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Album Review

After Il Divo and G4 came the foursome known as Blake, a classical crossover act singing and harmonizing on pop songs ranging from "Moon River," "God Only Knows," and "I Knew I Loved You" to pseudo-religious classics "Hallelujah," "Jerusalem," and "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" to film themes "1492 Conquest of Paradise" and "In Paradisium," from Gladiator. Two classic pop songs Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love to You" and Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" got the foreign language treatment as "Yo Te Voy a Amar" and "Togliami Il Respiro," respectively, but you would be hard pushed to recognize the originals, which were in there somewhere underneath the slick production. These four young men, Stephen Bowman, Jules Knight, Dominic Tighe, and Oliver Baines were all classically trained but got together via Facebook and also attracted a manager, Daniel Glatman, via the site. He had worked with the Fron Male Voice Choir turning two of their albums into hits and secured Blake a deal with Universal Classics. Their self-titled debut was the sort of relaxing album one could put on after a hard day at the office or to have coffee at lunchtime in a bar, but it's far too slow and downbeat for retailers who want to give their customers a sense of fun. By the time the final track "In the Bleak Midwinter" rolls around, you would undoubtedly have either totally relaxed your cares away or fallen asleep.

Customer Reviews

We bought the whole album - it's stunning music

I'm not some mushy girl, but the songs on this album move me to the point of tears and smiles, I just can't help it. Hallelujah (if you've seen Shrek you'll know the song) is one of the most profound moments on the album, with gentle, caring voices at the start, then a mind blowing climax at the end. I have listened to that song at least 20 times already, played it to friends and the verdict is "stunning". My next favourite would have to be In Paradisum - which uses the theme from the film Gladiator - this is so powerful, with delicious moments of calm - the accompanying orchestra and choir are also excellent. In fact, it would take ages to go through each song on this album as they are all so wonderful. If I had to pick one I didn't like, it would be the rather bland irish folktune, Ashokan - but to only have 1 song out of 15 that doesn't hit the mark, on a modern album, is unbelievably good. These guys are actually nothing like Il Divo or G4 - this is something so new and refreshing - their music is thoughtful, inteligently passionate and extremely moving. I will buy copies for friends and family, no one who knows and enjoys heartfelt music, could fail to enjoy this. You'd have to have a heart of stone to dislike it. Jenny and Steven

A Stunning Debut Album

Forget the comparisons to Il Divo et al, this group are going to be huge, simply huge. OK - the hype surrounding the fact that the band members met via Facebook aside, this album is a triumph of monumental quality that takes your breath away. The boys' voices, each so distinct and clear as individuals, meld together to form a quite breathtaking combination. Add to this inspirational arrangements and a really full-on production style and you have a definite winner from the word 'Go'. The album opens with the gentle lovesong "Yo Te Voy A Amar", leaving you to think that this will be some pleasurable but light-classical-boy-band-type clone. However, move on into the power and emotion of "In Paradisium" from 'Gladiator' and the tingles down the spine begin in no small measure. There follow a stream of immensely well-crafted tracks, but the shining star in the firmament has to be "Hallelujah" - a gut-wrenchingly beautiful arrangement of the Leonard Cohen number made famous by Jeff Buckley. I defy anyone not to be spellbound by this album (and, no, I don't work for Universal!). Buy it now, right now.

Blake - Great Classical Vocalists.

Blake were the first music group to be signed after having formed on Facebook. They all have wonderful smooth vocals, and are all ex-choristers. Their debut album contains a great selection of songs such as soundtracks - In Paradisium (Gladiator), and 1942 - Conquest Of Paradise to classics such as Jerusalem & E Sara Cosi, to name but a few. They even manage to do a great version of the Beach Boys Classic 'God Only Knows'! This is going to be a really popular classical album, especially coming up to the Christmas period, and I couldn't recommend it enough.


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A classical crossover vocal group that gained initial recognition given their formation on Facebook, Blake acquired broader attention in 2007 when they were tapped to be featured on "World in Union," the official theme song of the England rugby team ahead of that year's Rugby World Cup. Members Ollie Banes (tenor), Jules Knight (baritone), Dom Tighe (baritone), and Stephen Bowman (bass/baritone) found their voices -- as it were -- at a house party after connecting online. The group used their success...
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Blake, Blake
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Customer Ratings