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Il Divo XX review: The group shift from classical fare to pop covers with a gale-force intensity, writes ADRIAN THRILLS


IL DIVO: XX (Thirty Tigers)

Put together by Simon Cowell in the early 2000s, the crossover group now control their own affairs, and this 20th anniversary release sees a shift from classical and Broadway fare to pop covers. 

Their powerful harmonies turn Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy into a mournful ballad, and they deliver Elvis’s Always On My Mind with gale-force intensity. 

They dial down the bravado with a mellow take on Ed Sheeran‘ Perfect — proof that a decent song can lend itself to any musical arrangement. 

It’s a fitting tribute to founder member Carlos Marín, who died in 2021.

Rating:

Put together by Simon Cowell in the early 2000s, the crossover group now control their own affairs, and this 20th anniversary release sees a shift from classical and Broadway fare to pop covers

Put together by Simon Cowell in the early 2000s, the crossover group now control their own affairs, and this 20th anniversary release sees a shift from classical and Broadway fare to pop covers 

Their powerful harmonies turn Gnarls Barkley's Crazy into a mournful ballad, and they deliver Elvis's Always On My Mind with gale-force intensity

Their powerful harmonies turn Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy into a mournful ballad, and they deliver Elvis’s Always On My Mind with gale-force intensity

MOLLY LEWIS: On The Lips (Jagjaguwar)

Whistling has never been one of pop’s cornerstones, despite the efforts of Otis Redding (on The Dock Of The Bay) and Ennio Morricone (on The Good, The Bad And The Ugly). But that hasn’t deterred Molly Lewis. 

The Sydney-born, LA-based artist contributed a version of Billie Eilish‘s What Was I Made For? to the Barbie soundtrack, and this debut album, with her soaring whistling the main ingredient, conjures up visions of smoky jazz clubs and Italian film scores. 

She covers Dave Berry’s 1960s standard The Crying Game, while her originals are sultry and atmospheric.

Rating:

The Sydney-born, LA-based artist contributed a version of Billie Eilish 's What Was I Made For? to the Barbie soundtrack, and this debut album, with her soaring whistling the main ingredient, conjures up visions of smoky jazz clubs and Italian film scores

The Sydney-born, LA-based artist contributed a version of Billie Eilish ‘s What Was I Made For? to the Barbie soundtrack, and this debut album, with her soaring whistling the main ingredient, conjures up visions of smoky jazz clubs and Italian film scores

TONY CHRISTIE: We Still Shine (Universal)

Christie’s dementia diagnosis in 2021 adds poignancy to a set of country-flavoured tunes about the passage of time and holding onto treasured memories. 

The Yorkshire singer, who topped the charts with (Is This The Way To) Amarillo in 2005, made this record in Nashville, and there’s an impressive cameo from Texan singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman, who co-writes and supplies backing vocals on ballad In The Times Of My Weakness. Banjos, pedal steel guitars and female backing vocalists add rustic textures to a reflective, but sanguine, return.

Rating:

Christie's dementia diagnosis in 2021 adds poignancy to a set of country-flavoured tunes about the passage of time and holding onto treasured memories

Christie’s dementia diagnosis in 2021 adds poignancy to a set of country-flavoured tunes about the passage of time and holding onto treasured memories



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