Review of A Musical Affair by Il Divo
Whilst the likes of Robbie Williams and Dizzee Rascal complain that their tracks aren’t getting airplay on Radio 1, due to sales not vanity, there are a number of acts that show this isn’t the be all and end all.
Il Divo, aka the housewives favourites, are record breakers. The classical, operatic, crossover group have sold over 26 million albums, showing Simon Cowell‘s SyCo can do more than just X Factor acts and novelty records. Il Divo are hoping to add a few more sales with the release of their sixth album, A Musical Affair in December. Perfect Christmas gift material.
A Musical Affair is Il Divo‘s first compilation of songs inspired by Broadway shows such as Phantom of the Opera, Carousel and West Side Story. The album showcases Il Divo‘s signature romantic and emotional interpretation of heartfelt classics like Some Enchanted Evening (South Pacific), Bring Him Home (Les Miserables), Tonight, (West Side Story), and more.
Il Divo have also provided new arrangements for these much-loved songs, as well as invited familiar Broadway and pop artists to appear on certain tracks as their duet partners. These top musicians lend their talent in songs like Music of the Night (Phantom of the Opera) – LIVE duet with Barbra Streisand; All I Ask Of You (Phantom Of The Opera) – duet with Kristin Chenoweth; Memory (Cats) – duet with Nicole Scherzinger; and Can You Feel The Love Tonight (The Lion King) – duet with Heather Headley.
There are some other interesting inclusions on the compilation. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the inclusion of football anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone, normally the fodder of 40,000 chanting scousers. Il Divo turn the terrace favourite in to a completely different offer, whilst still maintaining that anthemic feel and hints of the chant. But Liverpool football fans will be weeping.
The most unusual inclusion is perhaps Queen‘s Who Wants To Live Forever. The original was written and compiled with the cross over and musical score in mind. The original was an example of the genius of Freddie Mercury and the eclectic catalogue of Queen. Whilst this should be tailor made for Il Divo, it kind of misses the quality of the original.
If you are under the age of 30, this is likely not to be an album for you. Ignoring the target audience for a second. Il Divo show off a wide range of tones, their range is sprawling and the production is first rate. The addition of a number of collaborations is a welcome addition and it never feels like a gimmick or novelty. This is genuinely a great Christmas gift for one of the folks.