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Aled Jones



UPC: 5014797760431

Format: CD

Release Date: Sep 26, 2011

Regular price $4.95 USD
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Welsh baritone Aled Jones' recent output might not have made the same impact as his signature tune "Walking in the Air" or his hosting slot on Songs of Praise, but it has enabled him to receive the respect that eluded him for so many years. Hot on the heels of his Classical Brit Award nomination for his first Christmas album, he returns with his first non-seasonal studio album in four years, Forever, further stating the case that he's now in the prime of his 28-year career. There might not be anything entirely radical on offer here, but for a genre littered with predictable covers and lazy arrangements, it's a pleasant surprise that this time round, Jones has looked far beyond the usual easy listening standards. Alongside sweeping orchestral renditions of Peter Gabriel's "That'll Do," the late New York cabaret singer Nancy LaMott's "We Can Be Kind," and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang's "Hushabye Mountain," there are simple acoustic reworkings of tracks originally recorded by the Beatles ("I Will") and Chantal Kreviazuk ("Feels Like Home"), an emotive string-soaked duet with Beth Nielsen Chapman on a cover of Alison Krauss' bluegrass number "A Living Prayer," and the original title track (co-written by former Shakespeares Sister vocalist Marcella Detroit), which suggests Jones should showcase his songwriting skills more often, while even the more obvious material ("Bridge Over Troubled Water," "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face") are treated to a gentle jazz and dreamy hymnal makeover, respectively. But "Majesty" and "Footprints" mark the biggest change in Jones' usual repertoire, the former a Radio 2-friendly interpretation of Christian soft rockers Delirious?'s inspirational anthem and the latter a rather bombastic Spector-esque Wall of Sound treatment of the famous 19th century poem, both of which see Jones tackle a pop sound, and convincingly, for the first time in his career. A firmly established housewives' favorite, Jones could have quite easily played it safe and stuck to the familiar, which makes this slightly "outside the box" selection of lesser-known songs even more impressive. ~ Jon O'Brien


1 - Majesty
2 - Feels Like Home
3 - Bridge Over Troubled Water
4 - Living Prayer
5 - Forever
6 - Hushabye Mountain
7 - Let It Be Me
8 - First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
9 - We Can Be Kind
10 - Footprints
11 - I Will
12 - Better Than I
13 - That'll Do