Prelude: The Best of Charlotte Church

Prelude: The Best of Charlotte Church

Charlotte Church ~ Prelude: The Best Of CharlotteNeed more evidence of the record industry’s obsession with youth? Consider that budding Welsh diva Charlotte Church was a ripe, old 16 when this, her first greatest-hits anthology was released. Spanning her first four releases, as well as some outside collaborations and unreleased material, this 18-track collection underscores the soprano’s seemingly boundless potential–as well as some potential career obstacles ahead. Her crystalline, still-matu

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3 Responses to Prelude: The Best of Charlotte Church

  1. Daniel J. Hamlow says:
    23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great Charlotte’s greatest–but so soon?, November 30, 2002
    By 
    Daniel J. Hamlow (Narita, Japan) –
    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Prelude: The Best of Charlotte Church (Audio CD)
    Four albums, including a Christmas album, all within four years, and then a greatest hits? Seems too soon. However, if anything, this collection provides a showcase of her voice as it has developed throughout the years. From the youthful voice that breathed new life into Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Pie Jesu” to the anthemic “Just Say Hello,” to the developing beauty in “The Flower Duet” and the other songs in Enchantment (her best album by far), this Welsh wonder has gone from being Good Charlotte to Great Charlotte–sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun.
    As for the remaining five songs, wow, what a revelation! To quote the Beatles, she’s “getting better all the time.” “All Love Can Be”, sung over the closing credits of A Beautiful Mind, deserved to have snatches of it sung during the movie proper instead of being shuffled off towards the end. Surrounded by a lush orchestral arrangements, it’s one of her best. “It’s The Heart That Matters Most” could’ve been one a hit ballad in any of the preceding three decades, complete with its gospelish chorus. It sounds like something Melissa Manchester would’ve done. “Tantum Ergo” has a lovely backing Christmas choral type, highlighting Great Charlotte’s voice. And there are very few people who can do justice to Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” When she sings “I will comfort you” and “I will take your path when darkness comes”, you know she really means it. The closing ballad “Sancta Maria” could well be a companion piece to “In Trutina.” Like Sarah Brightman, she does good singing any language, but does best in Italian.
    OK, song distribution time, and here it is:
    Voice Of An Angel, 5
    Charlotte Church, 3
    Dream A Dream, 2
    Enchantment, 3
    Beautiful Mind, 1
    new, 4
    Not exactly the selection I would’ve chosen. “Carrickfergus” and “The Water Is Wide” are two I would’ve included. And if she was going to include “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” why not include her cover of “Imagine,” which like the former song, was done for the Enchantment video concert?
    While a greatest hits from Charlotte is welcome at this time, it causes one to wonder about the title. Prelude? Prelude to what? Surely not retirement? Prelude to becoming the next Sarah Brightman, which given the new songs she has the definite potential to be? If that’s what the title means, all of us can rest easy–she’ll be back for more. Come on Charlotte, you’re our last hope.

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  2. Jana Kalmari says:
    42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    More of the same., December 4, 2002
    By 
    Jana Kalmari (Wheeling, West Virginia, USA) –

    This review is from: Prelude: The Best of Charlotte Church (Audio CD)
    As others have noted, this CD brings nothing new to the table. The “new” songs have the same problem that Enchantment had and that is that she had lost most of her voice when they were recorded. I am very disappointed that something better than this could not have been released after such a disappointment as Enchantment. But maybe this is as good as she will ever be. If so, she needs to look for new musical genres. The ones included herein are not compatible with her voice any longer.

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  3. Phyllis Meister says:
    42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars
    The Fall Of An Angel, November 26, 2002
    By 
    Phyllis Meister (Miami, Fla) –

    This review is from: Prelude: The Best of Charlotte Church (Audio CD)
    In most “Greatest Hits” type albums, you will see a progression from an artists raw beginnings to a hightened finish or point in their career. However, in the case of Charlotte Church, we see just the opposite. From an initial album where she showed so much promise as a 12-year-old, possessing the volume to sing un-amplified to an audience of 5000, we hear “progress” into her 2nd and 3rd albums where, despite better song selections, she demonstrates no improvement as her lack of emotion, vocal range, and vocal control become painfully conspicuous. Finally, in the album Enchantment, we find that she has lost that volume which made her so unique and now she is relegated to little more than a choir girl. The one song from that album, where she could still shine, Carrickfergus, is left out of this compilation, leaving only evidence of how far she has fallen.
    The album is best described as a documentary of how a promising career was allowed to disintegrate and an artist who just doesn’t seem to care. This CD is recommended for historical value only. Her first album, Voice of an Angel, is the only one which can justify any type of a positive rating.

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