The juxtaposition was remarkable. We’re used to our musicians and actors being these young, stunning, darlings with out-of-this-world beauty and panache. And yet, this is as far from the case as we could have imagined. Susan Boyle’s singing was remarkable, while the looks, well, were also remarkable, but not in such a good way. The spectacular incongruity of it all made us all watch her, rapt attention paid to the voice referred to by some as angelic, leaving us with perhaps even an ambivalence about her looks, wanting the two to “match”.
Millions followed her rapid ascention to worldwide fame, almost overnight, watching one who might have been a hermetic recluse adjust to the constant, frenetic pace of the media and those who circle above, waiting impatiently to swoop down with their cameras, unafraid to badger and bewilder their prey until the inevitable breakdown.
After a long while, the day has come when Ms. Boyle has released an album of her own, allowing her international brood to no longer be limited to internet videos and random snippets from here and there.
I was looking forward to finding out whether her celebrity was merely due to her less than pretty looks, or whether her well-known set of pipes could hold their own and allow her to be a singer instead of the media freak she’s been until now.
My advise – stick to the videos. The voice we all absorbed in shocked amazement as we heard Les Miserables brought to life in the least likely of actors is still pretty good, but when the surprise and curiosity of her fame is gone, much of the luster and elation disappears, leaving you wanting more of the rare voice, less the empty celebrity. Don’t get me wrong; her voice is very nice, and the songs are all generally well-known, but the expectations for someone who wowed the entire world leave one very disappointed.