Review Summary: "Symphony" is a rare case of an album you can fall in love with immediately.
Sarah has been through a lot over the years- "losing her heart to a starship trooper" AKA marrying Andrew Lloyd Webber, being the original Christine Daae in Phantom of the Opera, etc, being a pop artist, and of course, being a successful classical/opera singer. How she does it, only she will know. One thing we all know is that her voice is all that matters, and even if you are like me and found her previous effort, titled "Harem" with a more eastern/electronica tinge to it to be rather boring, you'll find "Symphony" very easy to fall in love with right away.
In a way, it's her most accessible album too. While it is certainly a departure for her in terms of sound, it has a more pop appeal to it, but her operatic voice is still there and it still fits. The album at times experiments with gothic rock, and has a dark/gothic tone to it, but provided you don't expect something like "La Luna" or "Eden", you'll like this album just fine.
"Gothica" starts the album on a creepy, gothic and dark tone, with strings, choirs, strange synths and a harpsichord before flawlessly leading into the next track, "Fleurs Du Mal". Despite the goofy title ("Flowers of Evil" in French), this track sets the tone perfectly. With lyrics about lost love, epic choirs, and her voice reaching notes that would make Diamanda Galas
shake with envy, this is the way to set the theme for a gothic tinged classical album.
Some more of the highlights include "Pasion", a duet with Spanish tenor Fernando Lima
. The song has a bit of a sexy feel to it and the chemistry between the two is just gorgeous. "I Will Be With You (Where the Lost Ones Go)" is awesome, and believe it or not, it's a duet with, of all people, Paul Stanley. That's right. Paul FLIPPING Stanley of KISS fame. And the strange part? It works!!! It shouldn't, because it's just an absurd idea all around but the chemistry all around... damn.
"Sanvean", which is a cover of a Lisa Gerrard
tune of the same name, sounds erethral, heavenly, and beautiful. You could imagine that music playing upon your arrival in heaven. "Let it Rain" is a nice piece of piano pop that Coldplay
would be damned proud of. "Schwere Traume" is based upon Mahler's fifth symphony, and the final tune, "Running", is based upon Gustav Holst's "The Planets" symphony, the movement used being "Jupiter". Sarah comes from a classical background and has been known to sample classical tunes ("Figlio Perduto" based upon Beethoven's 7th). The former shows Sarah exploring her more classical side, whereas then latter is an all out Rock tune that has a triumphant feel, and bears resemblance to her most famous tune, "A Question of Honour".
So that being said, Sarah's latest album doesn't disappoint. Those who love Sarah will absolutely love it as while it takes on a newer, gothic style, it's still Sarah- she can still hit notes, she can still belt out the tunes, and still can make you feel good about yourself with her voice alone. Do not miss it!