(01 April 2008) Symphony (Blue Note Label Group Manhattan Records (USA) 0946 3 46078 2 7, 2008), the new thirteen-track relase by Sarah Brightman is a masterpiece! Fans of Sarah Brightman's music have been overwhelmed with anticipation to have a fresh new album in hand. Nobody will be disappointed. We were delighted with the balance of song choices and high production cinematic soundscapes. This album clearly illustrates why Brightman is the reigning diva of opera pop. We await Sarah's responses to our 2008 interview questions.
The intro "Gothica" starts with chilling thunder and rain, haunting ominous sounds turn gently into beauty enticing you on a journey to "Fleur Du Mal" only to fling the listener into hard driving electric guitars and drums. Sarah's soaring vocals bend between her pop driven soulful voice and operatic vibrato.
The title track "Symphony" shows a gentler side of Sarah Brightman with her diamond voice sparkling brightly reaching incredible high notes with perfect ease. In "Canto Della Terra", Brightman and Andrea Bocelli reunite singing beautifully together like a delicious glass of champagne and strawberries. The song begins intimately and continues to build drawing in the orchestra, powerful choir, trumpets and bells to a musical fireworks explosion. It will draw shivers from its beauty.
The Dead Can Dance cover "Sanvean" is reminscent of a lonely dove floating above a barren landscape searching for its home. It was heartbreakingly beautiful, simple and pure. Another surprise gem "I Will Be with You (Where the Lost Ones Go)" featuring Paul Stanley (from Kiss), had a cute hippie folk beat that quickly turned into an upbeat modern pop/rock song. "Schwere Traume" was classical all the way through which will be a favorite for Classical lovers, and the high notes she reaches are just amazing.
"Saria Qui" featuring Allesandro Safina is full and strong. Adding the pop beats and layers colliding with the classical beginning was an excellent choice and gave the song texture and vibrancy. "Storia D"Amore" was lovely as a dream with Brightman's stirring poetic voice cascading with the harp, harpsichord, and symphony. "Let It Rain" is an album standout. Reminiscent of Sarah"s Dive album, it had an eclectic melody, which listeners will adore. The music box piano and building of layers was a delight and the bridge was simply magical. The message is that living is a journey, even under painful circumstances, if we endure love will find us again.
"Attesa" begins with a bittersweet violin making me think of an old western, and than Brightman"s emotive voice collects your attention with her caressing notes romantic and sweet. I would not be surprised if it was chosen for a romantic/drama movie. "Pasion" is a Spanish paradise. Of all four duets on this recording, Fernando Lima stands out the most, for he sang with the gentlest of care with his intimate voice melding with Brightman's like newfound lovers.
The last track, beginning with a heroic orchestra and Sarah"s imploring voice, will lead you to believe the final song "Running" is a mere postlude-but wait! A wild tribal beat takes over the symphony with electronic treats blending into a rock/pop song with wailing electric guitars and drums. The hidden track is certain to draw smiles. Bringing back the orchestral melody of "Fleur Du Mal" (but without the gothic rock) became the true postlude and was the perfect end to this album.
From gothic rock to classical pop, this incredibly polished album with diverse songs will refresh any person thirsting for more than just one style of music. While our personal preferences are when Sarah really lets loose, if we had one complaint, it would be wanting to see even more of
her wild side, but overall this was a stellar album. We loved every minute of this album and hope you will too.--Gabrielle Angelique in Virginia and Russ Elliot in New York