Debut album by 'opera boyband' put together by the king of manufactured pop, Simon Cowell. This features popular arias, classical crossover pop and opera versions of pop standards - including Toni Braxton's 'Unbreak My Heart' - in much the same vein as Tony Henry, Josh Groban and Amici Forever. Syco. 2004.
While not exactly classical crossover's take on The Monkees, this international quartet of young male vocalists from America, France, Spain, and Switzerland shares a similar genesis. Assembled after a long talent search and audition process, they were teamed with pop producers Per Magnusson and David Krueger (Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys) and Steve Mac (Charlotte Church, Kelly Clarkson) and turned loose on a slate of classical-pop favorites, with a dramatic, dynamically nuanced read of Toni Braxton's signature "Unbreak My Heart"
setting the standard. While the deceptive ease of their harmonies belie the group's disparate nationalities and talent search roots on the melodramatic "Hoy Que Ya No Estas Aqui," Morricone's glorious Mission
theme, "Nella Fantasia" and the cascading "Passera," the album's pop-oriented material is a decidedly more mixed bag ."Everytime I Look at You" and "Feelings" (not Morris Albert's) soar gracefully, while "The Man You Love" seems more a throwback to the producers' boy band roots. The standard "My Way" and a lovely, bonus cut Italian version of "Unchained Melody" close the album out on a high note, even if their safe familiarity doesn't offer the promising quartet a sufficient musical challenge. --Jerry McCulley
[NOTE: A DualDisc version including DVD is now available.]
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