Annie Haslam

Still Life

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Before Sarah Brightman and Charlotte Church made it their genres of choice, Annie Haslam took classical melodies and a symphony orchestra and made perfect little gems of pop songs -- featuring time-honored melodies and arrangements to die for. This is one of Haslam's career highlights: a gorgeous, lyrical, and endlessly listenable collection of classical pop nuggets, topped off with brilliant -- often profound -- lyrics. The album has many highlights -- too many to single out -- but is best listened to from start to finish. (That being said, try getting the title track out of your head once you've heard it.) It all takes on the quality of a contemporary pop symphony, and again, set the template for countless artists to follow. A must-have.

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