Odyssey

Odyssey

4.8 11
by Hayley Westenra
     
 

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Hayley Westenra was only 16 when her first album, Pure, topped the classical crossover charts and propelled the New Zealander into an instant sensation. Now 18, Westenra returns with her second U.S. release, Odyssey, and her fans will be pleased to know that while her fresh, angelic voice remains

Overview

Hayley Westenra was only 16 when her first album, Pure, topped the classical crossover charts and propelled the New Zealander into an instant sensation. Now 18, Westenra returns with her second U.S. release, Odyssey, and her fans will be pleased to know that while her fresh, angelic voice remains intact, she has also undeniably matured as an artist. Evidently, touring the world, singing for presidents and kings, and selling hundreds of thousands of CDs makes a young performer grow up fast. Like Pure, Odyssey takes in a wide range of styles, from classical to gospel, traditional folk, and pop. Several tracks have a reflective, new age feel, such as the covers of Secret Garden's "Prayer" and Enya's "May It Be" from The Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack (a song that holds an obvious attraction for the Kiwi, since the movie was filmed in her homeland). Others show off her classical leanings: Caccini's soothing "Ave Maria" and the high-flying "Quanta Quilia." Further numbers reveal the breadth of Westenra's eclectic tastes, from the traditional Irish "She Moves Through the Fair" (featuring a forlorn-sounding tin whistle) to Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" and the gospel-tinged "I Say Grace," an anthem of thanksgiving. A special highlight is the duet with Andrea Bocelli, "Dell amore non si sa," a beautiful Italian song adapted from the mega-tenor's album Andrea. Tying it all together is the purity and unaffected naturalness of Westenra's lovely voice. Seems this teenager's Odyssey is only just beginning.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Sharon Mawer
Originally released in September 2005, Hayley Westenra's second international album was re-released in April 2006 with only 14 instead of the original 16 tracks. Westenra sings a wide selection of pop-oriented compositions, including Joni Mitchell's "Both Side Now," Simon & Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair," and "May It Be" (as featured in The Lord of the Rings), all with the minimum of backing music, mainly just a pure soprano voice beautifully soaring like a bird and leaving its cage behind. One can't help but think of the scene in The Shawshank Redemption when Andy locks himself in the library and plays some opera over a loudspeaker. "Quanta Qualia" has something of the quality of the Clannad hit "Theme from Harry's Game," while "Dell'amore Non Si Sa" is a duet with Andrea Bocelli. There are also a few new folk ballads: "What You Never Know (Won't Hurt You)," "The Mists of Islay," and "She Moves Through the Fair." Odyssey is the ideal album to chill out and relax to after a hard day's work. [This 12-track version of Odyssey does not include "Scarborough Fair" or "The Mists of Islay."]

Product Details

Release Date:
10/18/2005
Label:
Decca
UPC:
0028947571780
catalogNumber:
000544002
Rank:
13095

