Franciscan Friar Alessandro (also known as Alessandro Brustenghi) has achieved considerable fame on the strength of his first album, Voice from Assisi, and he is likely to win over new listeners with his second release, a Christmas album titled Voice of Joy. The program of religious-themed songs is well-suited to Friar Alessandro’s light tenor voice, and though there are some stretches to high notes, notably in O Santa Notte (O Holy Night), Agnus Dei, the Ave Marias by Bartolucci and Bach/Gounod, and A Gaelic Blessing, his voice isn’t taxed with truly operatic challenges. While Friar Alessandro has natural vocal ability and obvious personal charm, his uneven tone and exertions are sometimes apparent, suggesting a lack of support from his diaphragm and a tendency to sing from the throat. Nonetheless, his fans will appreciate the warmth and smoothness of his singing without needing any displays of virtuosity or technical prowess, and the mellow, easy-listening arrangements will appeal to his mostly crossover audience.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson