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Highlights: Scarborough Fair, Io Le Canto Per Te, I Could Have Danced All Night

Amy Nuttall was a British soap star and a pin-up - almost the lowest form of celebrity, and when these kinds of people start making albums, it is often bad news. It is made even worse, when they attempt some kind of classical album. After appearing on a celebrity edition of Stars In Their Eyes (a karaoke show) singing Sarah Brightman’s ‘Time To Say Goodbye’ and then winning the show, EMI thought it would be a good idea to sign her.

To be fair, if they made a different type of album, this could have, indeed, been a good idea, but classical? Nuttall has no classical technique, and it is almost unbearable to hear her struggle through the more demanding numbers of her track list – and this is with the knowledge that production wizards are helping her to sound as good as possible. It is not until the last track of the album, where she sings a number from My Fair Lady ’I Could Have Danced All Night’ that you realise that she should be singing show tunes and getting on the West End stage (and that she did, by the way). We are left to wonder why it took thirteen tracks for the first correct track for her to come up.

Saying all this, the album is quite good. This is an EMI album after all, and she is given the honour to record with an orchestra. True, there is a struggling singer throughout, but she is able to pass it off, due to the album material. Her version of ‘Scarborough Fair’ is possibly the strongest arrangement for the song in crossover, and ‘Friends For Life’ is a beautiful, heartfelt adaptation of Dvořák’s New World Symphony (though it is not credited). Even the more boring standards like ‘Shenandoah’ and ‘Fields of Gold’ manage to sound special. The definite standout track, despite her struggles is the uplifting ‘Io Le Canto Per Te’, an obscure song originally performed by French tenor Florent Pagny. It is the most demanding song of the album, and Nuttall sounds as if she relishes the challenge.

Released in 2005, this album is still the only one we have seen from Nuttall, and whilst it is not hard to understand why, it would be good to hear from her again, if only to bring the same team of songwriters and producers together again; not to mention that she does have a certain charm, but she is probably better off where she is, and that’s the West End stage.

Track List
1. Scarborough Fair
2. Friends For Life
3. Io Le Canto Per Te
4. No Greater Gift
5. Shenandoah
6. Fields of Gold
7. I Can’t Make You Love Me
8. Best Days
9. So Far Away
10. Greensleeves
11. The Water is Wide
12. Suo Gan
13. Time To Say Goodbye
14. I Could Have Danced All Night