(01 October 2005) We are all familiar with the child star and operatic soprano diva Charlotte Church. In the past, her music has ranged from classical to opera to crossover. Her music has taken a radical change of direction in her new album, Tissues and Issues in which she explores a range of genres. The little girl has grown up and away from the classical side and belts out rock/pop tunes, funk, Motown-inspired songs, techno, flamenco and touching ballads.
The album is well produced, and Charlotte's stunning voice still rings true. She wrote several songs on the CD, and also enlisted the help of famed artists including Boy George on "Even God" and co-wrote "Easy Way Out" with Gary Barlow. Her songs come across as an introspective look into her own life and experiences.
"Call My Name" explodes with Charlotte's new funky sound in this Motown-influenced song. One of the standout tracks is "Crazy Chick" which was a huge hit single. The song certainly showcases her exhilarating new pop sound. She's really unleashed her version of the dance beat in the first two tracks. She takes on some of The Corrs sound in "Moodswings (To Come At Me Like That)" with her upbeat sound.
The album is somewhat ballad laden as in "Show a Little Faith." She does have an impassioned approach to her music which comes through in the personal and anthemic "Finding My Own Way." The orchestral and piano layering enhance the touching lyrics and gorgeous vocals. Charlotte's powerful voice is accentuated in this lovely song. She switches gears with her dance tune, "Let's Be Alone." She tempts fate with this techno sound.
Charlotte's breathy vocals in "Easy To Forget" and soulful "Fool No More" create a different atmosphere. The latter is a standout song with Charlotte's heartfelt and emotive singing. The gentle "Easy Way Out" and the sensitive Spanish-infused "Casualty of Love" are soothing and compelling tracks. "Even God" has beautiful piano and string instrumental backing. Charlotte continues to present her dulcit tones and her classical training technique shines through.
Her final standout track is "Confessional Song." The listener will be touched by the intimacy of her lyrics and her angelic sound. She seems to wear her life on her sleeve with this introspective look into her life. This song is definitely a grand finale to this collection of pop songs.
Tissues and Issues enables Charlotte Church to present her own unique, grown-up style.
Don't expect the lilting operatics anymore from this newly ordained pop artist. The jury is still out on this album.>--Audrey Elliot in New York