Susan Boyle

My mom wants the new Susan Boyle cd. :smack:
She rarely listens to music these days. So it surprised me. I’ve ordered it from Amazon as a Christmas present.

So, anyone listened to the hairy lass from Scotland’s cd? Is it any good?

They were playing it in a staff room area before we opened one day last week at work. I was 100-200 feet away, and it sounded like just so much caterwauling to me.

IANAMusic Critic.

My SO insisted we buy it when it came out.
It isn’t horrible - parts of some of the songs are heavy on the background vocals and background music so you can barely hear Susan sing in few spots, but all in all, no worse than a lot of other CD’s out there today.

If you like middle-of-the-road music, Ms. Boyle has a pleasant enough voice to entertain. Mom will love it.

The lead single, a cover of the Stones’ “Wild Horses,” is pretty darn good. Possibly the best rendition of that track I’ve heard.

The rerecordings of her versions of “I Dreamed a Dream” and “Cry Me a River” are both solid, if a bit “too perfect” for my tastes.

The rest of the album is pretty bland, but well-made. It’s the sort of music that fits nicely into the background. The only real flop is the cover of “Daydream Believer,” which never finds the pep that song really needs.

I bought the album on iTunes. I’ve found that the production values of the album do a disservice to Boyle whose voice is actually quite good. The mix feels perfunctory. I found it to be the same listening to preview tracks of other “Got Talent” winners. Andrew Johnston for example is quite a good treble, but the quality of the music on his CD is downright awful. As DMark mentions, Boyle is often too far back in the mix. For example there is a classical guitar that does a cheesy little dribble in “I Dreamed a Dream” that is louder than she is and is distracting with headphones. And when she sings the line, “But the tigers come at night, with their voices soft as thunder” faintly in the background is a rumble of actual thunder :rolleyes: “Amazing Grace” and “Silent Night” mixes choirs too loudly so Boyle’s voice is lost.

That being said, I’ve heard studio albums released by famous vocalists from musical theatre that have had equally grating production values (Michael Ball, I’m looking at you!), so it’s average in that respect. IMHO, when Susan Boyle performs live, she genuinely enjoys singing and her voice has great feel, expresiveness and depth. Her Got Talent karaoke audition version of “I Dreamed a Dream” is superior to the studio version for sure, and the 1999 recording of Boyle singing “Cry Me a River” is a better mix than this one, even listening to it on YouTube. On preview: typoink’s post is right on the money. The recordings are “too perfect” and crisp, you lose the soul of her performance to a very tightly engineered sound.

Her studio performance sounds a bit… restrained. It almost feels as if she is trying to sing softly because someone told her she didn’t need to project in the studio or something. The album does not represent her abilities well, she’s better than that, but my mom likes it, and I would not call it a “bad” album. Disclosure: In a addition to being a show tunes junkie, I worked for a bit in the recording industry (on the business side) so my ear notices some things in mixes that the average listener my not.

Bottom line: I do not regret the purchase, but I think I would prefer to see her live with a pared down orchestra/band. Edit: I would recommend listening to the album through speakers rather than headphones if you have a discriminating ear.

I liked it but Charlotte Martin’s cover is a lot better.

Oh good, an opportunity to post a link to my favorite Rollings Stones song as covered by a frumpy woman from the British Isles: Mary Coughlan’s “Mother’s Little Helper.” (I especially like the way she introduces it with a breathy “O Mick!”)

Susan who? :confused:

Sorry to disagree (take it with a grain, okay? I’m 59!;)), but even with the recording snafus, she has a beautiful voice.

Also, I have to add that based on the voice alone, I would have bought the cd.

The last female singer I felt this way about was Carole King.


She is the most overated singer ever. During the competition she sung nothing but Andrew Loyd Weber songs and she royally fucked at least one up. Real singers that have worked their lives for it don’t fuck up that badly. She has a mediocre singing voice with absolutely nothing interesting in the way of style. At best, she belongs as the lead for a large church choir.

This is exactly why I bought the CD. Her voice is quite good.

She is most famous for singing “I Dreamed a Dream”, which is most definitely NOT a song by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

I very strongly disagree with your evaluation of “mediocre”. She is no Patti LuPone, but she certainly has a greater depth and is less shrill than performers such as Elaine Paige. On the album though she is not using her chest voice with the same heft she does live, which I find makes her sound “small” as if she is performing in a style that is too young for a mature woman. I think she’d be better off with deeper blue-based songs.


For awhile (the 1990s?) The Sundays had the definitive cover of Wild Horses. back when the breathy-little-girl voice was really big in the recording industry.

Yeah. I love that version, too, and tend to listen to mostly female vocalists.

By the way, are you saying only Harriet Wheeler’s voice is breathy and like a little girl’s, or implying Charlotte Martin’s is as well?

You may know her as SuBo.

I was referring to Wheeler’s. There was a lot of that sound in the 90s, like Six Pence None the Richer and Frente and so on.

She’s a frumpy Scottish woman who appeared on “Britain’s Got Talent” and recently released a CD of pop music, all of which I gathered from reading the posts above yours.

She was on Britian’s Got Talent, and she wowed the audience in what has been called a “transcendant moment.” You can watch it here:

(It’s almost worth watching just for the expression on Simon Cowell’s face…)

Anyone seen her make-over picturesfrom Harpers bazaar? They did a great job. made her look pretty while still looking like herself.

It’s gone triple platinum, so I’m surmising a few people must have listened to it. :smiley:
Not me, alas. Though I have just watched a telly special about her. She sang fairly well, I thought. But what do I know?

Mary, frumpy?? I may not be the best judge, but I’d wonder how many non-gay males could watch that whole thing and not want to go to their bunk! She’s not beautiful in the conventional sense, but damn, I think she’s sexy. (having met her and hung out with her, she’s a lot of fun too)

We just listened to the album last night, and I was happy to see that they included a cover of Patty Griffin’s Up to the Mountain, which I thought she did quite well with.