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Alison Moyet - Voices


Review: Jack Foley

FOLLOWING on from the success of her Brit nominated album, Hometime, in 2002, Alison Moyet releases one of her most personal projects to date, in the form of Voice, an album of covers that has been produced and arranged by Academy Award-winner, Anne Dudley.

The album marks a collection of songs by other composers, and represents a radical diversion for Moyet, who has chosen, for once, to concentrate on her voice alone.

As she explains: "A short while back, I had my first experience singing with a classical orchestra.

"It was quite different from the live work I had done before and it required altogether a different discipline.

"I loved the way everything was placed. The certainty. The clarity ... not that that is what you are always looking for, but having once tried it I wanted a little more.

"I had no urge to write, but wanted to further my musicianship. To find new ways of singing. To tackle melodies I could not or would not write. To be brave in the face of romanticism."

The result marks something of a personal journey for Moyet, which chronicles some of her great musical inspirations, as well as her all-time favourites.

Hence, it's no surprise to find tracks such as The Man I Love, Cry Me A River and Michel Legrand’s Windmills of Your Mind are included - songs which seem designed with a diva's voice, such as Moyet's, in mind.

More surprising, however, are the likes of Jacque Brel’s La Chanson des Vieux Amants, Bye Bye Blackbird, and The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies O!, which evoke memories from her childhood.

While material by Elvis Costello, (a personal favourite of Moyet’s), Burt Bacharach and classical composers, Bizet and Purcell, serves to ensure that the album is as diverse as anything Moyet has delivered before.

How much you like it, however, depends on how great a knowledge you have for some of the material, and how much you love Moyet's voice.

For fans of the latter, it is a compulsive, inspiring and utterly compelling showcase of her vocal talents, even if some of the tracks may seem like a surprise.

Some of it is bluesy, some of it's as soulful as we have come to expect, some of it steeped in the classic style of artists gone by, and some of it comes with a touch of French chic.

Yet, while there is no denying the power and clarity of the Moyet voice, the album will appeal most to the diehard fans, or anyone who is intrigued by the prospect of a true diva tackling some fairly classic stuff.

Sadly, for me, this is not my choice of musical style; so while it was easy to appreciate the huge talent involved, the overall effect was one of indifference. But that's just me and fans certainly shouldn't be dissuaded!!!

Track listing:
1. Windmills Of Your Mind
(Michel LeGrand/Marilyn Berman/Alan Bergman)
2. The Man I Love
(Ira Gershwin/George Gershwin)
3. Almost Blue
(Elvis Costello)
4. Je Crois Entendre Encore
(Georges Bizet)
5. What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?
(Michel LeGrand/Marilyn Berman/Alan Bergman)
6. God Give Me Strength
(Burt Bacharach/Elvis Costello)
7. The Wraggle Taggle Gipsies-O!
(Traditional)
8. Dido's Lament: When I Am Laid In Earth
(Henry Purcell)
9. La Chanson Des Vieux Amants
(Jacques Brel/Gerard Jouannest)
10. Cry Me A River
(Arthur Hamilton)
11. Bye Bye Blackbird
(Mort Dixon/Ray Henderson)

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