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Wicked Game
Format: Audio CDChange
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108 of 118 people found the following review helpful
OK, so I'm a little embarrassed at how much I enjoy Il Divo--but honestly, what's not to love? I am a sucker for over the top strings, epic vibrato, and vocal drama, and no one can deliver it like this foursome. Have you ever dreamed of hearing Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" performed with operatic intensity, backed by a full orchestra? Well, here we have it, and it is as completely overwrought as you could ever imagine--but in a good way. That segues directly into an a-capella reverb fest of the guys singing Roy Orbison's "Crying" as if it were a prayer. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" gets the English treatment; the Lloyd Weber touchstone was already a highly dramatized affair, so it doesn't seem as completely surprising an arrangement here. "Time to Say Goodbye", made famous by Bocelli, is sung in both English and Italian, and is treated reverentially. It manages to remind but not make one long for Bocelli's version--it is good enough to stand on its own highly decorated legs.

Is this great music? No, and I know that I am going to make some people upset by saying this. This is music which is perfect when you need drama, drama, drama. It is perfect for crying your eyes out, for feeling overly emotional, for when you need something to listen to as you stand at the top of a very high tower and contemplate the mist shrouded valley far below, your ever approaching mortality, and the long lost love of your life. I would never place this beside Verdi, or Puccini--they are simply different things. But these guys all have beautiful voices, they sing passionately, and the results are great when you need something like this.

This disc is not for the tragically hip. It will probably not appeal to sk8ers, surfers or skydivers. It is for rainy afternoons, for crisp dawns just touched by frost, and for those who cry at Charlotte's Web and Sounder. Five stars for being true to what Il Divo has always set out to do--make beautiful, emotional operatically sung music that is not hard to understand, and is easy to give your heart to. Embrace your need for this sort of music, go ahead, we won't judge, and give it a guilty little spin. You might find yourself doing it more often than you thought.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2011
...but well worth it. Each CD just gets better and you can see the improvement in the way the voices interact. Seb especially just blew me away.

While I like most of the songs on this CD, I'm torn between Crying and Come What May as my favorites. Crying always belonged to Roy Orbison, but dueting with Rebekah del Rio really put the Il Divo version over the top. Just beautiful.

I might wish for more tracks, but this CD is well worth the money. I highly recommend it.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2011
Sad to see such lack of understanding the brilliance of this album. The arrangements are impeccable! Therefore, the vocals are amazing. BEST ALBUM THEY'VE RELEASED!!! By a MILE!!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 14, 2011
I don't suppose it does anything for a guy's masculine credibility to admit liking this stuff, but...well. In the right mood, this sort of overly dramatic, over-the-top take on some great songs like "Wicked Game," "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina," and "Falling Slowly" are just the thing.

I'd never heard of Il Divo until they appeared on "Who's Got Talent?" last summer, and they did "Wicked Game," a truly haunting song in the original by Chris Isaak that they covered with an operatic verve that gave me the shivers. I'm a sucker for "big" music, from Guns N'Roses' "November Rain" to Meat Loaf's "I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That" to "'Lascia ch'io pianga" from Rinaldo. This is lavish, sometimes doofy music-making, hammy but affecting.

Call it a guilty pleasure, but a well-harmonized and overly interpreted "Crying" sung in Spanish ("Llorando") is just what I'm in the mood for sometimes. If you're man enough--or just sappy romantic enough--maybe you will be, too.

Some have commented on the less-than-perfect arrangements and musicianship of this recording, and that's probably fair to say, but the vocals are so much the star of the show that other considerations fade by comparison.

"Wicked Game" probably won't go into heavy rotation on your car CD system or anything, but as a pseudo-classical break from frothy pop, one could do much worse.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2011
I have been a great fan of Il Divo since I first heard them many years ago. I have all of their CD's - for my home and both cars. They are my favorite group and when I saw them in Vegas their
superiority in the music field was evident by the audience who went "crazy" - from teenagers to seniors - during their performance. I personally have introduced about 20 people as to who they are and how much I love them.

That being said, I am greatly disappointed in this last CD. It sounds as though it was recorded during a live concert somewhere instead of in a studio ... was it???

I usually buy several copies for family and friends but not this time. The music is so overpowering that at times I can hear no one but Carlos, which is ok, as he is my favorite but
I feel the choice of songs could have been much better. Get Simon involved again. He knows what goes over better than most.

I am sure many will disagree with me but I am going to play this CD only in the home as my
CD player plays at random and I won't be overcome by the heaviness of listening to the whole CD at one time. I am going back to Siempre for the cars. I feel that is one of their best. Sorry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2012
First things first - this album is different. From even the coverart, you can tell that Il Divo have this time gone for lighter shades in how they present themselves and how they sing, without having that overt darkness to their appearance and music. Which means, if you are expecting another song like 'Adagio' from the previous album, you'll be disappointed. Only a very small bit of this album goes up into the high drama stakes that the likes of Adagio from the last album set themselves up for.

