on June 29, 2004
When I first heard Charlotte Church sing she was thirteen and singing "The Last Rose of Summer". I was in awe of her voice, and the fact that she had a voice like that at a young age. However I was a bit concerned about her vocal training. She had a very uneven vibrato, which created a wobble. I kept in mind that she was only thirteen so I let it slide. Almost a year later, "Enchantment" came out. I did notice that her pushing was gone, and I also noticed that much of her shimmer was gone, that sparkle and shine sensation that she gave pieces when she sang.
Not only that, but since when is "Mien Herr Marquis" (Adele's Laughing Song) or "Habanera" appropriate for a fifteen year old girl? Most twenty year olds don't even sing them! If I went into my vocal instructor's studio and asked her if we could sing "Adele's Laughing Song or Carmen's "Habanera" she would more than likely flip her lid, meaning either die of fright or shock, or just die from the thought of a fifteen year old girl (like myself) singing the arias.
Many things where wrong about how the arias where sung. First off, you don't take a classic french aria and make it into a 'ropera' (rock opera) song, and then try to pull of shaking your (...) on Jay Leno as dancing. It just does not work.
Secondly, if you are going to sing "Adele's Laughing Song" you should have technique, lightness, and good german, not half way decent english. Being on key also helps too. I mean, singing a C sharp when the note is a high D? If you can't sing the note then don't sing the aria. Its not rocket science, its simple vocal knowledge.
The only thing that Church sings in her repertoire for this disc that is even half suited to her voice is "Carrickfergus". That song requires a Enya-like voice, something a bit on the thin (no offense) side, with a more pop tone.
By now, you are more than likely asking "if this person does not like Charlotte then why is she buying this CD?" Well, it is because of the Target version. I heard Kathleen Battle sing Massenet's "Elegie" and really loved the song and wanted to sing it for a competition, and looked for a recording of it but the only one that I could come across was Church's. I did not really want to buy the CD except maybe so I could sing my own rendition of 'Adele's Laughing Song' (my name is Adele) from hearing her rendition of the aria. I must admit I had quite a laughing fit! Church's rendition of "Elegie" was, well, to put it nicely, not all that great. The last note was pretty good, but other than that, Church pushed out F naturals and Gbs, and those notes are not that high, they are only middle voice!
There are more pieces on here then arias, there are also Broadway tunes, such as "A Bit of Earth." This song was sung with very thin tone, no phrasing, no any thing. Just a raspy voice, extremely breathy on every single note.
Finally, I must say that this CD is for die hard fans only. If you are looking to be amazed then buy Renée Fleming's new "Bel Canto" CD instead. If you are looking for an average okay CD, then buy Roberto Alagna's "Popular Tenor Arias" CD. If you want an average, not so great CD, then go for this CD. Or, buy this if you want to see what level a beginning vocal student should be singing at. This CD is okay for a choir audition demo for average-okay freshmen in high school, but not to put out on sale.
on February 16, 2004
I understand that some have rated this CD rather poorly. And I understand the reasonings. However, I have to disagree. I was a voice major in college, and while I am not an absolute authority on vocal teachnique, I find Charlotte Church amazing. Certainly, she does not have the voice of one who is 25 or 30, but she sings far beyond her years. Her voice is right on pitch and absolutely flawless in its tone. Her voice has matured since her first recording, and I am confident that she will continue to do so. I did not sing some of these songs until I was in college, and I would not have attempted them as a teenager. While she could come back in ten years time and bring a depth to them that she does not have now, I am amazed at the voice she has now. And what's more, she is receiving classical training. This assures that she will be singing for her entire life. If only all children would see the benefits of this kind of training. I highly recommend this CD, and I love each song!
