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 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 November 22, 2001
With an artist like Charlotte Church, you would expect her to use material which falls within those genres where she once demonstrated such extraordinary virtue. Unfortunately, Enchantment brings us just the opposite. Instead of staying within that narrow 2 octave soprano range where she had been able to demonstrate an acute incongruity between her age and voice, she drops downward into uncharted waters reserved only for those who can do justice to popular Hollywood show and stage tunes such as "Tonight", "Habanera", and "If I Loved You", with voices ranging from alto to mezzo. Accordingly, the result is a schoolgirl-like rendition of these pieces which totally wastes the excellent production put on by Columbia. Charlotte has always shown an inclination to follow in the footsteps of Sarah Brightman and needs to return to that path if she is to regain credibility within the music industry. At this point, her first album, Voice of an Angel, remains the crowning achievement of her career
on November 21, 2001
I was extremely dissappointed in this album by Charlotte. She ventured way outside her comparatively limited vocal range into areas for which she may never be qualified. The result was a CD full of otherwise classic show and musical tunes which appeared to be sung by someone who was just covering them for fun rather than with any serious idea of having them heard before a major forum. Other than her 2nd song, Carrickfergus, AKA My Lagan Love, an Irish ballad originally written for a man, the entire album was incredibly pedestiran. Even Josh Groban coming in on the final cut only served to demonstrate how far away from her ideal genre Charlotte had strayed. Charlotte's forte lies in high octave opera pieces like La Pastorella as well as religious and holiday tunes more in line with her choir-girl voice. To venture down into areas designed for a mezzo is only inviting failure. And this is what the album produces despite the labels best production efforts. For those of you familiar with the pieces presented here, it will appear as if they are being performed by a very bad "adult" singer who was very poorly trained. A listener interested in some of Charlotte's better work should visit her first 3 albums and sample selections therefrom.
on November 20, 2001
Charlotte Church has, at age 15, accomplished so much in so little time. In a matter of only a few short years, Charlotte has gone from relative obscurity to world wide reknown. She was only eleven when we were first introduced to her, and her voice. It is always a fascination to see someone so young, so talented. And indeed, Charlotte has an abundance of talent. Her latest album, "Enchantment", exemplifies her gift.
My two favorites are "The Flower Duet", song number six on the CD, and "Papa Can you Hear Me", song number five on the CD. I found both to be very relaxing, more so than others, though each song in its own right is melodic, and as she puts it "emotive". Another one of interest is "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man", song number 10 on the CD. It's part opera, part jazz; a unique and provocative style which is a nice change of pace. My only complaint is that the songs themselves, most of them, were not very long, and were over before I wanted them to be.
Other reviewers have said that Charlotte has not performed up to her usual standards on this CD. I have not had a chance to listen to her other CD's, so I can only judge her voice on "Enchantment". And indeed, if this is any indication of what she sounds like, I will look forward in listening to her other songs.
What an amazing voice! What an amazing album! Only now have I discovered this young phenomenon, and her voice totally mesmerizes and amazes me. This music truly washes over your entire soul like a thoroughly refreshing breeze, and you are almost compelled to just sit back, close your eyes, and enjoy the heavenly sound coming from your speakers. Charlotte Church could literally revolutionize the music industry. If nothing else, this album will introduce many people to beautiful realms of music that have up to now been foreign to their ears. With music from Broadway, musicals, Celtish traditions, and a little opera, this one CD opens up vast new worlds of music to untold numbers of people. Truly, there is something here for everyone. My own familiarity with songs such as "Tonight," "If I Loved You," and "Somewhere" helped convince me to buy this album (although, in all honesty, the television commercial I saw for it convinced me almost immediately). "Somewhere" alone is worth the price of the CD. I was pleased to find out that I had heard several of the other songs on here (including Habanera, Bali Ha'i, and The Laughing Song), songs I did not know by name until now. What delighted me the most, however, were the songs I had never heard before. "Carrickfergus" is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard and is in fact my favorite song on the CD. I love the Celtic tunes on here; lilting and almost fairy-like, they are so different from the types of music I am familiar with.
I could go through and extol the virtues of every single song on this album, just as Miss Church does in the liner notes--what a wonderful idea it was for her to describe why she picked each particular song on this album. Her notes lend a poignant simplicity to the selections. Her voice only reinforces this notion--amidst the complexity of these songs, there is an underlying simplicity that makes them even more beautiful. The range of her voice is remarkable, and her ability to sing songs of different styles so well is equally so. "The Flower Duet" and "The Laughing Song" are fairly challenging pieces of music, but Miss Church excels in her efforts here. "The Little Horses" is a sweet, calming song, and "The Water is Wide" is wonderful. The final song on the CD, "The Prayer," is a perfect ending to the album. I wondered how her voice would sound alongside the voice of another singer, but Josh Groden's voice blends perfectly and beautifully with Miss Church's.
