In 2009 I wrote a blog post “What should Susan Boyle sing next?” I said in part:
Some may think a Disney soundtrack should be Susan’s first release, but I think she could sing“Send in the Clowns” that so many famous artists have voiced before: Judy Collins, Barbra Streisand, Shirley Bassey. “Send in the Clowns” was created for the British actress Glynis Johns (bn. 1923) who played Desiree in Sondheim’s 1973 “A Little Night Music” based on Ingmar Bergman’s 1955 film, “Smiles of a Summer Night”.
Susan sings “Send in the Clowns” on her newest CD release “Standing Ovation” and I am grateful she or the producers included it.
Overall, I give the album an A-. What warm and inspiring company it provides on a six hour drive from Los Angeles to the Sacramento suburbs. I recommend it. Susan has “the power to move me”.
I love this album but I discovered that “Send In the Clowns” not the best song on the track list on her latest studio album:
|1. Somewhere Over The Rainbow|
|2. The Winner Takes It All|
|3. Send In The Clowns|
|4. The Music Of The Night|
|5. Bring Him Home|
|7. As Long as He Needs Me|
|8. All I Ask Of You|
|9. Out Here On My Own|
|10. You’ll Never Walk Alone|
|11. This Is The Moment|
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is a jazzy adaptation and she sings it very well.
“The Winner Takes It All” is strong and soulful.
“Send in the Clowns” is ok but in this one song, the one I think she could have sung better than Collins and Streisand, well, I was a tad disappointed. The deep pathos she communicates on other tracks was strangely missing, and it just ends when it deserved a longer, more thoughtful finish.
“The Music of the Night” is just ok because with Michael Crawford I expected more from the voice of the “Phantom of the Opera.” Honestly, I felt like the producers took an older track of Michael and edited it with Susan’s part. I didn’t sense a harmony of place or freshness or that unity of soul that great singers are able to create when they are singing in the same room at the same time. Studios have all the means to produce this effect artificially but I think someone missed on this one – even if Michael’s part is a fresh recording.
“Bring Him Home” is moving and convincing (“Les Miserables”)
“Memory” from “Cats”, well, Susan hits a musical home run. It made me feel like I am “there.”
“As Long as He Needs Me” from “Oliver” is fine but unremarkable.
“All I Ask of You” is a duet with Donny Osmond and it is excellent though I think Donny took center stage so to speak. He has a great Broadway voice with a little “pop” edge to it. (“Phantom of the Opera”)
“Out Here on My Own” sounds autobiographical (as Susan admits) and it has an aura of honesty, of authenticity that is not so easy to convey in a studio album. Brava.
“You’ll Never Walk Alone” is a prayer and Susan makes this her own. It’s personal and you wonder who she is singing this to or for. (“Carousel”)
“This is the Moment” is a duet with Donny Osmond from “Jekyll and Hyde”. It’s my least favorite track because it sounds like an end-of-competition song from American Idol.
I am a fan of Susan Boyle because I admire her courage, her perseverance, and her amazing God-given talent as she expresses it in a very demanding and what can be an unappealing business.
Here is a sampling of “Standing Ovation” from YouTube; enjoy!