Given the emotional breakdown she reportedly suffered earlier this year, Susan Boyle sounds surprisingly self-assured on I Dreamed a Dream, the YouTube sensation’s highly anticipated debut: ”Who I Was Born to Be,” the ? only original tune here, is pure showbiz-?veteran schmaltz. For fans of Boyle’s original Britain’s Got Talent clip, the result might be a bit of a letdown, especially ? in snoozily competent versions of ”Daydream Believer” and Madonna’s ”You’ll See,” which offer none of her jarred-lightning charm. Still, the lady’s ”Cry Me a River”does pack a strangely sensual punch — the weird thrill of hearing SuBo get low.
There’s no question that Susan Boyle’s story is inspiring, but the same adjective can’t quite apply to her debut, I Dreamed a Dream. This is almost a willful antonym of “inspiring” -- it is not stirring, rousing, or stimulating, it is sleepy, reserved, and placid, but is that a surprise? Boyle’s grand unveiling on Britain’s Got Talent was with a song from Les Miserables -- the very song that lends this album its title -- and if she could become an international sensation based on a show tune standard, there’s no reason for her to change her approach on her debut, since that’s the sound that made her a star. Plus, a large part of Boyle’s appeal is that she’s a middleaged woman singing middlebrow material, recalling a bygone era when there were singers that appealed to an adult audience by offering soft, stately versions of pop hits and standards.
Susan Boyle's against-the-odds story was the biggest talking point of any talent show this year - months later, the memory of Simon Cowell's face at her Britain's Got Talent audition still warms the cockles. But this album is where sentiment clashes with the question of whether she's got what it takes. Boyle has apparently chosen the songs herself - handwritten sleeve notes explain, often movingly, what each track means to her - but her taste runs exclusively to ballads.
It’s not so bad, really. Her voice is fairly pretty. The songs are mostly classics. The arrangements don’t drown everything in Splenda. It’s not much—it’s a trifle. It is eminently listenable. None of that can explain the following: Susan Boyle’s I Dreamed a Dream was the best-selling ….
RIHANNA“Rated R”(Def Jam) Rihanna glares from the cover of “Rated R,” concealing one eye with a hand. “Rated R,” her fourth album, arrives nine months after Chris Brown, her boyfriend at the time, blackened her eye in a beating as they were driving back from a pre-Grammy party. The ….