Connie Talbot

Over the Rainbow

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Having been released from her contract at Sony/BMG, a feat that she shared with many much older and more established stars, Connie Talbot signed to Rainbow Records, a division of the record label Rhythm Riders set up specifically to handle her and any future child acts, and released the debut album inevitably titled Over the Rainbow. She had sung the title track three times on national prime-time TV on the talent show Britain's Got Talent in the summer of 2007, where she got her big break. Managed by John Arnison, who had previously handled Gabrielle and Billy Ocean, and Marc Marot (formally the head of Island Records), the album was produced and engineered by Simon Hill and Rob May, but the real star is little Connie herself. One is rather obliged to speak of her in such terms, for however good or bad the album is, whether she's actually in tune or not, and whether the choice of songs is right for her young voice is irrelevant. All that matters is that she was then a seven-year-old (six at the time of Britain's Got Talent) cute kid, with a gap where the front teeth should be and angelic good looks. OK. She can sing, for a seven year old, and most of the notes (if not all of them) are in the right order and sung to the right pitch; the timing is fine too, but if this is what music is all about, it would never have taken off. There's no feeling, no emotion, no realization of what each song is about; they're just pretty little songs, even "Imagine," "I Will Always Love You," and "Wonderful World," but what could you expect from a child this age? Isn't is enough that she looks cute and sings in tune? As for the choice of songs, it's pretty much what can be expected. The album opens with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and, like Little Cosette from Les Miserables who got to sing the simplest of songs ("Castle on a Cloud") among many complex others that the adults sung in the show, Connie Talbot goes through a repertoire of the easiest songs to sing ever written: "I Believe," "Smile," "Walking in the Air," "Ben" -- just read through the track listing. Talbot's potential album buyers won't expect, or want, anything else.

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