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Sarah Brightman - The Singles Collection / The Video Collection Review

by Morley Seaver

Grabbing both the classical and pop worlds and fusing them into a present for the ears that is both impressive as well as pleasing, results in a quiet exclamation mark for the first stage in the career of Sarah Brightman. 

With a voice that spans three octaves (in fact reaching High E), Sarah is immediately enchanting whether singing the more reserved "Pie Jesu" on going more mainstream with the cover of Procul Harum's "A White Shade of Pale". This is her first Greatest Hits collection, although a European only release was put out in 2001. 

We'll get to the video package in a second, but first we look at The Singles Collection. There are 14 songs full of amazing vocal ability yet the songs are all highly listenable and not aural gymnastics. Of course, we have several songs from The Phantom of the Opera, namely the title song as well as "The Music of the Night". The Brian May-penned "Who Wants to Live Forever" is positively engaging, as Sarah just draws you in with her mesmerizing voice. "Tu Quieres Volver" contains some just other-worldly notes wrapped around a gorgeous melody.

There are a couple of excellent duets in the form of "Just Show Me How To Love You" with José Cura and "Time to Say Goodbye" with Andrea Bocelli that shine brightly. "Deliver Me" is among the highlights on the record for me. It doesn't possess the power and range of other cuts but the melodic, magnetic features of the song really stick in the ears. The quietly seductive "Nella Fantasia" is a close second.

As to be expected in a collection of this nature, there are no low points. Anybody who has ever listened to Sarah will enjoy this fantastic collection. Now we get to The Video Collection which is released separately from the audio disk.

This is probably the best video package I've ever had the good fortune to watch. There are 21 videos here with Sarah explaining what went on with every video. I thought she was reading off a cue card at first before realizing she was just talking away. If that was scripted, it did not look like it and all the stories are extremely interesting. Of course, she is so utterly gorgeous that watching the video collection was one of the most enjoyable things I've done of late. Each video has fantastic settings and the wardrobe person deserves many kudos. 

Both of these collections are absolutely terrific collections and anybody who has not heard Sarah before would do well to start with either one of these.

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Sarah Brightman - The Singles Collection / The Video Collection


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