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All Angels - All Angels

All Angels

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

ALL Angels can proudly lay claim to being the world’s first classical girl-group.

Comprised of 16 and 17-year-olds Melanie, Laura, Daisy and Charlotte, the group was created by Universal Music to bring a fresh new sound to classical crossover music, with a repertoire spanning classical, choral, opera and pop. It involved a nationwide search.

The result looks destined to become one of the biggest-selling albums of the year and could even spawn a Christmas No.1.

As to its merit, I have to say I’m divided. The tracks have been chosen specifically to provide an easy bridge between pop and classical for mainstream ears.

As such, you have angelic versions of Robbie Williams’ Angels and Fleetwood Mac’s Songbird jostling for position with well-known classical favourites such as The Flower Duet from Lakme (more commonly associated with the British Airways theme or Tony Scott’s True Romance torture sequence) and Salve Regina based on Pachelbel’s Canon.

Everything about the album smacks of being geared towards easy financial success – from the well-groomed girls themselves to the selection of the tracks.

And yet in spite of its flaws and of its sweeter, more schmaltzy inclination (witness the girls’ take on Silent Night), it isn’t without merit.

Tracks like Angels and Songbird are largely forgettable but the girls do manage to bring some mainstream appeal to their classical selections and often sound quite enchanting.

The Flower Duet, in particular, marks a highlight, as does Salve Regina and Hosanna based on the Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana (which I seem to remember featuring in the final Godfather movie).

Barber’s Agnus Dei is also given a haunting rendition that showcases the girls’ voices at their most striking and beautiful.

So for all of its obvious intent (ie, to make Universal bucket loads of cash), All Angels provides listeners with enough genuinely worthwhile surprises to be worthy of a place on anyone’s record shelves – particularly if they’re prepared to broaden their minds.

Fans of classical music may enjoy hearing it delivered by an exciting new generation, while the pop brigade will doubtless find themselves intoxicated by some of the more surprising selections.

It’s certainly far better than the concept at first seems.

Track listing:

  1. Songbird
  2. The Flower Duet
  3. Salve Regina [Based On Pachelbel’s Canon]
  4. Steal Away
  5. Windmills Of Your Mind
  6. Barcarolle [From The Tales Of Hoffman]
  7. Silent Night
  8. Sancta Maria [Intermezzo From Cavelleria Rusticana]
  9. Ave Verum Corpus [Theme From Brideshead Revisited]
  10. Angels
  11. Ave Maria
  12. Pokarekare Ana
  13. Agnus Dei