Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Special Interest, Pop, Rock, Classical
Former cell phone salesman and now Britians Got Talent winner Paul Potts has spent most of his life feeling insignificant and bullied, but says that his voice was always his one true friend, a voice that Simon Cowell calls... more »
Former cell phone salesman and now Britians Got Talent winner Paul Potts has spent most of his life feeling insignificant and bullied, but says that his voice was always his one true friend, a voice that Simon Cowell calls simply magical.
Bewitched and bewildered
Julie S. Higginbotham | Chicago, IL United States | 09/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I dunno what it is about this guy. I'm 5 decades old, been singing in vocal ensembles that perform challenging music for more than 30 years, been around loads of wonderful, highly trained operatic voices and I agree with many of the criticisms written elsewhere of this album (the brit version at any rate; not many reviews of the US version so far, too early).
I agree there are some production issues on this CD; I agree the guy has some technical issues that should be addressed as he matures as an artist. He can be a little thin & forced, esp in the high register. There are a few pitch problems, again mostly up high. I prefer his Italian to his English -- I think his English diction is a little odd actually. And given the rush to production, coming on the heels of a personal whirlwind, I can't help thinking the pressure and the tiredness had some effect on the finished product.
And yet, and yet -- what is this "hair standing up on the back of the neck" thing?
From his throat to my autonomic nervous system, without requiring a pass through the brain. It is an amazing gift that this man has, to elicit such a profound emotional reaction in the listener. The Nella Fantasia is just heartbreakingly lovely. The last note on "Music of the Night" is absolutely beautifully rendered. I also liked the Cavatina a good deal.
I can (and do) greatly admire the recordings of many more technically perfect singers. My brain tells me I should naturally prefer listening to those recordings. My gut just tells me to keep this one on the CD player and hit the replay button again...."
New talent ---Paul Potts --Spine Tingling Joy
NW Native | Seattle, WA USA | 09/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some say only a few will buy this CD for the sentimental story of an overnight sensation from Simon Cowell's British talent show. Some hardcore opera snobs may pass, sighting technical imperfections; after all this CD was put together and released in the UK in a record-breaking 3-4 weeks to capitalize on the show's success. Others may pass, saying that they don't like opera.
I say to everyone-- get this album simply for sheer listening pleasure. There are so many moments of pure spine tingling joy here to miss for the sake of hyper-critical nit-picking. A voice imbued, even polished from life, filled with emotion and, yes, charged with physical athleticism- as demonstrated by set of lungs that can hold such notes to infinity and in perfect pitch-- is a rarity not to be missed.
Each time after reading some of the few negative reactions to Paul Potts, I go back for a listen, admittedly expecting to be disappointed, at least a little, and, each time, I am transported, by the hauntingly beautiful vocals and pure emotion captured here; emotion transmitted directly to one's heart and soul through an, as yet, undiscovered seventh sense. Technically "superior" singers can only hope for this intense, hardwired connection, whereas Paul natural ability is blessed with it is spades.
In the end, it finally dawned on me how ridiculous it is to look for third party validation for feelings that are so inexplicable, but yet so vitally undeniable. Enjoy this one folks and never mind the critics. No rules, just sublime listening pleasure. This is a fantastic debut album, with quite a variety. Hopefully the first in a long line of future recordings.
IGNORE THE 'PERFECTIONISTS' AND JUST ENJOY THIS ONE
Colin Spence | Formby, UK | 07/31/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album was released in the UK about 2 weeks ago and it is still selling strongly. There are now, about 60 reviews on amazon.co.uk - most are favourable, but there are few which are less so. The main criticisms being made are given below, together with my own observations :
PP STRUGGLES WITH THE HIGH NOTES - I thought PP occasionally sounded a bit flat and his voice wavered a little (this seemed more noticeable during the first 2 tracks). However, these were fleeting instances only and did not detract from my enjoyment (although more demanding listeners may find this less acceptable). One has to bear in mind also that, with this type of music, the occasional 'slip' becomes more magnified than would be the case with some pop or rock music.
PP's SINGING IS TECHNICALLY INFERIOR - I'm sure there are some people who, because of their knowledge/understanding of operatic music and the requisite vocal skills, can genuinely make such claims. Equally, I'm sure that there are a few others whose claims will be based on nothing more than petty snobbery or misguided elitism, and these people wouldn't recognize 'technical SUPERIORITY' even if they tripped over it in broad daylight.
THE ALBUM SUFFERS FROM POOR PRODUCTION - To an extent, I agree - it could have been better. Whilst the orchestral and choral arrangements are sumptuous, at times they are both 'too forward in the mix' and, now and again, they tend to drown out PP's vocals (but this problem is not persistent throughout the album).
PP IS BEING MARKETED IN A CYNICAL WAY - Well perhaps, but this is nothing new in the music business. It is certainly no justification for downgrading any rating for the album.
PEOPLE ARE BUYING HIS ALBUM BECAUSE THEY 'FEEL SORRY FOR HIM' - Possibly, but a very small minority only. It is more likely that many people are either, making a connection between PP's music and PP the man or, they simply identify with him. I see nothing wrong with this and, if it enhances their enjoyment of his music, then well and good.
Turning to the album itself, this is the first operatic or 'operatic crossover' album I have ever bought. I sometimes listen to this type of music, but not very frequently. I bought 'One Chance' because I saw PP on 'BGT' and I liked his voice. So please bear with me if some of my review is not very meaningful for you.
THE SONGS : They are all beautiful songs - sung in Italian or English plus two sung in Spanish, and they are well known songs - I'm sure many will be very familiar to you. I don't wish to take anything away from PP, but I think the song selection has more than a little to do with the popularity of this album in the UK.
THE VOICE : PP has a strong tenor voice, but not in any overpowering sense (rather the opposite I'd say). I've heard 'Nessun Dorma' sung by Russell Watson and Luciano Pavarotti and, to my untrained ears, they do SOUND better; but, curiously, neither of these versions do as much for me as PP's version (Pavarotti's comes the closest). However, I'll tell you something - whatever vocal weaknesses PP has (real or imagined), he has an emotional quality to his voice that you won't find with most other similar singers ('technically superior' as they may be). I can't quite put my finger on it, but there is something 'quietly moving' about the way in which he sings - I would suggest that THIS is the main reason why most people are buying his album; and, when it comes to MY listening enjoyment, a voice with an emotional edge comes high up on my list. The audience reaction when PP first auditioned and sung 'Nessun Dorma' on 'BGT' (can be viewed on You Tube) is, I think, testament to this.
Some brief comments about selected tracks :
NESSUN DORMA - a song which needs no introduction - poignant and dramatic, an absolute 'stunner'. The vocals are, perhaps, not perfect, but more than competent.
CON TE PARTIRO (Time To Say Goodbye) - a fine rendition of this bittersweet song which many people will associate with Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli. Towards the end, the choir 'kicks in' and I though the sound was too strident; this is a delicate song and the use of a choir, in this manner, is totally inappropriate (fortunately, the effect lasts for only half a minute or so).
OGNUNO SOFFRE (Everybody Hurts) - swirling strings and acoustic guitar accompaniment; the subdued, yet crisp, percussion ensures that this R.E.M. classic still retains some of it's original 'pop character'.
POR TI SERE (You Raise Me Up) - despite being sung in Spanish, there's a distinct Gaelic feel to this song (weird - maybe, but it works); PP's vocals are as close to perfection as any sane person could reasonably expect. Again, the choir is introduced towards the end, but this time to good effect - more in keeping with the slightly dramatic mood of this song.
CAVATINA - a beautifully wistful song which is featured on the soundtrack of 'The Deer Hunter'. Sonically, I thought this was one of the best tracks - lovely, fluent acoustic guitar, PP's vocals are flawless and his delivery is nothing short of exquisite; and the vocal/orchestral balance is first class.
The remaining songs are all highly enjoyable; everyone will have their own favourites, mine were : 'Nessun Dorma', 'Por Ti Sere', and 'Cavatina'.
If you like 'operatic crossover' music, then I think you will enjoy this album - the only possible downside being that you may already have most of the songs by other artists (but I still think it's worthwhile listening to PP's renditions of these songs). Just ignore what the 'perfectionists' might have to say and ENJOY. I don't care if PP isn't 'technically perfect', and anyone who thinks he can't sing must be crazy. The enjoyment of music is not simply a matter of monitoring it's technical proficiency; it is, more than anything, an emotional experience - it's how it makes you FEEL. OK, I'll concede that this might not be 'serious' operatic music, but how many 'regular' listeners, to popular music, really want this anyway ? I doubt very much whether this, or PP's lack of classical training, will in any way diminish the pleasure to be had from this album. For casual listeners, who might want only 2 or 3 representative albums in their collection, this is a 'must have'.
I'm only giving 'One Chance' 4-stars - I thought there were some very occasional flaws in PP's vocals, and sometimes (and ONLY sometimes), I thought the production left something to be desired. Neither of these 'deficiencies', by themselves, would merit the deduction of one star but, when considering them together, I think it would be misleading to give a higher rating; conversely, giving a rating of 3-stars or less, would be doing PP and his music a disservice."