Charlotte Church releases her highly anticipated fourth album and she's still only 15. Taking her lead from gifted peers like Lesley Garrett, Church is now confident enough to explore a much wider range than previously, while still displaying the much-admired purity of her voice. There are a number of classical standards here, including Satie's Gymnopedie No 1, Strauss's Laughing Song from Die Fledermaus and Bizet's Habanera from Carmen, plus Delibes' Flower Duet from Lakmé in which Church ambitiously and successfully manages to sing both parts. But as she crosses over effortlessly into the mainstream and becomes a regular fixture in the charts, it is the Broadway musical that is starting to provide much of Church's material. West Side Story is obviously the soprano's favourite, with Tonight and Somewhere at the top and bottom of the album, plus Bali H'ai from South Pacific, Showboat's Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man and Carousel's If I Loved You, and not forgetting more recent songs from Yentl and Secret Garden. A couple of traditional celtic tunes, Carrickfergus and The Water Is Wide, also display Church's Welsh roots. Producer Keith Thomas has already worked with the likes of Barbra Streisand and copes equally well with a full orchestra or sparse flamenco guitar. As Charlotte Church hits her mid-teens her voice matures, making her a versatile performer who can rub shoulders with Bill Clinton and pop groups like Steps.
The eagerly awaited new album from the vivacious Charlotte Church. This eclectic album covers, amongst other things, broadway tunes, popular operatic arias and folk songs. One particular highlight is the wonderful The Heart That Matters Most, a new song written specially for Charlotte for the new animated version of A Christmas Carol. Ms Church's voice is maturing nicely and her richer tones are used to maximum effect in the excellent vocal arrangement of Satie's Gymnopedie No.1. To add a bit of spice to proceedings flamenco guitars have been added to Bizet's Habanera and the old English folk tune The Pretty Horses. All tracks are beautifully sung and feature some delightful instrumental work. Enchanting? You bet!