Libera

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It had to happen -- Britain's profusion of top-notch boy choirs meets the country's love for easy-on-the-ears crossover music. Ten years ago, Libera was known as St. Philip's Choir. Five years ago, it was Angel Voices. Now, as Libera, with electronic rhythm tracks and simple original compositions by leader Robert Prizeman, the group is at the top levels of the U.K. classical charts, and it has the U.S. in its sites. This album, which opens with an inventive texting of Pachelbel's Canon, actually is a bit sparer than Libera's previous Free release, but it's cut from the same cloth. This release is aimed at a certain audience -- that which likes the sound of boys' voices and thinks of classical music as part of an arsenal of stress eliminators along with chamomile tea, heated seats, and bath salts. It's a large audience, and if you are part of it, you'll love this album. The studio sound is effectively manipulated so as to sound for all the world like it originated inside a cathedral.

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