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Boyle Delivers Pure and Authentic Hope

  • Lindsay Williams Contributing Writer
  • 2014 10 Nov
Boyle Delivers Pure and Authentic <i>Hope</i>

Artist: Susan Boyle
Album: Hope
Label: Columbia Records

What artist would be brave enough to cover Pink Floyd, John Lennon and Simon and Garfunkel all in one collection? Only someone as versatile as Susan Boyle. On her sixth album, Hope, the “Britain’s Got Talent” alum offers 10 tracks of inspiration fueled by the most powerful weapon in her arsenal—her voice. While some songs showcase her range better than others, each cut beautifully displays her acute ability to carefully control her angelic soprano, making every flawless note appear effortless.

Aside from her cover of MercyMe’s “I Can Only Imagine,” the classic standard “Will the Circle be Unbroken” and the impossibly joyful “O Happy Day” (complete with full choir) none of the other tracks are straightforward Christian songs. However, the additional seven cuts fall squarely into contemporary inspo territory, often referencing heaven, achieving your dreams and fulfilling your God-given purpose. 

Boyle’s own personal story of dreams fulfilled frames the track-listing, making every word she sings believable. Meanwhile, a cohesive cinematic musical backdrop transports listeners to a movie set with each new tack as if Hope is more film soundtrack than commercial recording. 

While at times surprising, the song selection is comprised of mainly iconic cuts from some of pop’s most talented artists, spanning a variety of decades. Every track displays the resplendent glory of Boyle’s light-giving voice. Lennon’s “Imagine” is as natural for the singer as Sarah McLachlan’s emotive “Angel.” Closer “You Raise Me Up,” originally made famous by Josh Groban, is another stand-out as Boyle is joined by the Lakewood Church choir.

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Hope delivers exactly what Boyle has become best known for—popular genre-defying songs flawlessly covered by a huge, other-worldly voice. A broad audience will be impressed by her ability to master such a wide spectrum of styles. However, for Boyle’s inner-circle of loyal fans, the Scottish-native’s brand of operatic soprano is certainly an acquired taste. Aside from the classical genre, it’s hard to put Boyle in a box. 

Music lovers will appreciate her obvious talent. Her vocals are unmatched, but her song selections are something of an anomaly. However, even the most casual listeners will be floored by her vocal ability. No matter the genre, the lyrical content or the melody encasing it, Boyle’s voice is a force to be reckoned with, and Hope once again affirms that her talent is as pure and authentic as the singer herself.

*Published 11/10/2014

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