The Voice

4.3 32
by Russell Watson

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Factory laborer turned pop star Russell Watson breaks into the classical crossover world with his debut album, The Voice. A working-class lad from the north of England, Watson refers to his voice in the third person (hence the title), and it is a fine instrument -- full and resonant, yet unforced -- for someone so young and


Factory laborer turned pop star Russell Watson breaks into the classical crossover world with his debut album, The Voice. A working-class lad from the north of England, Watson refers to his voice in the third person (hence the title), and it is a fine instrument -- full and resonant, yet unforced -- for someone so young and relatively unpracticed. Showing the promise of this rising star, the album's eclectic program puts Watson's voice to the test by drawing on Italian songs ("Funiculí -- funiculá," "Non ti scordar di me," "Nella fantasia") and pop standards ("Bridge over Troubled Water," "Vienna"). Two other inclusions, "Caruso" and "Miserere," have both been recorded by Andrea Bocelli and hold their own against crossover's other heartthrob tenor. A pair of celebrated opera arias are thrown into the mix as well -- Verdi's "La donna è mobile," Puccini's "Nessun dorma," as an encore -- and show Watson's potential to match the vocal powers of those famous tenors three. The album moves in other directions, too, with "Pelagia's Song" from the movie Captain Corelli's Mandolin and a series of duets. New age diva Marie Brennan (Enya's sister) joins him for the ethereal "Saylon Dola"; English R&B star Cleopatra Higgins adds some vocal power on the multilingual ballad "Someone Like You"; and Happy Monday frontman Shaun Ryder lends some hip attitude to the dazzlingly ornate, Freddy Mercury-ish "Barcelona." Watson may be a bit green around the edges -- his Italian would never be mistaken for a native's. But his voice is undeniably good, and a bit more time spent with a vocal coach will make him a smooth proposition indeed. Watch out, Brightman and Bocelli: Russell Watson is here.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
The liner notes to the powerful tenor's overwhelmingly emotional debut begin with the assertion that "Russell Watson is a freak." Well, he looks like a normal 27-year-old from a working-class town in England, but what makes him "freaky" is having such an intensely powerful voice at such a young age (and his grip of operatic Italian is a bit unusual, too). Most likely, the promotional efforts -- which find the handsome singer looking like he's in a GQ ad -- will focus on getting this classic opera material to be heard and appreciated by a younger crowd. The concept here is "opera with a twist," a happy idea where "Nessun Dorma" and "Amor Ti Vieta" play comfortably alongside pop standards like Freddie Mercury's 1992 Olympic theme "Barcelona" (a rock-influenced duet with Shaun Ryder) and "Vienna," a number two hit for Ultravox in 1981. Compared to his effortless tackling of so much challenging material -- not to mention the beautiful swells by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra -- a cover of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" comes across as a bit staid, but it's still a version that brings out as much emotion as possible. Other featured material includes "Nella Fantasia," "Ricordo Ancor" (from Captain Corelli's Mandolin), and duets with Maire Brennan and Cleopatra Higgins. Even if the thought of opera makes you cringe, Watson is still an amazing artist who might just convert you for an hour or so.

Product Details

Release Date:

Related Subjects


  1. Nella Fantasia
  2. Amor ti Vieta
  3. Ricordo Ancor
  4. Caruso
  5. Miserere
  6. Panis Angelicus
  7. Non ti Scordar di me
  8. La Donna E Mobile
  9. Saylon Dola - Marie Brennan
  10. Someone Like You - Cleopatra Higgins
  11. Bridge Over Troubled Water
  12. Vienna
  13. Funiculi - Funicula
  14. Barcelona - Shaun Ryder
  15. Nessun Dorma!

