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The Gift

November 9, 2010 | Format: MP3

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: November 5, 2010
  • Release Date: November 9, 2010
  • Label: Syco Music UK
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 35:03
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0049SEVDQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 645 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,314 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The Gift, Susan Boyle's sophomore album, presents the listener with another set of masterful performances by an artist who shows herself to be in complete command of her instrument. Every song is superbly crafted to showcase Boyle's satiny soprano to absolute perfection.

Once again, as with her blockbuster debut I Dreamed A Dream, a somewhat eclectic mix of songs has been assembled, offering Boyle the chance to transform unexpected selections with her unique interpretations. Each song is delivered with delicacy and emotion. Boyle always manages to find the emotional core of her material, whether it be a pop classic like Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah or an oft-recorded Christmas standard. She is a master at eliciting an emotional response from her listeners that mirrors the feelings she expresses in song. Steve Mac, who produced both albums, understands that her voice should be the focal point of every song, and as with her debut he gives her the ideal setting to showcase her skills. The result is an album replete with songs polished to gem-like perfection.

Boyle's version of Lou Reed's Perfect Day is another stunning reinterpretation along the lines of Wild Horses from her first album. Her sensitive and nuanced vocals elicit both the joy of remembered happiness and the melancholy longing for lost love. To the three pop songs offered - Perfect Day, Hallelujah and Don't Dream It's Over - she brings depth, subtle power and unexpected passion. The rich instrumental and choral accompaniment provide the base above which Boyle's sweet soprano soars. She builds to the climax of every song through intense yet controlled emotion.
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Format: Audio CD
This newest album presents a triumph of managers and controllers. Susan is allowed to sing only slow, mournful songs in a strength barely above a whisper. Where she is allowed to expand a bit, the electronically-enhanced choir and the electronic accompaniment are elevated in volume to a level which all but eclipses Susan. This isn't fair to her. One has the impression that the handlers and managers are afraid of her breaking loose. I re-looked at her first performance on that stage in the talent show. She showed personal strength and character, and she put herself into that song. But even the same song professionally-reproduced in her first album simply has lost -- well -- Susan's own personality. She has power and personality. These should burst forth and bring goosebumps to us on such songs as "Hallalujah!" and "O Come All Ye Faithful". Instead, the latter song -- which should be the glorious wrapup to the album -- instead is a mournful dirge which ends, as one might say, not with a bang but a whimper. I don't think the producers have been fair to Susan, and I think their slick marketing of this album shows they're more interested in their suffocating production than in their showcasing of a fine performer. Just leave Susan to her own enormous talent on the next one. Remember, she stood alone on the stage when she gave the best performance of all.
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Format: Audio CD
Susan Boyle's honeyed, fairy godmother-like vocal presence pours over the 35 minutes of "The Gift" with grace, restraint and high levels of listenability. It has all the effortless warmth of a loving embrace - an apt trait for a Christmas recording.

She has a talent only a select few vocalists have had - the seemingly effortless ability to sing with profound sincerity, depth and knowledge - not intellectual knowledge, but emotional knowledge - the kind Karen Carpenter had, for instance. There is not a trace of smugness or self-interest in the way she sings, which makes her stand out from the majority of recent young performers whose performances make them appear to be their own biggest fans.

While they sing for their own self-adulation and gain, Boyle is one of the rare ones who sing for the listener with earnestness. From phrase to phrase she gives of herself. It is not just for her sake.

The song selections are enough to set "The Gift" apart from other holiday albums. Boyle's reinterpretation of Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" favors an optimistic reading of its ambiguous lyrics, bringing devotion - either of a religious or familial kind - to the forefront, with a gorgeous, powerful choir and superb musicians. She also injects Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" with subtle, delicate grace. The lyrics and their meanings ring clear. She sings like a painter paints, with care and attention to detail. Her love for the material shows.

This also shows in her unexpected, profoundly stirring take on Crowded House's career-hit "Don't Dream It's Over." The original was contemplative, moody and chilly, with Neil Finn's desperate, anguished delivery. He sounded like he was trying to stop someone on the brink of making a fatal mistake.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This second album of Susan Boyle is aptly named "The Gift" because it is a Christmas gift to her fans in this holiday season. It was produced by Steve Mac, the award winning British record producer, songwriter, and owner of Rokstone Studio in London, for the Syco/Columbia label. It consists of well-known Christmas classics, a Christian hymn, a Scottish folk song, and time-proven iconic pop rocks, re-arranged to fit Susan Boyle's vocal range and artistic style.

Susan Boyle brings forth the holiday spirit in her heart warming renditions of traditional Christmas classics, which include "The First Noel", "O Holy Night", "Away in a Manger", and "O Come All Ye Faithful". These are Christmas songs most people grew up with and beloved by Christians and non-Christians alike. The most interesting piece, however, is "Do You Hear What I Hear". It is a duet with Amber Stassi, a 33 year-old paramedic and a mother of three from Brewerton, New York. She was the winner of "Susan's Search"--a YouTube video contest launched on July 14, 2010 for a duet partner in this upcoming second album. The song was composed and written in 1962 by the then wife-and-husband team, Gloria Shayne and Noël Regney, and made famous by Bing Cosby in his 1963 Christmas album. Amber Stassi has a full and mellow voice. I wish I could hear more of her.

"Make Me A Channel of Your Peace" is a Christian hymn generally attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, a 13th century Catholic deacon and preacher, founder of the Franciscan order, and patron saint of the animals. This version of the hymn was adapted and set to music in 1967 by Sebastian Temple, a South African composer and lyricist and a secular Franciscan.
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