on September 12, 2003
Look, all you Metropolitan Opera wannabes, could any of you cut this material when you were fifteen? Did any of you have the natural God given voice this girl has had since she was twelve? To compare her performances with the the grand dames of opera, all of whom are at least thirty something and much older, is ridiculous and makes you all look like you're on a sour grape binge! Give credit where credit is due! This girl has set an extremely high standard for young teen female singers of today. Look what the likes of Beonce, Brittney, Ashanti, Christina, Kelly Clarkson and the rest of the hooker look-a-likes are recording. Unadulterated garbage, and none can sing a pure tone Charlotte is not a trained classical singer, but she should be. If she is to be faulted at all it would be due to her undisciplined life style and lack of consistent vocal training. If she continues to follow that path her career will end sooner than later. Her fan base is built on the classics, light opera, show tunes and Celtic folk songs. She should stick to that and forget trying to get in the music gutter with the rest of the hip hop, rap, R&B and pop crowd unless she wants to become a sad, pathetic example of womanhood like Madonna. If she continues to smoke it is all over. Look at what a lifetime of smoking did to the magnificent instrument that was Frank Sinatra's voice. Boozing, smoking and drinking began eroding his talents as far back as 1965. From then on it only got worse to where in the 70's and 80's he was yelling and shouting his lyrics rather than singing. For the time being Charlotte is on top and in command of her awesome talents. I only hope mangagement can control her. As for the ENCHANTMENT album it is a sheer joy to hear. My personal favorites are "Carrickfergus", the "Flower Duet" from Lakme, "The Prayer", "If I Loved You" and "The Laughing Song". Bravo!
on July 26, 2003
Ms. Church does not have the emotional or vocal range for a CD of this nature. It is bad enough to see her slaughter classical arias...but to hear her butchering my favorite musical theater songs is painful.
She has a beautiful voice, which got her the three stars I gave her. She's not trying to be Renee Fleming or Kiri Te Kanawa, for example, so I don't hold a grudge against her because she doesn't sound like them. I also like that she doesn't feel the need to show skin like Britney Spears of other pop idols. But hers is a voice that sounds the same on every single song. And, while there is a lovely selection of songs on this CD, many of them are totally wrong for her. As for the good songs, her voice was perfect for "The Flower Duet" from Lakme, for example, but Adele's Laughing Song is far out of her league technically. She does have those high notes, but she needs to refine them with her voice teacher. "Carrickfergus" and a few others were also well done.
However, what was Ms. Church thinking when she did "Habanera?" The arrangement is interesting and original, but her voice ruins the song. This aria was written for a mezzo, and the only sopranos who should sing it are the ones who have "darker" timbres, like Maria Callas. Ms. Church apparently belongs to that ever-so-annoying group of sopranos who believe that, if it's in their range, they should sing it, even if it was written for a different voice part. And "Tonight" and "Somewhere," both from "West Side Story," my second-favorite musical ever, don't work at all. While Charlotte's youthful-sounding voice is appropriate for Maria, it doesn't have any character or interest to it. "Tonight" is devoid of the rapture and urgency it needs, and Ms. Church's boring and right-off-the-page delivery robs "Somewhere" of its poignancy.
on June 4, 2003
...because it can't be this one. I am breaking a long time rule of mine here, never to write a second review of anything, but always go with my first impressions, since those are the ones that most often matter. The CD is wonderful! Period. I stand by what I said in my first review about the opening song, "Tonight." It sounds to me as Church is forcing herself a bit too much here...but she more than makes up for it with the following song, "Carrickfergus." She simply nails this one. Possibly (along with two other contenders) the best song on the recording. The third song, "Habanera" is one that is going to make say "I was wrong in my first review." I didn't like it then, but there is a mysterious something that keeps bringing me back to it, and now I find myself liking the song a great deal. There is an implied sensuality to the song that gets under your skin if you give it the smallest chance. The other two songs that I think are contending for "best song" are "The Water Is Wide" and "Somewhere." "Water" is a beautiful Celtic song, (a genre in which Church's talent truly shines), and as she did with "Carrickfergus," she basicaly sets the standard for how this one should be performed. "Somewhere" is the song that sold me this CD. I heard Church perform this on the "Christmas in Washington" televison special in 2001, and although I had not been a particularly big fan of Charlotte Church up till then, I became one upon hearing this song. She get across a depth of feeling in this song that has to be heard. (If some Broadway producer needs a teenager than can truly sing, you're missing a solid bet by not checking out this young Welsh woman.)
