to Believe - 4
let it be said that I don't review all forms of music.
I have a sneaking regard for Aled. So many "child
prodigy" musicians sink without trace when they
get older. Aled has moved from choirboy to radio and
television presenter and adult singer with ease and
good humour. Sadly there's nothing new here. It's
almost as if Aled is trying to make a statement -
"hey I may be known for Christian music but I can
do contemporary as well." Of course there's a
massive religious theme running through this album but
my main complaint is the voice. Now don't get me
wrong. Aled has a fine voice, but, as with many
classically trained voices, his attempts at singing
contemporary songs just takes the emotion out of them.
That's why Rod Stewart's version of Reason to Believe
is wracked with emotion and Aled's isn't. In truth
this album is little more than a really good singer
taking up the mike and doing a karaoke session. It's
all a little too spot on, a little too perfect. One
track in particular illustrates this. In the hands of
Leonard Cohen or Nick Cave "Hallelujah" is
one of my favourite songs. Aled turns it into a
perfectly vocalised piece which it was never meant to
be. He pronounces the original phrase of "do
yah" as a rather posh "do you." The
problem with that is it throws the entire song out of
kilter because do yah was designed to rhyme with the
"lujah" ending of the word Hallelujah. So
the song in Aled's hands becomes annoying and grating.
Same with Father and Son. Listen to Cat Stevens'
original and it has massive poignancy. Listen to Aled
and it becomes a run of the mill song almost divorced
from its original meaning. What we are left with is a
collection of perfectly sung songs, but rock music
isn't about perfection.