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Album Review

By the evidence of My Secret Passion, Michael Bolton's secret passion is opera. For several years, he had included arias in his concerts, but he had never recorded them until My Secret Passion. Bolton's bombastic style is relatively well-suited to arias, since he certainly can project his voice quite powerfully. He doesn't have the subtlety to deliver this repertoire completely convincingly, but the Philharmonia Orchestra, under the direction of Steven Mercurio, helps camouflage his weaknesses, as does the guest appearance of soprano Renee Fleming. In other words, My Secret Passion isn't the disaster that Bolton's detractors were expecting, but it isn't a triumph, either. Instead, it's a welcome change of pace from a singer who has become a touch too predictable.

Biography

Born: 26 February 1953 in New Haven, CT

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter Michael Bolton had an extensive (though not very successful) career under his real name, Michael Bolotin, before emerging in the mid-'80s as a major soft rock balladeer. He first turned up on RCA Records in the mid-'70s, singing cover tunes and his own blue-eyed soul songs in a gruff, Joe Cocker-like voice. Neither record buyers nor critics were much interested by the result. He then became the lead singer of Blackjack, a heavy metal band that made two albums for Polydor before...
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