The songs I have mentioned are not the only good ones on the recording, but to me, they are the best..."All The Pretty Horses," and "Papa, Can You Hear Me?" are excellent as well.
Don't let the negative reivews here or the worst press Church has been getting lately fool you. This girl can sing! Get this recording and LISTEN to it...Be objective and give it a fair chance. There is an old Native American saying to the effect that "listening means to hear with your heart", do this with "Enchantment" and you won't be disappointed in it..at all...
on February 20, 2003
I was very impressed with this particular CD. Not only does Charlotte take on some complex songs for her age, she sings each song as if she has always known these songs. In fact, she started singing at a very young age and has a very musical family. The beauty of her voice has the power to bring
you to tears. Here is what I thought of each song...
Charlotte Church's voice dances into this compilation of songs with exuberance as she sings of anticipation. Her voice mingles with a huge orchestral accompaniment.
She then floats on to "Carrickfergus" where she wishes she could swim over the deep ocean to a castle to find her love. She laments she has no wings to fly. In my opinion, the Carrickfergus song is the best on the CD as the words are so poetic and filled with longing. It is a masterpiece!
Suddenly you are transported to Spain in Habanera, as a subtle energy embraces you with sensuality and smooth seductive tones. To my absolute delight guitarist Jesse Cook makes his appearance.
"Bali Ha'i" sends shivers over your body as if a fairy had sprinkled magic dust into the air. It is an exotic song of love, and how we are all really living on a lonely island in the middle of a foggy sea, longing for another island where we would like to be. You feel almost lulled into a haunting trance as she sings: "If you try you will find me where the sky meets the sea." Pure Magic.
"Papa Can You Hear Me" seems to roll like a life moving forward seeking to return to childhood, but knowing it can never be again. Surely God steals away from heaven to hear Charlotte sing this song.
The "Flower Duet" is an echo of ecstasy which can memorize you into a thoughtless existence, then it flows nicely into "The Little Horses," a vibrant lullaby.
"From My First Moment" is spectacular in every way and embodies the concept of cherishment. The souls longing to dance on earth with other souls or to be sweetly and indulgently loved. It embodies the purest essence of the human soul.
"The Water is Wide" is a song in which words from the heart reach across the miles when you cannot be with your true love. Words become the wings of the soul and two souls dance above the turbulent sea, somehow meeting in the air. It is filled with longing as most of the songs are. The next two songs are lighter and fun as the music almost seems to burst into laughter.
"If I Loved You" is a classic and speaks of a girl who wonders about how it would be to be in love. What would she say, what would she want her love to know? It is intensely beautiful and she imagines herself going in circles, longing to tell how she feels yet shy. She fears she would let her golden chances pass her by.
"A Bit of Earth" seems to speak of hope. Seeds planted growing to beautiful flowers. It is a comforting song with a sad note because even flowers die. Somewhere follows and tells of a time for everything.
"The Prayer" is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. There is a sense throughout the entire CD of a longing for a more beautiful life filled with love.
This is perhaps the most beautiful CD I now own. My only complaint was that the lyrics were not included. However it was fun to read what Charlotte was feeling at the time of the recording.
Charlotte Church's voice is Intoxicating! If you enjoy this
CD, you will want to see her in the "Voice of an Angel concert."
