10 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Susan Boyle's heavenly inflections still sound easy on the ears, even a year after the drama of Britain's Got Talent has subsided and everyone has gotten over the initial surprise that a middle-aged Scottish woman can possess such an otherworldly voice. Her sophomore long-player is a Christmas-themed one, even though it opens with an over-the-top take on Lou Reed's "Perfect Day," dissolving (or maybe changing) the rock myth that Reed originally wrote the song about self-medicating with a lover. She also breathes new life into the often covered Leonard Cohen staple "Hallelujah", which provides a perfect segue between "Perfect Day" and the 1962 carol "Do You Hear What I Hear?" where Boyle duets with Amber Stassi, a 33-year-old New York paramedic who won an online contest to be a guest singer on Boyle's second album. And even though Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over" is about not letting the world's negativity get in the way of love, Boyle strips it down to a piano and a heartfelt delivery that somehow fits in well with more traditional Yuletide carols.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Susan Boyle's heavenly inflections still sound easy on the ears, even a year after the drama of Britain's Got Talent has subsided and everyone has gotten over the initial surprise that a middle-aged Scottish woman can possess such an otherworldly voice. Her sophomore long-player is a Christmas-themed one, even though it opens with an over-the-top take on Lou Reed's "Perfect Day," dissolving (or maybe changing) the rock myth that Reed originally wrote the song about self-medicating with a lover. She also breathes new life into the often covered Leonard Cohen staple "Hallelujah", which provides a perfect segue between "Perfect Day" and the 1962 carol "Do You Hear What I Hear?" where Boyle duets with Amber Stassi, a 33-year-old New York paramedic who won an online contest to be a guest singer on Boyle's second album. And even though Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over" is about not letting the world's negativity get in the way of love, Boyle strips it down to a piano and a heartfelt delivery that somehow fits in well with more traditional Yuletide carols.

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