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Cinema Paradiso

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Album Review

Following the overnight world domination of Susan Boyle, original Britain's Got Talent sensation, tenor Paul Potts has since been rather unfairly cast aside, having been dropped by Simon Cowell's record label despite the million-selling success of his debut album, One Chance. Indeed, his third LP, Cinema Paradiso, a collection of his favorite film themes, is yet to find a release date in the U.K., a puzzling situation considering that his previous album, Passione, charted at number five, and for the fact that it's produced by Simon Franglen, the Grammy Award winner responsible for the success of the Avatar, Titanic, and Moulin Rouge soundtracks. Potts' populist style might not convince classical purists, but it's undoubtedly well suited to these operatic interpretations of classic movie songs including Breakfast at Tiffany's "Moon River," West Side Story's "Maria," and Good Morning Vietnam's "What a Wonderful World." Rather bravely, Potts attempts Italian-language adaptations of iconic tunes from Titanic ("My Heart Will Go On") and Doctor Zhivago ("Somewhere My Love — Lara's Theme"), and although vocally he's as accomplished as ever, his phrasing is sometimes a little less convincing. But despite the Hollywood credentials of its producer, the album's arrangements, performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, lack the drama and emotion of his previous output, and only the duet with X-Factor vocal coach Yvie Burnett (An Officer and a Gentleman's "Up Where We Belong") stands out from the often repetitive instrumentation of its 11 tracks. Overall, Cinema Paradiso is a competent — if unremarkable — reminder of Potts' talents, but its generic and unimaginative nature means it's unlikely to give Cowell any sleepless nights. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi


Born: 13 October 1970 in Bristol, England

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Paul Potts was exactly what the producers of Britain's Got Talent were looking for when they finally launched the program in the U.K. after much delay: an ordinary bloke, working in an ordinary job, but with an extraordinary talent. Simon Cowell's latest project, after half a decade of involvement with TV talent shows primarily involving singers, was a national contest with a public vote for all types of talents -- singers, dancers, magicians, ventriloquists, and even more extreme novelty acts. After...
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Cinema Paradiso, Paul Potts
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