Marsh is undeniably popular, and for good reason.
Charlotte Gardner 2008
You may need a chair to be handy as you start listening to this second album from Natasha Marsh, as I had to sit down in disbelief. The reason was twofold. Marsh will sing ITV Sport's Euro 2008 theme this summer. The theme is Queen Of The Night (from Mozart's Magic Flute, and where to start? Mozart's crisp, zippy scoring has morphed into a bizarre, poppy legato number, complete with clashing cymbals and heavenly chorus 'aaahing'. They've even changed the harmony under that magic top C. Yet Marsh does at least have the notes and the articulation to meet the aria's vocal demands. Also, in fairness, presumably it is ITV and not Marsh/EMI who is ultimately responsible for this musical massacre.
The second need for the chair is less pardonable. The album, like Amour (her first disc), is an assortment of classical favourites such as O Mio Babbino Caro, plus duets with Gardar Cortes (The Prayer) and Blake (O Holy Night). Normally one might say that if you bought Amour and liked it, then you'll like this. Not so on this occasion. You’d actually just feel you’d been had. Five tracks, yes five, also appeared on Amour. This is only her second disc! What happened? I could just refer the reader to my old Amour review but, quickly, Autumn Leaves is just as sweet. Identically sweet, in fact. Meanwhile, Les filles de Cadix is still lacking the necessary oomph. There.
Marsh is undeniably popular, and for good reason. She is pretty, her voice is pretty and effortless, she is comfortable to listen to, and she offers the consumer enjoyable musical selections. The problem is that her voice lacks the vocal warmth and emotional depth of other physically beautiful singers producing accessible discs such as Kate Royal, Magdalena Kozena and Cecilia Bartoli. It is true that Marsh still pushes all the right buttons for many people, but the inexcusable overlap of material here makes this disc one to avoid.