The title track is clearly the standout... rather than take an already powerfully sung song like they have before, they've turned a once soft song into a huge burst of sound. In other words - they've completely re-interpretted it. And on this song you'll realise that the harmonies this time around have improved, by mixing voices differently. Different voices paired up at the right time is what really carries this song, and with that, the whole record.

IN A NUTSHELL - the harmonies are more varied on Wicked Game and LESS PREDICTABLE as they have been on the previous albums. While the song choices on 'The Promise' were a bit of a stinker, 'Siempre' had the least interesting harmonies down on the table for the men of Il Divo to sing.

Crying/Llorando: very poignant and breathtaking. I don't like the slight echo effect they've added to the start of the song, it highlights the range of each of them well. It also has Carlos singing very beautifully VERY SOFTLY for a change, which I personally love to hear.

Don't Cry For Me Argentina: yet again, Carlos brings out the best of his baritone voice, without just trying to sound like/complete with the tenors. This song really shows off how well Seb's voice has matured and grown.

Dove' L'Amore: adaption of Samuel Barber's Adagio. This shows off Seb's new-found power in his voice, as well as how well Urs can roll his words around in his mouth. The problem with this song is more than half of the song is sung at full-pelt. It becomes a bit too full on for me.

Falling Slowly/Te Prometo: An absolutely beautiful song. I often complain that the likes of Bocelli and othe crossover artists like Blake and The Canadian Tenors put just as much effort into the compositions of the music as they do with their singing, whereas Il Divo usually do not. This song HAS THAT BEAUTIFUL MUSIC that you probably crave if you are like me... the soft strings go very well with all of their voices in this song. It's one of the only true ballads of the album. It ends very suddenly, but yet again, i think Il DIvo is doing that just to surprise us in case we were expecting 'just the same as usual.'

Come What May/Te Amare: this song mirrors the classics of Il Divo. It's like the 'My Way' of this album, with a whole bunch of high-C's added to the end to showcase what David is really capable of. It has a surprisingly long intro, but the music is exquisite.

Senza Parole: Very, very dramatic song. It's only one of two originals on the CD, and is in Italian. Again the quality of the music has been stepped up a huge notch - you would not have heard such well composed music on anything since their first album so far. There is actually a male choir singing behind them in the first and last choruses for added dramatic effect.

Stay/Ven A Mi: In a bit of a twist, the music played at the very start of this song is keyboard. Yet again, they are goimg for something different so you're not listening to something that sounds like a song you've heard before. It's very pretty and it's magic comes from being very uncomplicated, which is probably why it reminds me a lot of their original song 'Rejoice' from the Christmas album.

Sempre Sempre: Their other original song, also in Italian. It's also very dramatic (they probably sound too much alike, unfortunately) however this has a very satisfying "boom boom boom boom!" on the drums at the end of the song.

Time To Say Goodbye: Carlos singing the start of this song reminds me of why I prefer to hear baritone versions of traditionally tenor songs, because there is a bit more warmth to the sound, so it sounds better than most versions to me. Urs reminds us that he is still the best at Italian on the second verse, and David gets his chance to hit those G's he loves so much on the first chorus. Great way to end a great album, however this song is dominated a bit too much by Carlos.

The only negative thing here is that yet again, they have released an album starved of original songs, and the original songs that they have put on this album won't stand the test of time like the originals of past albums.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2012
Well I am a huge IL Divo fan & I was not even aware that they came out with this album. Not sure if it was just not advertised enough or if I was just distracted. Anyway, I have to say that I was dissapointed with this album. I only enjoyed three or maybe four of the songs. Llorando (track 2) just started way too slow for me and Time To Say Goodbye (track 10) was alrady previously recorded just in another language. Before purchasing I had read some reviews that were not positive and I still purchased because I could not believe them. However I am sad to have to agree with those reviews. I don't know if the group was just was more laid back on this album because they know fans will buy it anyway; but this album was sad compared to the potential and talent shown on their other albums. Hopefully the next one will do us fans proud.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2011
I first must say I have been a fan of Il Divo for over seven years and they keep getting better each new Album.

This album showcases there truly outstanding talent, no one comes even close.

The songs selection are truly outstanding. It features Crying , Falling Slowy a great song , Come what May, and well as seven other great songs.

The lush powerfull sound of this CD clearly has taken time to produce and all I can say is thank you for taking

your time, Carlos, David, Seb, and Urs to create a modern day master piece. Great albums come along rarely and this is one of them.

If you at all enjoy Pop opera you must purchase this CD.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2011
Il Divo has spoiled me for all other types of music. That said, I was disappointed in the arrangement for this album. It's as if they are standing too far from the microphone and their voices are drowned out by the orchestra on most of the songs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2012
I am an Il Divo fan, but honestly, I do not like this CD. Some of the singers sound like they are trying to hard to over power the other singers. The choice of songs are not my favorite.
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