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Camilla Kerslake - Moments - CD Cover
image Mercury Records 2011

Camilla Kerslake
click on image to visit Camilla's MySpace
image Mercury Records 2011

Camilla Kerslake
click on image to visit Camilla's MySpace
image Mercury Records 2011

Camilla Kerslake
click on image to visit Camilla's MySpace
image Mercury Records 2011

Ed. Note: We gratefully acknowledge sources of the biographical information available elsewhere on the internet that has been used within the text of our album review.

 

(21 March 2011) Only eighteen months after she released the classical Brit-nominated Camilla Kerslake (Mercury Records (UK) 2725847, 2009), Camilla is back with her new album Moments (Mercury Records (UK) 2753382, 2011). Expanding her repertoire beyond the classics, the new album includes some original songs, a wonderful selection of pop song covers and a stunning track from Les Miserables.

A coloratura soprano, Camilla has a four octave range and has been heard singing notes half an octave higher than the highest note ever written for the human voice. Although she has been compared to Katherine Jenkins in multiple publications, her voice is completely different. She should sooner be compared to Hayley Westenra and most accurately to Emma Shapplin.

Camilla's self-titled debut album contains material typical for a new crossover artist with the exception of the surprising Italian version of Take That's "Rule the World." The artist's second album originally promised for October 2010 was released in March 2011. It clearly shows that she has improved her power and control, thought by some critics to be missing from her debut. Her voice remains light and pure.

The new album demonstrates the singer's power, range and control especially well in "Bring Him Home," a well-known ballad from Les Miserables. Camilla starred as Cosette in the West End production of the musical, and appeared at the 25th anniversary concert at the O2 Arena on October 3, 2010 and on the DVD released following the event and also aired on the US Public Broadcasting Service in 2011.

Equally stunning is Camilla's outstanding and very personal cover of the Kate Bush classic "This Woman's Work." Self- multi-layerd harmonies are tremendous. The album also includes Camilla's own powerful rendition of Queen's "Who Wants To Live Forever," previously covered by renowned crossover artists Sarah Brightman and Katherine Jenkins.

"Making this record was like a dream come true for me," she says of her new album, "We recorded some of it at Abbey Road and I kept waiting for someone to come in and, 'Hey, you! This is Abbey Road! Get out!' I feel like that a lot of the time, like someone is going to wake me up from the fantasy, this dream that Ive been living these last couple of years."

But, of course, it isn't a dream. Camilla is only 22 but she's been preparing for this her whole life. Born in Dulwich, South East London in 1988 aged just one she and her family moved to New Zealand where her primary school education focussed on singing and games and sport. After moving back to London at the age of nine, Camilla's sole focus was on music. With her stunning good looks and equally amazing measurements, she has also recently signed with the Models1 agency (website) as a professional model.

After recording a demo she made in her bedroom, and 20 borrowed from her mother she bought CD backing tracks and recorded her versions of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Pie Jesu" and Schubert's "Ave Maria," she visited the studio every day for weeks just so she go place a copy in Gary Barlow's hand personally. "I could barely afford to travel," she says, "But I had to do it. He only listened to it because I went every day. I suppose he listened to it so he could say 'stop coming!' but he liked it. In December 2008, he signed Camilla to his Future Records label, and her debut album was nominated for Best Album at the 2010 Classical Brit awards.

The title track of Camilla's album is an inventive take on Art of Noise's 1985 single "Moments in Love" by Trevor Horn and Ann Dudley, with lyrics put to this groundbreaking piece of music for the very first time. Camilla also covers Ray Davies' "Go To Sleep", most famously covered by the Pretenders. Other highlights of the album include Muse's "Unintended", Queen's "Who Wants To Live Forever" and "Dumbing Down of Love" by Frou Frou's Imogen Heap and Guy Sigsworth). Camilla's unique interpretation of "Surfing In The Air" originally sung by Norwegian pop singer Christine Guldbrandsen (review) and released in 2003, is outstanding!

Original material fits well amongst the cover tunes. "Sleepsong," a traditional Celtic lullaby also covered by Sara Kempe on her new release Let Me Fly (review), and "Winter Fire and Snow" were written by Brendan Graham, who penned the worldwide hit "You Raise Me Up" as well as the new record by Ry Cooder and The Chieftans. Unknown songwriter Molly Beanland, formerly signed to Island as a singer, has contributed the exclusive songs, including the accessible "Be Your Rescue", and the delicately arranged orchestral "Snow On The Roses" and especially crisp "Let Go" to Moments.

Earlier news said that the album would include Camilla's cover of Mike Oldfield's "Moonlight Shadow," previously released by Annie Haslam, Maggie Reilly, Miriam Stockley and other artists as well. Also mentioned in earlier news, "Le Onde", by ambient composer Ludovico Einaudi was adapted for Camilla's vocals with Shelly Poole writing the topline to this beautiful piece of music. Neither of these songs made it onto the final release and are perhaps being saved as B-sides for later singles to promote the new album.

Camilla spent the summer of 2010 starring alongside Nick Jonas as Cosette in Les Miserables. She also performed for the queen at Derby Day in front of 140,000 people, and for Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. With a the success of her debut album and Brit award nomination, a recently launched modelling career and the brilliant recordings on her new release, the future is certainly bright for Camilla Kerslake.

 
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