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388 of 405 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That Magical Moment, November 23, 2009
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This review is from: I Dreamed A Dream (Audio CD)
This debut album of Susan Boyle consists of songs of many genres--from the pops, to the spirituals, to the Broadway hit which made Susan Boyle a singing sensation today. Furthermore, it includes an original work specifically written for Susan Boyle.

The Pops
"Wild Horses" was originally composed by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for the Rolling Stones, in their 1971 album Sticky Fingers. In this re-arranged version, Susan Boyle gives new meaning to an old song. In her own words, it "conjures up memories of childhood amongst Council Estates, poverty and struggle..." in this hauntingly beautiful rendition of hers.

"Cry Me a River", a popular American torch song originally recorded by Julie London in 1953, was performed by Susan Boyle in a charity event in 1999 and subsequently put on CD. Only a thousand copies were made. Now 10 years later, in her new CD, she again captures the beauty of this jazzy blues ballad written by Arthur Hamilton, in the melancholy of a woman betrayed, just as she did years ago. One wonders: where were the talent scouts in those days? How did they overlook this talented woman?

"You'll See", an international hit written and performed by Madonna in 1995, tells of the determination and sorrow of love betrayed. While Madonna's rendition was filled with determination, Susan Boyle sings the ballad movingly with equal amount of determination and sorrow. It brought tears to my eyes.

"Day Dream Believer" was a song composed by John Stewart of the Kingston Trio and recorded in 1967 by the Monkees, with Davy Jones as the lead. It was sung light-heartedly with a humorous opening. Susan Boyle's soft and dreamy rendition of the song, however, conjures up vision of a half-asleep woman struggling to get out of bed and start the day.

"Proud" was originally performed by Matthew James Thomas who played the part of Jez Tyler in the British musical drama TV series "Britannia High". It was the British version of "Fame". In her song, Susan Boyle captures the spirit of an offspring who pleads for acceptance of his/her parent.

"The End of The World" was a pop hit by the country music crossover vocalist Skeeter Davis in 1962. Accompanied only by a guitar, Susan Boyle's vocal ebbs & flows, like the tide gently lapping the shore. If Skeeter Davis' rendition is like a woman crying over lost love, then that of Susan Boyle is like one sobbing quietly over her loss.

The Spirituals
The spirituality of Susan Boyle shines through the spiritual and sacred songs in this album. They include the Christian hymns "How Great Thou Art", "Amazing Grace", and the Christmas tune "Silent Night". But the most inspiring selection is "Up to the Mountain", written by American singer-songwriter Patty Griffin. This song was inspired by the speech, "I've been to the mountaintop" by Martin Luther King, Jr., given on the day before his assassination in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968. Accompanied by a piano and supported by a chorus, Susan Boyle brings forth the emotion & spirituality surrounding MLK's speech.

The Original
"Who I Was Born To Be" is the answer to the critics who label Susan Boyle (quite unkindly) as cover or karaoke singer. It was written specifically for Susan Boyle by American singer-songwriter Audra Mae, great grand niece of Judy Garland. Accompanied by a beautiful tune at the piano and supported by a chorus and an orchestra, the song showcases the full vocal range of the talented Susan Boyle. This piece is a harbinger of things to come. Established songwriters will beat a path to the door of Susan Boyle, pleading for the chance to showcase their new songs. Susan Boyle fans are in for a treat.

The Broadway Hit
Of course, we can't forget the Broadway hit, "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables, which made Susan Boyle famous, or vice versa. Contrary to the soaring rendition in her performance on BGT, this album version is softer and more contemplative, but every bit as powerful and moving.

The Album Art
Susan Boyle was all dolled up in these Bazaar photo shoots at Cliveden, the luxurious Italianate mansion just outside of London. That is the way Susan Boyle fans want to visualize her, while listening to her angelic voice. I especially like the picture of her, dressed in a gorgeous gown, sitting by a piano, surrounded by fine things, ready to perform for her audience--a dream finally come true for a great artist.

That Magical Moment
Susan Boyle has earned her place as one of the great singers of our time. I have the feeling that this debut album of hers, with songs of many genres, is here just to whet our appetite. I am looking forward to hearing more of her, perhaps a second album on Broadway hits and sacred songs, and a Christmas album just in time to catch Christmas 2010. The Sony Music studio did a great job to capture her angelic voice on CD. What it didn't and couldn't do was to capture the magic of the moment when Simon Cowell raised his eyebrows, Amanda Holden dropped her jaw, Piers Morgan clapped enthusiastically, and the audience cheered wildly as Susan Boyle sang "I Dreamed a Dream" during her audition on BGT. That magical moment lives in the memories of hundreds of million of fans who had watched her performance on YouTube.

Footnote: For a more in-depth review on "What I was born to be" by Big Al, please follow this link:
http://www.amazon.com/Who-I-Was-Born-Be/product-reviews/B002XSWNMK/ref=cm_cr_pr_recent?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending
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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 27 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 24, 2009 5:14:04 PM PST
Tim F says:
I totally agree. That very moment, to this day, gives me chills and goose bumps. An absolutely incredible talent who is finally getting the recognition she deserves. Bravo Susan!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2009 9:17:14 PM PST
I agree too. I hope she does well with this album and continues to put out another. Someone suggested show tunes and Christmas songs. I think her voice would be wonderful on both of these. I hope Simon continues to help her since he is the best and has helped many singers find their place.

Posted on Nov 29, 2009 6:19:57 PM PST
I agree that Susan's voice lends itself to sacred music. I would love for her to dedicate an album of just sacred music.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 3:43:41 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on May 1, 2011 3:09:39 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2009 6:03:22 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 2, 2009 7:00:08 PM PST
Yes, they do, J. A.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2009 12:40:25 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on May 1, 2011 3:09:40 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2009 2:07:40 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 16, 2009 10:39:47 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2009 8:31:46 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on May 1, 2011 3:09:40 PM PDT]

Posted on Dec 4, 2009 10:17:10 AM PST
ejane says:
Excellent review, Al. I tend to agree with others that I would love to hear a gospel/sacred CD from Susan. And show tunes. I don't think she is geared towards pop, rock, or contemporary offerings. It just isn't her style, IMO. I love what she brings to the world of music, and that's good enough for me!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2009 5:51:08 PM PST
Thanks for the kind words, ejane. I hope you enjoy the CD.
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