Charlotte Church

The Charlotte Church Show

(CD - Masterworks / Sony Classical Essential Classics #8869717008)

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A vocal sensation in Great Britain at age 12, Welsh soprano Charlotte Church hit the big time in 1998 with her double-platinum Voice of an Angel, and in the next two years followed that enormous success with the crossover album Charlotte Church, and the holiday collection, Dream a Dream. Sony repackaged these three chart-topping albums in 2007 as The Charlotte Church Collection, and her early career is documented in this box set. What charmed many listeners was the unique combination of a child's apparent innocence and a precocious, adult-like talent, though it must be said that she was pushed to sing demanding arrangements that often overwhelmed her light voice; in fairness to her age, she was marketed to appear more angelic than any teenager ought to be represented. But looking back on her achievements, she was a gifted young entertainer who sometimes gave affecting performances of material that suited her developing vocal tone and range, and she was most successful when allowed to sing light numbers that showed no pretensions toward an operatic style. Sony's sound is generally well-balanced and controlled on the first album, but the boosted levels and booming arrangements of the last two are sometimes too much for the heavily amplified singer, who is audibly strained and almost drowned-out in the loudest tracks.

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