My Heart

My Heart

3.3 3
by Sissel Kyrkjebø
     
 
My Heart, the second American release from Norwegian soprano Sissel, follows her 2002 self-titled debut with a set of delicate and diverse songs that spotlight the singer's evocative voice. Backed on many tracks by the great London Symphony Orchestra, Sissel flows effortlessly between pop numbers such as the love song "Someone Like You,"

Overview

My Heart, the second American release from Norwegian soprano Sissel, follows her 2002 self-titled debut with a set of delicate and diverse songs that spotlight the singer's evocative voice. Backed on many tracks by the great London Symphony Orchestra, Sissel flows effortlessly between pop numbers such as the love song "Someone Like You," classical-flavored selections like the soaring "Tristezze," and operatic favorites such as "O mio babbino caro," while opera VIP Bryn Terfel makes a guest appearance on Schubert's familiar "Ave Maria." The album is released simultaneously with a concert DVD, Sissel in Concert: All Good Things, available separately.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Aaron Latham
Sissel's My Heart can be summed up in a single word -- pretty. Everything about the disc is pretty. The cover is pretty, the title is pretty, the songs are pretty, it all sounds pretty, and even Sissel herself is, well, pretty. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as pretty music does have a place in this world; however, this style has a tendency to be pretty saccharine, pretty dull, and pretty boring. My Heart is not as bad as that thanks to expert collaborators like Ettore Stratta and Richard Marx, but it rarely aspires to be more than just pretty music. Vocally capable, Sissel has a beautiful and haunting tone that can entrance a listener and she can successfully navigate between light operatic songs and contemporary pop much like Sarah Brightman or Josh Groban. But what distinguishes those artists from Sissel is their selection of more interesting and varied material. While Brightman and Groban have branched out by experimenting with different genres or writing their own songs, Sissel remains entrenched in familiar classics like Schubert's "Ave Maria" or treacly ballads like Jon Lord's "Wait a While." Oddly enough, Sissel even covers hits by Brightman ("Pie Jesu") and Groban ("You Raise Me Up"), as if trying to catch up with the competition. The sole track that hints at better things is "Angel Rays," a song co-written by emerging singer/songwriter Gemma Hayes and featured on the soundtrack to the film Evelyn. With an acoustic guitar setting the mood, the contemporary folk song is markedly unique amid the orchestral pieces, and Sissel approaches it like a tamer Joan Baez quietly conveying the delicate lyrics. Although not as captivating as "Angel Rays," she also does well with two tepid ballads, "Someone Like You" and "Beyond Imagination," written by '80s pop star Richard Marx. The inclusion of these tracks demonstrates that Sissel can find and perform much more interesting songs than the standard mass-appeal selections elsewhere on My Heart. There is no need for her to simply rely on pretty songs, because she has the ability to make music that is thoughtful, creative, adventurous, and beautiful. Again, nothing on this disc is necessarily bad; it's just that there is little here to take her artistry to the next level. Regardless of the material, Sissel's voice still manages to enthrall and the vocal charisma she generates makes My Heart a pretty (and pretty good) listen.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/02/2004
Label:
Decca
UPC:
0602498165966
catalogNumber:
000208002
Rank:
9465

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sissel Kyrkjebø   Primary Artist,Vocals,Background Vocals
London Symphony Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Ettore Stratta   Conductor
Steve Brewster   Drums
Richard Galliano   Accordion,Bandoneon
Richard Marx   Keyboards,Background Vocals,Guitar (Nylon String)
Michael Hart Thompson   Guitar
London Voices   Choir, Chorus
Bryn Terfel   Baritone (Vocal)
Michael Thompson   Guitar

Technical Credits

Andrew Lloyd Webber   Composer
Giacomo Puccini   Composer
Camille Saint-Saëns   Composer
Franz Schubert   Composer
Astor Piazzolla   Composer
Jon Lord   Composer
Ettore Stratta   Producer,Engineer,Engineering
Kjetil Bjerkestrand   Arranger,Producer,String Arrangements
Phil Bodger   Producer,Engineer
Jorge Calandrelli   Arranger,Orchestration
Frédéric Chopin   Composer
David Cole   Engineer,Engineering
Dick Lewzey   Engineer
Ennio Morricone   Composer
Richard Marx   Composer,Producer,drum programming
David Zippel   Composer,Text
Sissel Kyrkjebø   Liner Notes
Stephen Endelman   Composer,Producer
Penny Bennett   Art Direction
Charles Harbutt   Engineer
Rolf Lovland   Composer
Chris Hazell   Arranger
Matt Prock   Engineer
Andrew Eccles   Cover Photo
Jake Jackson   Engineer
Traditional   Composer
Gemma Hayes   Composer
Sid McLauchlan   Producer
Brendan Graham   Composer
Ferdinand Lemaire   Composer,Text
Philip Bodger   Engineer,Engineering
Mat Prock   Engineering
Chris Roberts   Executive Producer
Arne Svare   Management
Francis Giacobetti   Text

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My Heart 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
PBS station on Long Island has been promoting Sissel since late last year. After listening to this album, I very much look forward to her (first?)NYC concert in April.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It took some time before "My Heart" was finally released here in the US, but I think it was worth the wait. I've had the album for a couple of months now and it's one of those cds I can always go back to because it is so soothing and relaxing. Sissel goes back and forth from poppier, upbeat songs like "Someone Like You" and "Beyond Imagination" written by Richard Marx and more traditional/classical sounding ones ("Ave Maria", "Pie Jesu"). The song choices are interesting, she even does "Raise Me Up", a song Josh Groban did not too long ago. Her voice is what lets her get away with all these different songs: it's beautiful and emotional and you just want to listen to all she's got to offer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
...at least this is no Sarah Brightman.