CD: Susan Boyle - Someone to Watch Over Me | New music reviews, news & interviews
CD: Susan Boyle - Someone to Watch Over Me
Talent show phenomenon hints at the kind of music Simon Cowell wants to spoil next
The biggest surprise with Someone to Watch Over Me might be that SuBo has actually made it to three albums. Last year’s release brought relief that the Simon Cowell machine hadn’t broken her. But with this new one Boyle actually seems to be forging a career of sorts. So, now that she no longer has the novelty value of being a current "reality TV" phenomenon, and three LPs in, how does her music stand up?
Considering Boyle’s act was the stuff of a prime-time talent show, it's hardly a revelation that this record offers a few saccharine moments with a general feeling that, because of its release, Christmas must be close by. It isn't, however, quite as predictable as the ones before. There is something slightly interesting in the choice of songs included. The Syco press release (Simon Cowell’s record label) says that in addition to the “breathtaking renditions” of “Unchained Melody” and “Both Sides Now”, Susan “fearlessly takes on” “Enjoy the Silence” (Depeche Mode) and “Mad World” (Tears for Fears).
Leaving aside that the word “competently” would have been more accurate, I am surprised they omit to mention Boyle’s take on the Jeff Buckley cover of “Lilac Wine”. Not only is it the best thing on here, but it is also better than X- Factor winner Alexandra Burke’s hideous take on Buckley’s reading of Leonard Cohen's “Hallelujah”. Or her own on The Gift, for that matter.
Other than suggesting what's on Boyle's iPod, it seems likely that the track listing on this album also indicates what sort of “modern classic” Simon Cowell's intending to spoil for us soon. Still there's nothing on this record that is actually that awful, and some moments are endearing. The touch is lighter than before, and moreover, it’s not masquerading as anything it isn’t. Bland and kitsch, it surely is, but that's still fine for a track or two at an ironic Christmas party or a stocking filler.
Watch Susan Boyle sing "I Dreamed a Dream" on Britain's Got Talent
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 7,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
more New music
Intriguing taster gig suggests successful reunion is on the way
One of Britain's most potent, original singer-songerwiters sparks bright
Scottish indie band's misery is appealingly well-groomed
One pair of hands is uppermost in this collaboration
Yet another reappearance of the Nutty Boys’ debut album
Iowan metallers let the masks slip on long-awaited fifth album
French-Cameroonian singer lands on the London scene with delirious spectacle
Less a Rebel Yell, more a middle-aged yawn but still somewhat endearing
Punk pop powerhouse serve it up fast and hot
A two soundtrack album onslaught from original synth-pop pioneer
Visually sumptuous record of Björk's landmark tour
After soundtracking Broadchurch, Iceland’s Ólafur Arnalds collaborates with Faroese foil