Wednesday, 06 August 2003
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Pure - Hayley Westenra

07 August 2003
Reviewed by JANE NYE

Hayley Westenra is probably the only other person in the world, aside from Kate Bush, who can actually sing Wuthering Heights. This might give you an idea of the key her entire debut album, Pure, is sung in. I turned the treble levels down.

Sure, she has got bucket loads of talent, Dame Malvina Major is her tutor. Okay, she also looks like an angel, but Miss Westenra fails to entertain, and the high pitch of the wee cherub is monotonous and irritating.

She sings sweet songs about the moon and the stars, and the stars and the moons and she sings about dreams and light and love and time and smiles and on and on and on.

But good on her though.

Giles Martin, legendary Beatles producer Sir George Martin's grandson, produced Pure, a collection of overly sweetened cordial pop. On her official website, she explains that "before Pure was released I was singing show tunes and light classical music. Now, I've got a lot more variety. Making this album has broadened the way I sing."

Well done, the variety of tunes and breadth of tone are superb, the two Latin numbers are charming and the traditional Maori choral piece? Kiri Te Kanawa would love it.

I think Westenra's voice is more suited to classical music, her foray into light pop and dreamy lullabies is rather irksome, her angelicism is boring.

I rather wish that next time when Pure 2 is released, Cathy becomes a little more Heathcliff  - a little less squawky angel and a lot more impure.

  • Universal

Link thanks to Jon Milewalker. 


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