Michael Londra

Beyond the Star

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Michael Londra made his mark as a replacement singer in Riverdance, and on this, his Christmas album, he remains true to that Celtic/new age introduction, singing in his angelic tenor a set of traditional carols along with a few originals. He may sing in English, in Italian ("Magia Sara [It Will Be Magic]"), in Latin ("Ave Maria"), or in the Irish language (parts of "Silent Night" and "Don Oiche Úd Mbeithil"), but it doesn't matter very much, since, like all those who describe themselves as "tenors" instead of "singers," he is more interested in the quality of his vocal sound than in the words that are coming out of his mouth. Producer Steve Skinner provides a largely electronically created musical soundscape to support Londra's voice, with only the occasional real instrument breaking through. Given that the albums of Mannheim Steamroller have ruled the Christmas charts for years, that's hardly unusual; Skinner's arrangements just provide a setting for Londra's soaring voice. (The voice soars even higher in the final track, "Little Donkey," recorded with the Wexford Male Vocal Choir when Londra was ten years old.) The album is packaged with a 13-and-a-half-minute DVD, Michael in Haiti, that spotlights the singer's charitable activities.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
blue highlight denotes track pick