This is music that gets better and better every time you listen to it. This was the most difficult review I have written up to now for the simple fact that none of my words can convey the emotion, poignancy, sensitivity, and beauty of these songs. The fact that such a young woman is responsible for these recordings is beyond belief.
on November 19, 2001
I had the opportunity to review this album at a listening post in a local record store and unfortunately am unable to give it anything less than failing grades. With the exception of cut #2 Carrickfergus, the renditions of each song attempted will go down in history as the weakest versions ever recorded. Even the great Josh Grodon couldn't pull this one out with his "duet" on the last cut with Charlotte. His voice only served to show how amateurish Charlotte's really is. What the label failed to see here is that you can't pay Barbra Streisand's producer a million $$$ to produce the album, throw in 4 Streisand classics and expect to turn Charlotte into another Barbra Streisand. Charlotte is way out of her league here. All of the production values that Columbia can come up with could not make this album worth purchasing, no matter how big a fan of Charlotte you are. It's better for Charlotte's fans to remember her from songs in her first 3 albums. To listen to Enchantment will only make them feel she should stop singing for a time until both her range and ability to put any emotion into her selections are vastly improved.
on November 17, 2001
Charlotte Church takes a step forward in music with "Enchantment". She's been very skilled at performing baroque/classical pieces like "Lascia Ch'io Piagna", "La Pastorella", and now she sings "The Flower Duet" and "The Laughing Song". She's also moved on to perform Broadway musical songs like "Bali Ha'i" and "Somewhere". Her voice has matured and is less stressed, but sounds stronger. The orchestrations and arrangements sound very beautiful, especailly the Latino styled arrangedments of "Habanera" and "The Little Horses". People who criticize Charlotte's singing need to recognize her skill and people who critique the arrangements need to recognize the beauty. Charlotte doesn't fall with the pop arrangements like "Carrickfergus" and "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man". She stays strong and she gets stronger. Many of these songs has enchanted listeners through many talented singers. Charlotte is just one of those great singers. Some of these songs I've either learned or heard in my school choir class(those are Bali Ha'i, The Pretty Horses, The Water Is Wide, Can't Help Loving Dat Man, and Somewhere), which shows that Charlotte has performed a good selection. Another thing I like about the msuic is how it has a lot of variety in it. Sometimes Charlotte sings with a jazz style or an operatic style. Sometimes the music sounds deep and emotional and sometimes it sounds lighthearted and upbeat. There are songs of love and songs of hope. Charlotte fits the music very well and her singing is clearly at her best hear. "The Prayer", a duet with Josh Groban, is very hopeful and inspirational. I believe that Charlotte's talent and skill will place her with big stars like Sarah Brightman and Luciano Parvotti one day. In the mean time, please get this album, regardless of what the others say. Who knows what will appear on her next album?(she's getting better and better!)
on November 17, 2001
CHARLOTTE'S 4th CD, Enchantment,is DEFINITELY 5 (And more) stars; it is absolutely the best work she's EVER done on all of her albums!! "Enchantment" was the perfect title for her CD cause it just describes exactly what her voice is...Enchanting!! her voice is TOTALLY maturing and different, in a nice, growing up kind of way; also, her voice is soothing, relaxing, and TOTALLY tear-jerking!! It just shows that she's choosing to expand her musical horizons, and she certainly has done that!! I love her choice of broadening her horizons and I ABSOLUTELY love every single one of her songs, especially "Carrickfergus" cause that song shows her voice being different; her voice has no operatic notes but it sounds more contemporary and soft!! "Tonight" from Westside Story, is a FABULOUS opening to her CD, with the orchestral accompianment and the magical, nightly feel to it!! She sings a lot of musicals from Broadway plays!! "Bali H'ai", from the play: The South Pacific, has this sweet, warm, hawaiian feeling to it; "If I Loved You", from the play: Carousel, is just so operatic, at a couple of words, and it has kind of this playful, magical, lovely jingle to it, which I love; "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man", from the play: Showboat, is kind of humorous and at the same time, has this kind of funky beat and rhythm to it!! Her songs still display a classical feel to them but underneath those classical feelings, it has a contemporary, Irish, celtic, popish feel to them, as well!! I INCREDIBLY urge everyone to rush out there and buy her album cause you'll truly ADORE the treasure that her angelic voice brings to your hearts and souls on this, her 4th and BEST album EVER!!!
on November 16, 2001
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 Celtic 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!