Given that she was merely 12-years-old when she released her debut album Voice of an Angel, and that she is certainly cute, it may be easy for observers to dismiss Charlotte Church as the product of mere marketing, but that's not really the case. Yes, she is a marketer's dream, but her soprano voice is alluring, accomplished, and sweet -- even if it's not quite the voice of an angel, it comes close. And that's the reason why millions of listeners were wooed by Voice of Angel: Church is talented, young, and adorable. She's a good singer, sure, but one with enough talent to make her more than a special interest story. However, she is also the kind of singer that isn't well-regarded by classical purists for a variety of reasons, chief among them being the special-interest story itself. It's a double-edged sword, actually, since her very age makes her noteworthy to a wider audience, but not to the aficionados of opera, since she doesn't possess the skill that would make her a great artist in the view of many critics. Yet Voice of an Angel should be judged as a record, apart from Church's age. On that level, it succeeds -- particularly if it's viewed as a debut album. Yes, the material is pretty familiar -- "Ave Maria," "Amazing Grace," and "Danny Boy" all make appearances -- and because Church doesn't really offer revolutionary interpretations of the songs, she is open to criticisms from some opera critics. However, she has such a nice voice that it will be easy for many listeners to overlook the obviousness of the material and just enjoy the sweet music; Voice of an Angel certainly has its fair share of that.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
|Requiem for soloists, chorus & orchestra|
|Carmina Burana, scenic cantata for soloists, choruses & orchestra|
|Caneuon y Tri Aderyn (Songs of the Three Birds), for voice & harp|
|Hänsel und Gretel, opera|