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Hayley Westenra   Primary Artist,Vocals
Mae McKenna   Background Vocals
Ian Thomas   Drums
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Johan Ahlin   Conductor
Simon Chamberlain   Piano
Finbar Furey   Irish Whistle
Alison Jiear   Background Vocals
Carol Kenyon   Background Vocals
Chris Lowe   Trombone
Robbie McIntosh   Guitar
Giles Martin   Recorder
Eve Nelson   Piano,Background Vocals
Don Richardson   Double Bass
Larry Saltzman   Guitar
Andrea Bocelli   Vocals
Greg Critchley   Drums
Larry Salzman   Guitar
Mark Jaimes   Guitar
James Brett   Conductor
Phil Simpson   Saxophone
Emma Holmgren   Background Vocals
Conventus   Choir, Chorus
Patrick Hawes   Conductor
Ensemble of Bologna   Ensemble
Will Foster   Piano
Phil Christie   Tenor Saxophone
Leo Z   Percussion,Piano
Davis Mariotti   Flute
Angie Passarella   Acoustic Guitar
Billy Mowbray   Keyboards
Tom Arthurs   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Chris Lowe   Trombone
Fiona Pears   Violin
Marica Aderwall   Background Vocals
Raul Clarvis   Percussion
Joachim Nilsson   Guitar
Robbie McIntosh   Guitar
Emil Heliling   Background Vocals
Billy Mowbray   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Charles Gounod   Composer
Enya   Composer
Joni Mitchell   Composer
Aldo Nova   Arranger,Producer
Tom Kimmel   Composer
Roma Ryan   Composer
Johan Ahlin   Arranger
Johann Sebastian Bach   Composer
Philip Bagenal   Engineer
Rupert Coulson   Engineer,Engineering
Malavasi   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineering
Giles Martin   Producer,Engineering
Eve Nelson   Composer,Programming,Producer
Nicky Ryan   Composer
Fionnuala Sherry   Composer
Jeff Franzel   Composer
Danny Saxon   Producer
Andy Wright   Producer
Steven Abbott   Producer
Rolf Lovland   Composer
Luca Malaguti   Engineering
Alex Forbes   Composer
Andrea Sandrei   Composer
Steven Mercurio   Arranger
Mark Jaimes   Producer
James Brett   Arranger
Traditional   Composer
Ian Tilley   Programming,Producer
Matt Lawrence   Engineer
Filippo Zecchini   Engineering
Paul Chessell   Art Direction
Hayley Westenra   Arranger,Composer
Stephan Moccio   Composer
Patrick Hawes   Composer
Leo Z   Programming,Producer
Ava Parnass   Composer
Aldo Caporuscio   Composer
Johan Bobak   Producer
Leonardo De Bernardini   Composer
Jeff Franzel   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Odyssey 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THIS YOUNG LADY IS AN OUTSTANDING TALENT. THIS ALBUM IS A FINE EXAMPLE OF HER FLEXIBILITY. I LOOK FORWARD TO MORE OF HER WORK.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Odyssey - this second fantastic journey - for Hayley and for all of us is about to begin..... 'Prayer' opens with unaccompanied vocals from Hayley and the Conventus Choir and immediately conveys an atmosphere of peace and serenity. Members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra gradually fuse with the vocals, almost unnoticed. The first-time listener might now expect an up-tempo number to contrast with the opening track but the fact that it doesn't happen is a stroke of genius. A second sublimely gentle song underlines the peaceful mood. Instead, the contrast is achieved by the fact that 'Never Saw Blue' begins with only piano accompaniment. I have never used this word to describe a song before but this is really pretty. A dramatic but nevertheless fairly quiet introduction opens 'Dell Amore Non Si Sa'. The lead vocal builds towards the end of the first verse and, if you haven't read the cover notes, you may wonder where this will lead. Then suddenly, Hayley's voice gives way and that of Andrea Bocelli bursts forth. For this song, I cannot imagine a more perfect vocal partnership. Much of this song is soft and gentle (like its predecessors) but once or twice the crescendo effect is quite magnificent, especially when Hayley and Andrea sing in harmony. Next comes Cacchini's 'Ave Maria'. For those two words to be repeated over and over again throughout the song may seem somewhat tedious. It is not. The expression and the sheer beauty of Hayley's voice carry this song to new heights within her classical repertoire. Now comes a huge contrast. During the last two songs, we have moved gradually towards the classical genre but suddenly comes a song made popular by Joni Mitchell (and others) in the sixties - 'Both Sides Now'. The melody is simple and the somewhat fairy-tale lyric conveys an equally simple picture of clouds, of love and of life. It is the songs simplicity which makes it compelling especially when it is sung so beautifully. 'What You Never Know (Won't Hurt You)' is the long-awaited debut of Hayley as a songwriter. Although this was only co-written by her, it promises well for the future. 'May It Be' was surely always going to be a favourite. It proved highly popular on the DVD and sounds even more lovely here. The quality of Hayley's voice is outstanding. "...A promise lives within you now..." Absolutely heavenly. 'Quanta Qualia' continues the peaceful mood. The arrangement augments the natural beauty of the melody. During a brief instrumental, an oboe sounds enchanting before giving way to the more melodious sounding flute. But listen closer and it will become apparent that it is not a flute at all it is Hayley's voice soaring blissfully into the heavens. This is followed by 'Bachianas Brasileiras No 5 Aria (Cantilena)'. As I have indicated before, I just cannot appreciate this work. To me, the melody is fragmented and utilises many notes which do not belong to the key (which is what I meant when I previously described the melody as "unpredictable"). This causes a feeling of unrest within me. Having said that, Hayley's remarkable vocal skills are demonstrated here as well as anywhere. Every note is perfect and her lovely tone is utterly captivating. We now come to a song that I have known for years but have never liked. Hayley has completely and immediately changed my view. 'She Moved Through the Fair', as performed here, is a truly magical work of art. From the very first note, it grabs you and does not let go! The tantalisingly beautiful combination of the Irish whistle and uilleann pipes is out of this world. It is pronounced "ill(y)an" by the way! A member of the bagpipe family, it is played with bellows beneath one arm (rather than by blowing) pushing air into the bag beneath the other which, in turn, is compressed to convey the air to the chanters. I always thought the uilleann pipes had no drone (unlike the highland p
