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When I Fall in Love - Lesley Garrett

Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle

WHEN it comes to an artist of Lesley Garrett’s calibre there’s little I can say about her latest album, When I Fall in Love, except perhaps, you’ll either love it or hate it. And what you do feel will depend entirely on taste.

For those of you who fall into the first category (the rest won’t even have read this far), When I Fall in Love is a collection of classic love songs. It’s also a personal labour of love, with every song a sentimental reminder of a particular time in the singer’s life.

As such, they encompass her childhood, her single life, her husband Peter and her family. The title track, for example, a song usually associated with Nat King Cole, was one she used to listen to when she was on her own – after the break-up of her first marriage but before she met Peter. Of that time, she says:

“I suppose it was a sad time, but it’s a very optimistic song. It said I would fall in love and I have. It reminds me of Peter now.” Needless to say, it’s not only beautifully sung but also imbued with a haunting wistful quality.

He Was Beautiful was chosen by her husband for her first Strictly Come Dancing performance – a waltz – and although it’s a song about loss, the first verse is a reminder of her son Jeremy’s birth. As you might expect, she sings it with a tenderness only a mother knows.

On the other hand, the French song by Charles Trenet, La Mer, is dedicated to her father, a man who loves the sea. And just like Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien, it’s sung in French. The latter is Garrett’s tribute to Edith Piaf, a seminal artist she believes could have been an opera singer “if she had laid off the Gauloises.”

Of the 12 tracks, my personal favourite is Come What May, a duet with Michael Ball and the epitome of the perfect love song.

When I Fall in Love is an album of the very highest quality although, as I’ve already said, it won’t suit everyone. On the other hand, fans of Garrett are in for a real treat.

Track listings:

1. When I Fall In Love
2. The Way We Were
3. He Was Beautiful
4. Where Do I Begin
5. Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien
6. Moon River
7. Come What May (with Michael Ball)
8. More
9. If You Go (Ne Me Quitte Pas)
10. In The Still Of The Night
11. La Mer
12. What A Wonderful World