. That’s totally fine. It’s brilliant in fact. A brilliantly soothing voice covering brilliant songs. A match made in heaven, surely? But then she touches John Lennon’s opus Imagine, and one must wonder how many classics can she cover, and cover well? Imagine is a delicate gem, a masterpiece of music if you like, and although many have covered it, none have perfected it. Susan’s attempt is good, it is full of love for this track, and of passion and feeling, but it reeks of the question: Why?!?!
There is a resounding sense of looking both at the past and to the future on Hope, as if Boyle is reflecting on the whirlwind tornado that has become her life for the past five years. The song choices are beautifully in striking the perfect balance between her themes of Inspiration and Hope and the sense of reflection given off. Opening with Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here and ending with an interesting live version of You Raise Me Up, the transition from reflection to hope is a brilliant one.
5) Targets Changing
Most of Boyle’s fans are over the age of 50. However I, who certainly isn’t in that age bracket, surprisingly quite like this record. Whilst there are some lows, there are some rather rewarding highs if you listen hard enough, which has shocked me. So, if she can convert me, can she convert you?
Let us know what you think