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When I Fall In Love

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Album Review

Lesley Garrett was around long before operatic divas Katherine Jenkins and Hayley Westenra, but she too fancied a stab at pop crossover and on When I Fall in Love, she presented 12 songs, all very familiar and most of the them covered to death by a plethora of artists including most of those classical singers aspiring to be pop stars. This was, however, her first pure pop album with no classical overtones at all and indeed her first full price album for six years, a long time for anybody to be away in any genre, and it became her highest charting album by quite some way, just missing the Top Ten in February 2007. The songs were hardly groundbreaking, opening the album with "When I Fall in Love" of course and traveling through a repertoire of MOR hits including "The Way We Were," "He Was Beautiful," "Where Do I Begin" (from Love Story), and "Moon River," all sung in a clear, concise soprano voice that many young singers would do well to emulate. The songs that don't really work with Garrett's voice, however, were the Edith Piaf hit "Non Je Ne Regrette Rien," perhaps because Garrett was so particularly English and this was one of those archetypal French songs, likewise the Jacques Brel penned "Ne Me Quitte Pas," of which she did sing the English version, but it didn't quite have the feeling of even the Terry Jacks hit. She she was joined by Michael Ball for a duet on "Come What May," the song from Moulin Rouge. The album closed with Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World," a song so associated with the jazz legend that it's difficult to interpret in a superior way, although the song would actually get a new lease of life as a charity number one hit later in the year by Eva Cassidy and Katie Melua.


Born: 10 April 1955 in Thorne, South Yorkshire

Genre: Classical

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

One of the most popular performers in contemporary British opera, soprano Lesley Garrett was born in Yorkshire, England on April 10, 1955; after attending her first opera at age 15, she dedicated her life to singing, and was later awarded a scholarship to London's Royal Academy of Music. In 1979 she won top prize at the Kathleen Ferrier Competition, and following her first major performance as Dorinda in Handel's Orlando she earned roles with Opera North and the English National Opera; although Garrett's...
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