Sarah Brightman

Amalfi: Sarah Brightman Love Songs

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Opera and musicals may be a niche market in the U.S., but there's always a market to be found in Japan. Sarah Brightman's exceedingly clarion voice has repeatedly found its way onto the Oricon charts, even with compilation albums. A case in point is 2009's Amalfi collection of love songs, released in conjunction with the film Amalfi. Being a compilation, the songs are anything but new, but still work as a generalized showcase for Brightman's voice. The album opens with what may be her biggest hit in "Time to Say Goodbye," hitting that tiny gap between opera and pop. Throughout the album, she walks on either side of that line -- pieces from Broadway numbers float by, pieces from the classical repertoire float by, pieces from opera float by. Along the way, her vocal talent is displayed thoroughly. While pieces like "Il Mio Cuore Va" (an Italian rendition of Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On") are nice, it's the opera proper that really showcases Brightman's talent. "Nessun Dorma," taken on by a female, is a bit of an interesting rarity. "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" shows off a more feminine, almost kittenish version of her voice. Completist fans will want this one, but the songs are already available on extant Western releases. Excellent music, but redundant on the Western market.