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
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