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Album Review

A second-season finalist on the television show Britain's Got Talent, Faryl Smith made her full-length debut at the remarkable age of 13 with Faryl, a 12-song album of classical crossover favorites. Produced by Jon Cohen, whose recent work includes albums with classical crossover stars Vanessa-Mae and Opera Babes, Faryl finds the opera sensation accompanied by a 60-piece orchestra. Starting rather predictably with "Amazing Grace," Smith sings with power and perfection, showcasing right away the vocal talent that was praised effusively by Simon Cowell on Britain's Got Talent. "Ave Maria," one of the songs that Smith performed so memorably on television, shows up soon afterward as expected. The Welsh hymn "Calon Lân" also gets a nice airing here. Fortunately, there are a few curiosities sequenced intermittently amid all the classical crossover favorites on Faryl, most notably "River of Light," a new version of "The Blue Danube" with original lyrics. Other surprises include opera versions of ABBA's "The Way Old Friends Do" and John Denver's "Annie's Song." The 60-piece orchestra gets to be a bit overwhelming by the time Faryl reaches its 40-minute conclusion. Classical crossover fans oriented toward popular music rather than classical might find themselves hoping that her next album is more varied in musical style. For sure, Smith is an exceptional mezzo-soprano whose young age makes her vocal talent all the more awe-inspiring, and Faryl is produced with fine precision by Cohen, who is good at giving classical music a pop crossover twist. It's too bad that she isn't given more creative material to sing. One hopes her next album is more adventurous.

Customer Reviews

A wonderful new artist

I have just finished listening to this album and it is brilliant! A good choice of songs for a artist! It is brilliant!


Faryl has got the lot ! I think she needs to get some live appearances under her belt too and then the world is her oyster

An extraordinary girl with a great gift

This first album for the child prodigy will in turns make her proud and at times cringe, in the future, as her undoubted skills develop and mature. The boy like quality and clarity of her softer range is very beautiful. The strength and power she can create in the upper and mid range makes it hard to believe she is still so young. The choice of songs is curious and I suspect she has gone with older family member favourites to please. Of course what else would a fourteen year old want to do than to please her family. Some work and some are less impressive. A nightingale in Berkley Square for example lacks the passion that only a woman rather than a girl could bring. The arrangements are at times slushy and I feel in future years she would have been better served by a more modern approach in keeping with her youth. However without a doubt she has an extraordinary voice which will mature and develop and make her a true star of the future. She seems grounded and to have a delightful personality. I wish her well I think she can be proud of this first album but will admit in a few years that it truly was a first, though very worthy effort.


Born: 23 July 1995 in Kettering, England

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '00s

Inevitably compared to the likes of Charlotte Church and Hayley Westenra, opera singer Faryl Smith became one of the youngest female singers to achieve a U.K. Top 10 album after reaching the 2008 final of Britain's Got Talent. Born in Kettering in 1995, Smith competed in various singing competitions before auditioning for the hugely successful TV talent show which propelled her to fame. Her mature performance of "Ave Maria" impressed the judges enough to put her through to the live shows, with Simon...
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Faryl, Faryl Smith
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Customer Ratings