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Russell Watson   Primary Artist,Vocals
Richard Harvey   Flute
Richard Cottle   Keyboards
Caroline Dale   Cello
Geoff Dugmore   Drums
Nick Ingman   Conductor
Pino Palladino   Bass
Shaun Ryder   Vocals
Jonn Savannah   Background Vocals
John Themis   Bass,Guitar,Percussion
Moya Brennan   Track Performer
Jenny O'Grady   Choir Master
Cleo Higgins   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Giacomo Puccini   Composer
Paul Simon   Composer
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra   Contributor
Clive Black   Conception Supervisor
Richard Cottle   Programming
Chris Dibble   Engineer
Alistair Gordon   Arranger,Producer,Vocal Producer
Nick Ingman   Arranger,Orchestral Arrangements
London Session Orchestra   Contributor
Steve McNicol   Programming
Mark Millington   Art Direction
Nick Patrick   Arranger,Producer,Engineer
Mike Ross-Trevor   Engineer
Pete Schwier   Engineer
Rick Blaskey   Conception Supervisor
Stephen Warbeck   Producer
Renato Simoni   Composer
Giuseppe Adami   Composer
Metro Voices   Contributor
David Maurice   Programming
Domenico Furno   Composer
Russell Watson   Composer
Ernesto de Curtis   Composer