Part of the beauty of her voice is the innocence. She is truly a natural. By watching her in concert you will be able to see the contrast between her teenage personality and her angelic and almost adult presence when singing for an audience.
on January 5, 2003
The lovely Charlotte Church, with her radiant demeanor, enthusiasm for classical music, and a soprano voice like finely etched crystal, has made this kind of music more accessible to everyone. It is rich and beautiful and this recording flows through your sound system like gentle waters caressing the shore.
No matter what kind of music you enjoy you will find beauty here. Only the classical 'purists' could find fault with this. This is a recording to be listened to with the heart and ears and not the ego. If there is one particular high note somewhere in the stratosphere that Charlotte doesn't hit on this or her new CD "Prelude" it may just be that we don't notice because we are so enjoying this lovely girl and her exquisite voice. I am just as apt to pop this CD in as I am Sade or the Goo Goo Dolls. This is a lush and joyful recording with one great moment after another.
It is obvious she loves this music and that emotion comes across in every song. The composers and writers of these songs read like a who's who of the music world. But it is the crystal clear voice of Charlotte Church that makes them memorable to us.
1) Tonight - She really captures the joy and anticipation of this classic from Bernstein and Soundheim.
2) Carrickfergus - A beautiful Celtic song with a low whistle and an almost contemporary feel, Charlotte's voice embraces the wishful and longing tone of the song. My personal favorite.
3) Habanera - This song is given a Spanish flavor and a gypsy feel, making it really something special.
4) Bali Hai - Anyone who has seen South Pacific will recognize this one immediately. It is full of atmosphere, the music and words of Rodgers and Hammerstein and the voice of Charlotte conjuring up images of a South Sea Island and sandy shores, and, of course, a pretty girl.
5) Papa Can You Hear Me - A heartfelt song that she did because it is her father's favorite.
6) The Flower Duet - Charlotte does a duet with herself on this one and the fun she says she had recording it can be felt by the listener.
7) The Little Horses - A simple lullaby turned into magic by her voice.
8) From My First Moment - Charlotte's voice is haunting against the backdrop of a gypsy violin in this beautiful French song.
9) The Water is Wide - A heartfelt Celtic song of love lost sung beautifully.
10) Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man - She's old enough now, but at this time she was just having fun, so it's great.
11) The Laughing Song - Almost a vocal exercise for Charlotte, this is playful and lilting.
12) If I Loved You - The classic and often recorded favorite of her Nana, it's lovely listening to Charlotte's graceful rendition.
13) A Bit of Earth - She states that she had been looking forward to recording this for a long time and it shows. It is tender and touching.
14) Somewhere - The beautiful and simple words of this often recorded song are surrounded by Charlotte's clean and clear vocals to create quiet and graceful magic.
15) The Prayer - This is a wonderful duet with Josh Groban produced by David Foster. It has a contemporary feel and a classic flavor. A peaceful and captivating duet.
16,17) My CD has the two bonus tracks, "Tra Bo Dau" and "Eligie." They are both splendidly rendered by Charlotte.
Charlotte Church is refreshing. This voice of an angel doesn't mind letting those of us who rarely, if ever, are afforded the opportunity to hear this kind of music have a listen. Just pick this up and enjoy Charlotte Church's wonderful voice and her enthusiam for music. It is a warm and enjoyable recording of great beauty, minus all the stuffy trappings usually associated with it. You'll be suprised how much you like it.
on December 29, 2002
Hey what's wrong with that guys? R U jealous or what? She was fifteen when she recorded that. That'S why she doesn't sound like Kathleen Battle so far. SO FAR.
This is classical-pop-crossover at its best. If you like Sarah Brightman, Filippa Giordano... you'll also love this one. The age doesn't matter. She sounds great. And what does that mean she can't reach the high notes? Of course she does. Otherwise she wouldn't sing the songs would she? tzzzsss.
Tonight: Huge orchestra arrangement in the opener from the West side story.
Carrickfergus: A sweet celtic ballad. I love it.
Habanera: I love this one. I guess it's very hard to sing because you have to "feel" the song. Charlotte does a good job but I'd like to hear it again in ten years or so.
Bali Ha'i: A romantic and slow song. Very nice.
Papa can you hear me: Very difficult because it's very emotional but she sing it so well. RESPECT!
The flower duet: I think this song is very famous but I had to get used to it.
The lottle horses: This is a lullaby but they added drums and guitars. HOT!
From my first moment: Another slow one. I like the fast songs better.
The water is wide: Again a nice ballad.
Can't help lovin' dat man: Cahrlotte sings this jazzy song very well. She tries different styles that's why I think that she's a giftet artist.
The laughing song: I love it with those high notes. I sounds just great. But why didn't she sing it in German?
If I loved you: Not bad but none of my favourites.
A bit of earth: Also not my favourite.
Somewhere: Another song from the West side story. It's the version without Josh Groban.
The Prayer: This is with Josh Groban. I really like it. But why doesn't she sing high? It's the same song that Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli sing. (wasn't right was it)
on December 22, 2002
As an amature who knows little or nothing about professional music such as this, I found the CD to be very enjoyable. I've read the majority of the reviews here, good and bad... and I find it puzzling that so many give negatives.
Those who come at from a professional view and point out the errors with her singing... well I am certain that even they do not sing 100% perfect 100% of the time. Simply put... who has the recording contract? And would she be so awful, are there so many blindly ignorant fans who ignore the obvious? I think not. Those who critisize, live in her shoes, work with her voice, then come to the table with your comments.
Others seem to be jealous, that she may make a mistake or two, yet regardless she has a wonderful career, and a legion of adoring fans who love her. Hmmm... how many of these same people write bad reviews about the myraid of pop/hip-hop/r&B artists who might not have a voice even close to Ms. Church? Interesting eh?
In closing, to the average, typical, man on the street... the person who knows nothing about music, vocal music anyway, you will enjoy this CD. Of course you need to like the style of music presented on it. Charlotte has a wonderful voice, proof of that in the simple fact that she has a recording contract... how many of the reviewers here can say this? Bottom line, take no one's word, not even my own... listen for yourself, and make your O-W-N mind up!
on December 17, 2002
As Charlotte Church albums go, this is probably the one I like the best. The more classical, foreign language pieces from her first album really didn't appeal to me. With Enchantment, we get a little from Broadway, a little pop, a little folk, along with the classical. I find it much more enjoyable.
The negative reviews here seem to be from two types of people: 1) those who were vocal performance majors in college and then were unsuccessful with their music degrees and think that by criticizing someone who is better (and younger) than them, they will look better by comparison, and 2) people who don't like Church's style of singing. I mean honestly, the latter have no reason to write a review at all; if your type of music is Britney Spears and punk rock, it's no secret that Charlotte Church won't appeal to you. (These comments may make me unpopular with the "Was this review helpful to you?" count, but so be it; it needed to be said.)
As someone who did NOT major in vocal performance in college, I find it very difficult to criticize anything about Church's vocal technique. No vibrato? GOOD. I hate vibrato. Why bother to sing one note when you can sing three at once! Unlike some "professional" singers I could name, who can't STOP singing with vibrato, it's refreshing to hear someone who can reserve it for special moments, instead of warbling through the whole song like a middle-aged turkey. I also enjoy being able to understand the lyrics with Church's recordings, again unlike many "professional" vocalists (whom the reviewers here seem to praise so highly) who just sing "aww" and "ahh" with really harsh initial and final consonants, and nothing but vowels in between, leaving me to wonder what on earth they're singing about.
Again, I'm sure many will vote to say my review was unhelpful, but I felt the need to speak up in defense of my favorite Charlotte Church album. The Prayer is simply lovely, Carrickfergus takes me off to a peaceful Celtic countryside, and Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man has a gentle bluesy feel. Enchantment is not an album to miss for Charlotte Church fans, despite what many people here seem to think.