Overall: (?)

Classical < < < > > > Pop

Highlights: Hallelujah

This album almost represents all the things I do not like about Classical Crossover, but because it is Katherine Jenkins, and because she does the most perfect rendition of ‘Hallelujah’ I have ever heard, I do not completely hate this album. Well, I nearly do.

You only need to look as far as the title of the album to know what the problem is. How many albums have you come across titled Sacred Arias? My bet is that it is somewhere in the double digits. The album is what it says it is on the box, so that’s great for anyone that knows they want to hear their fiftieth rendition of ’Abide With Me’ and possibly their hundreth of ‘Ave Maria’. Excellent for record sales, but makes for yet another dull and unoriginal album.

Its saving grace is the fact that it is all performed and arranged well. She performs with vehemence, setting her renditions apart from so many others that have performed the same songs. Not to mention that she has a voice like chocolate in the first place, even if it is not technically brilliant and you can hear her struggle sometimes.

‘Hallelujah’ is the highlight of the album, and whilst she has jumped on the bandwagon with this cover, I have never been so pleased that she decided to do so. The orchestral arrangement is beautiful, the harp in particular elevates the pop song into something higher and more elegant, as does the atmospheric choir that feature throughout the song. It is the vocals and the delivery, though, that really makes this the definitive rendition for me.

The style of ‘Hallelujah’ is used throughout the whole album, so although it is consistent there is a danger of the album washing over you and finding that you tire of it quickly. It is normally okay for an album to have similar arrangements through out, but since this album is themed it is all a bit too samey (though ‘Down in the River to Pray’ may wake you up from your reverie).

I would recommend this only if you are sure you like the voice of Katherine Jenkins, because other than the fact that it is her singing, there is nothing here that you have not heard before. It is certainly not the first Katherine Jenkins purchase you should make.

Track Listing
1. Abide With Me
2. Pie Jesu
3. The Lord Is My Shepherd
4. Down in the River to Play
5. May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You
6. Hallelujah
7. Panis Angelicus
8. In Paradisum
9. Silent Night
10. Ave Maria
11. Misa Criolla: Kyrie
12. Agnus Dei