Customer Reviews

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The Voice 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first saw Russel on TV a few weeks ago about 1pm. He was singing ''It's Now Or Never'' and I cried my eyes out. Just sensational.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I hate Andrea Bocelli's voice so i wouldnt even make a comparison. Watson is a joy to listen to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first heard Russell on Good Morning America one morning as I was walking out the door. Chills went up my spine and needless to say I was late for an appointment. ''The Voice'' is one spine tingling chill after another. I love his voice and the images his songs bring to mind. I can't wait until he releases another album. I'll line up days ahead just to get a copy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
His remake of Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (one of my all-time favorite songs) made me cry it was so beautiful. That song alone is worth five stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I see where the critics are trying to knock him down, why I don't know. But they do the same thing with Andrea Bocelli and I can't figure that out either. Frankly I enjoy his music tremendously and wish he would do a tour in the US.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I purchased "The Voice" CD after hearing just a few lines of "Nella fantasia" on TV. I had never listen to opera before, but there was something about this voice that captivated me. I have to admit the sound of opera was so foreign to me but listened through anyway. After listening to CD 3 times, I was in tears - this man's voice touched me so deeply. After getting totally hooked on Russell's voice I visiting his site and saw that there was a new CD called "Encore" soon to be released in the UK. This CD will be released here in the States on September 1, 2002. I very much enjoy every song on this new CD as well. His voice has become stronger, but delivers the same touching sound. I strongly recommend buying anything done by Russell Watson. Lisa
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just received ''The Voice'' and I am hooked! Looking forward to many more CDs from him. If you love Andrea Bocelli, you'll love Russell too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
How beautiful this young man's voice is! A pleasant surprise awaits everyone on this cd. You don't have to be a classical buff to appreciate the opera, but you will surely enjoy his rendition of Barcelona with Shaun Ryder and his duet with Cleopatra Higgins, whom I have never heard of before. I thoroughly enjoyed this cd and look forward to his next release.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is rediculous and insulting to say this voice needs vocal training! Only one with no classical sense, an untrained ear or canal's filled with cotton would say such. I study voice and have a vocal coach now. The integrity of the Italian language in the arias, and classical songs Russell performs on this album are practicaly flawless recordings. They would probably be even better if you heard him live. He had a spellbound audience at the Taj Mahal. The little training Russell did have and all the karioki he sang at local pubs in England only enhanced and brought out ''The Voice'' that was already there. You have to no a good voice and be able to appreciate a great artist before you can be a critic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I heard Mr. Russell, just by chance (?) soon after 9/11. I've listened over and over again to both his albums, and they have been a beautiful place for me in the midst of all the terror we've seen. I'm hoping so much that I will see him and hear him in person. I would like to tell him what a wonderful place in my life he has become. I can hardly wait for another album!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very few artists have the ability to perform on both the opera and pop fronts as well as Watson. While Boccelli and others struggle on one or the other, Watson shows fine, albeit developing, ability on both sides. It would be unfair to compare him to ''the greats'' just yet as his voice is still developing. But perhaps this speaks to the wonders of his ability...at such a young age, we are already projecting him into the same realm as ''the greats''...and let's be serious...how many of ''the greats'' can sing a pop/rock song like this guy? ''Where My Heart Will Take Me'' sounds like something out of the early nineties (where's my lighter?). And how many can match his ability on Miserere? (Yes, both of those voices are his)... I just hope he finds and maintains a sense of humility...as I look forward to his development...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Russell Watson has a strong voice, it can get a bit nassal on "ah" vowels but he has a strong voice, and he can't really be compaired to Josh Groban, since Groban is a baritone, and Watson is a tenor. Get the CD, he has a beautiful voice
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nothing spectacular here. I DON'T like these song selections at all! However...Mr. Watson sang a nice ''God Bless America'' (on GMA)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This man has A voice. I do not deny it. But I don't think that it is THE voice, and I think it is rather presumptuous to say so. It seems to me that this Watson is trying to copy Andrea Bocelli, and if that is the case he may as well move on to different music because there is only one Andrea and HE has THE voice of tenors. Who is Russell Watson to step in and at least in appearance try to override Bocelli? If you've never listened to or enjoyed Andrea, buy this CD - you'll probably enjoy it. We who love Andrea would never settle for anything less than the best. Russell Watson has talent, but he needs to quit copying Bocelli and make his own style and repertoire, and leave Bocelli to his.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never been a big fan of operatic music, at least not until I heard ''The Voice''. Russell Watson definitely belongs up there. His mix of opera, classical and modern music brings a whole new era in the music world. Can't wait for his next project.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never been so taken with a musical gift such as Russell Watson's. There is something about his voice that that reaches into your soul. You can not and will not be able to forget the incredible talent he has of opening your heart to the world of Classical Music. What a gift he has! It will haunt you forever. I can't wait for Russell's next release.
Guest More than 1 year ago
great voice... i watched a pbs special and fell in love with his voice..
Guest More than 1 year ago
Russel Watson's mechanical and disjointed singing falls way short of the standard expected for an amateur chorus let alone operatic star status. Try listening to Roberto ALagna for techincal ability. Although he also has not the warmth of Lanza or Domingo. Unfortunatley the sound engineer is king- not the singer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Russell Watsons' voice. He is truely amazing with such a range in singing styles. If you like Andrea Bocelli style get this CD, he is great!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The perfect voice of Russell Watson backed by the incredibly beautiful orchestration of the Royal Philharmonic is the most uplifting, satisfying, and enjoyable music you will never tire of!!!! It just doesn't get any better than this!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
''The Voice'' was an enchanting collection of songs. I have heard a number of talented vocalists, and I have to say that Russell Watson is amoung one of the greatest.
Guest More than 1 year ago
... and the charms to go with it!! Am loving all his 3 albums right now. Though from the reviews he is appreciated more for the ubiquitous arias that he sings, I'd say he takes Bridge Over Troubled Water, Vienna, You Are So Beautiful, Somewhere and The Living Years to new hights! Hey, he ressurected that "cheesy" song Volare (killed to death by wedding signers!) by making it sound good!! Him doing Bohemian Rhapsody encapsulates the cross-over wonder that he is, in a nut-shell. But overall, these are wonderful albums to kick-off your shoes and chill to after a hard day at the office.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The power of his voice! The quality!He is the brightest new rising star.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The voice is a perfect name for this gifted singer. I love the song Barcelona, Vienna , La Donna E Mobile, these I play real loud, just love them. I listen to him at work everyday and never tire of his beautiful voice. I wish him the best in his future career and hopefully he will have a concert in the U.S.A so I can go and listen to him in person. I am very moved by all of his songs, and I do not believe he is trying to copy anyone else, he is just a gifted and wonderful talent.I also listen to Bocelli but ''the voice'' is my favorite. gb.