x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Susan Boyle: Standing Ovation

The Scottish singing sensation Susan Boyle has devoted her new album to musicals, with mixed results

Susan Boyle
Standing
Ovation
Columbia
***

The title may seem a little presumptuous, but then, standing ovations are now frequent events for Susan Boyle - the unknown spinster turned international superstar.

Her fourth album is devoted to musicals and features a couple of the 51-year-old's long-term heroes, most notably the original star of The Phantom of the Opera, Michael Crawford.

They duet on that show's signature song, The Music of the Night, although Boyle's mezzo struggles to match Sarah Brightman's soprano, in truth, and the image of this odd couple warbling at each other does rather detract from the drama.

Odder still is the pairing of Boyle and the 1970s pop star Donny Osmond, although they make a worthy attempt at another Phantom standard, All I Ask of You.

Elsewhere there are some novel arrangements - of Somewhere Over the Rainbow in particular - although a version of the Fame track Out Here on My Own sends the Scot into awkward lyrical territory (Boyle singing "baby" sounds deeply unconvincing).

Better to stick with the grander, more operatic works, where that voice can continue to surprise and impress.