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Album Review

Formerly one-quarter of classical crossover girl group All Angels, 21-year-old Royal College of Music Student Laura Wright eschews the operatic standards and contemporary pop hits of her previous outfit in favor of the traditional folk songs of yesteryear for her solo debut album, The Last Rose. Inspired by the classic ballads that were introduced to her by her grandmother, it's a change in direction which appears to have re-instilled some of the passion and emotion that was largely absent from her old band's third effort, Fly Away, as she attempts to revive 12 compositions which have been a cornerstone of British culture for hundreds of years. Assisting her in the challenge is an impressive behind-the-scenes team who all contributed to the recent, official Royal Wedding album, including producer Anna Barry and arrangers John Rutter, Patrick Hawes, and Paul Mealor, whose new version of "Ubi Caratas," which was performed at the ceremony, appears here as a solo piece under the title of the Tennyson poem it originated from, "Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal." Free from the bluster and pomp of their previous collaboration, their subtle, string-soaked arrangements performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra ensure the focus is on the pretty melodies and Wright's soaring, angelic vocals, which effortlessly glide through pieces composed from all four corners of the British Isles, from England's "Lavender's Blue," to Scotland's "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean," to Wales' "The Ash Grove," to Ireland's "I Know Where I'm Going," alongside musical adaptations of poems by Yeats ("Down to the Smalley Gardens"), Ben Jonson ("Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes"), and Thomas Moore ("The Last Rose of Summer"). A subtle spin on the classical crossover formula, The Last Rose is an enchanting debut which deserves to achieve its revivalist intentions. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Magical Voice!

I read about this singer in Evening Standard and was very intrigued by the story. So I checked it out on iTunes and was amazed. What an enchanting and uplifting voice and beautiful songs. Definitely recommend it! Very inspiring artist!!!

Pleasing but not exceptional

Laura has a pleasing voice, well in tune but immature and lacking light & shade. Songs including 'The Ash Grove' need emotional intensity - the original Welsh words tell a bitter tale, not a sweet serenade. Young classical singers do better with some experience in oratorio and the lighter operas. To be judged with the best, singers should have not only lyricism and line but also drama and commitment. But good luck to her - she has the looks and the publicity so her sales will prosper.


Fantastic, a very special album


Born: 17 June 1990 in Suffolk, England

Genre: Romance

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Joining the likes of Camilla Kerslake, Sara Kempe, and Mary-Jess on the list of young female sopranos vying for Katherine Jenkins' crown, former All Angels vocalist Laura Wright's blend of traditional folk with luscious orchestration provided a new twist to the classical crossover genre. Born in Framsden, Suffolk in 1990, she first found fame at age 15 upon winning BBC R2's Chorister of the Year contest at Westminster Abbey, and following a recommendation from composer Howard Goodall a year later,...
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