by Sarah Brightman, pop/classical (2001)
Angel, $17.98, ASIN B00005QITP

This is a compilation of classical pieces Sarah Brightman has done in the last eight or so years.

Classic purists beware though - my classically inclined friend almost died of stroke after listening to this CD. What he said about Ms Brightman's intonation, rhythm, breathing, and coloratura-wannabe pretensions cannot be repeated here without me turning this website into a fully X-rated site.

Then again, it can't be too bad. It could be that pap-maestro Andrea "Love My Pap Pop Ballads Because I'm Blind" Bocelli I am listening to. Then my friend will get a fatal stroke. But even a classical philistine like me draw a line at Andrea Bocelli.

Since I am a philistine, I can't say for sure Ms Brightman is paying tribute to or committing heinous massacres on the pieces. I do know enough, however, that realize that her Puccini's O Mio Babbino Caro is unbelievably bad, and her Alhambra sounds slightly off even to my untrained ears. Her Nessun Dorma is decent though, but that's because I've heard better.

What I do know is that most of these pieces do start to sound alike after a while. Yes, shoot me, classical purists, but I fell asleep around the eleventh track Pie Jesu.

Her Bocelli-free version of Time To Say Goodbye is still beautiful, better than ever, and I sigh mistily at her rendition of Winter Light. The latter is just so beautiful, so serene and calm and so, so evocative that I swear I'm dancing in snow or something equally embarrassingly sentimental.

Seriously, this CD is not bad for Brightman who is never a classically trained singer. It will no doubt make many purists bleed from every one of their body orifice, but for a dumb philistine like me who can't tell Kiri Te Kenawa from Big Bird (okay, I can tell them apart, honest), this is Accessible High-pitched Warbling for Dummies.

Let me go "aah-ah-ah" along to Winter Light and all you purists can go listen to your overpriced imported CDs, okay?

Rating: 85

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