Guest More than 1 year ago
Totally refreshing, a voice of purity and innocense untainted by commercialism nor tempered by artificial studio techno-sound ... very successful crossover between classical and pop/easylistening ... look forward to the next project ...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have recently purchased this CD, and added it to my already purchased PURE album from Hayley. I in fact only own 3 music Cd's and two of them are Hayley's. Its so soothing, you can even sleep to it... Although hearing her while conscious makes you think your dreaming. This album shows how much she has improved since PURE, if you own PURE this is a must have, if you don't BOTH ARE! :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Listeners who are expecting to hear part #2 to Hayley's best-selling international debut, "Pure" will by quickly, if very pleasantly, disillusioned. Hayley is all grown up, her voice having matured at an incredibly fast rate and although she has not lost her trademark "pure" sound her voice now shimmers and soars. I recently had the privilege to hear Hayley perform some of her new pieces live and I sat in complete awe at the pure beauty and richness or her voice. An utter joy to listen to and a beautiful album from start to finish...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this cd! The mystic sound this cd provides is absolutly beautiful! It's so much better than Pure. My favorite songs are May It Be and Prayer. Odyssey shows how much Hayley has grown vocally and by song choice. I absolutly recommend this cd. Odyssey is definitly worth spending $20 on.
Guest More than 1 year ago
"Odyssey" is absolutley gorgeous and almost all the songs on this album suit Hayley's soft and flowy voice beautifully. a lot of people tend to compare hayley to charlotte church, but you have to understand that their voices are very different hayley's more easy listening and Enya-ish whereas charlotte's more "bell canto" and opera-ish. For example, hayley sings Ave Maria in A minor. I personally did not like this addition to the album, However, in charlotte's 'voice of an Angel", the aria is sung much better, because such music is better suited for a voice like charlotte's, who, by the way, is a better soprano than is hayley.Hayley cannot sing opera, but her voice is nevertheless beautiful, Many of the songs actually made the hair on the arms sand and brought tears to my eyes, like Enya's "May it Be" and "Never saw blue". the songs i thought unnecessary and not hayley's best were, again, "ave Maria", sarah brightman's "What you never know", and "Bachianas Brasileiras"."Quanta quaila" was also kind of weird, but it was tolerable. Her duet with the best voice ever of Andrea Bocelli's was absolutly adorable and cute i loved it! "She Moves Through the Fair" was also good and had a sort of iris bagpipe in the foreground of the song. Even though she changed the end a bit, it was still nicely done. The uk import of this album is much better and had a few extra songs. As a wrap-up conclusion,Hayley's voice has definitely improved, which anybody can see and hear from "Odyssey".
Guest More than 1 year ago
Out of curiousity I picked up Odyssey at Walmart because it happened to be in the same section as Sarah Brightman. I took it home and I'm very pleased. She has a lovely voice, but I believe that with continued training and experience she can only continue to get better. She reminds me of a young Sarah Brightman. I truly hope that her she continues as she has. Her voice is lovely.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms. Westenra has a lovely, pure voice with nothing unique to recommend it. She sounds wonderful in light Enya-esqye aires with minimal wind backup. Unfortunately, on this album, they pit her voice against the power of Andrea Bocelli and a full orchestra and the result is jarring and doesn't do her any favors. "I Say Grace" is a lovely song, but the gospel switch is awkward and, again, she doesn't have the pipes to compare to the full-bodied sound of the background choir. No one under the age of 20 should ever sing "Both Sides Now." Regardless of their voice, no amount of teenaged angst can bring the range of emotion needed to that song. And Westenra's rendition is only middling technically. Given the fan base, it would also be nice to hear some new songs, rather than re-sings of ones we've heard (especially when there is no new interpretation.) Overall a solid effort, but nothing to rave about. I'll put it in my mix, but think very hard about buying another of her CDs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hayley Westenra has the prettiest voice I have ever heard. Her duet with Andrea Bocelli is wonderful, and "May It Be" is fantastic as well. "My Heart Belongs to You" has a lovely melody as well as great lyrics. Highly recommended. There isn't one track I dislike.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago