The musical equivalent of a big, soft, fleecy, blanket. With Christmassy stars...
Charlotte Gardner 2007
Twenty boys and girls, aged between six and fourteen, '[embracing] the diversity of 21st century Britain', celebrity endorsement in the shape of Myleene Klass… On paper, it is enough to have any world-weary adult reaching for the sick bucket. If you did that, though, you would be missing out. Unless you truly have no soul this CD may make you feel warmer and fuzzier than you have in a very long time: These kids can really sing.
The music is a mix of well-arranged pop and folk songs, plus a few carols, and the singing is top-notch throughout. Their take on Coldplay's ''Fix You'' is classily done and will have you feeling gooey before the first verse is over. Anyone who saw Christophe Barratier's wonderful film Les Choristes will recognise ''Caresse Sur L'Ocean''. With Kindred Spirits it has lost some of the tingle factor, but is nevertheless beautifully sung. Other high points are the fairytale-ish ''Perfect Day'', and a cute without being saccharine-sweet version of the Bob Marley classic, ''One Love''. Yes, it all sounds a bit Disney sometimes, but in a good way. It has the same feel-good quality as that old Eighties Coca Cola advert with hundreds of young people singing 'Tomorrow, we'll build a better world for you''; we all knew we should think it naff, but were secretly pleased when it came on TV because it prompted that inner smile that only groups of children singing something happy are capable of doing.
Perhaps most importantly, this album will appeal to the young. Just when High School Musical is all the rage and singing might just be cool in the playground, here are British kids sounding equally good, and I don't think we can underestimate how inspiring that will be. There are even two sing-along tracks at the end of the CD to spur listeners on to learn the songs themselves. So, even if you refuse to like it yourself then at least buy it for a child you know.
This is the musical equivalent of a big, soft, fleecy, blanket. With Christmassy stars embroidered on it. Wrap yourself up in it.