The last time crooner Alison Moyet entered my mindset was many years ago when one soundalike attempted to emulate the singer on that campest of camp Saturday night TV shows Stars In Their Eyes. I think..
Since then la Moyet has hardly registered, except a vague awareness on the edge of my existence that she was continuing to do her stuff and do it well. So it came as a bit of surprise to be asked to review her latest collection of covers Voice.
A quick peek on the internet confirmed my suspicions that my review, good or bad, would be unlikely to change the Moyet world. This lady is popular – she’s got fansites to rival Britney and Beyoncé.
Her vast legion of fans would continue to buy the album (good or bad), while others will be unlikely to be swayed by my opinion that this collection is good, not great, and bordering on bland at times.
Moyet takes an almost academic slant in covering her chosen selection of jazz, lounge and romantic opera, from Bacharach and Jacques Brel to LeGrand and Henry Purcell. Her tone and phrasing are pitch perfect as ever and while her voice breathlessly skims over such classics as Gershwin’s The Man I Love it misses much of the emotion I would hope to have been crammed in to these covers.
Elsewhere there’s an introspective, unjolly Bye Bye Blackbird, solid performances of both Purcell and Bizet and an achingly maudlin rendition of Cry Me a River.
Yet Moyet should be congratulated for eschewing the commercial path after finding fame and fortune in ’80s electro-pop duo Yazoo and concentrating on the jazz and blues she undoubtedly loves.
She remains lovely, talented and light years ahead of youngsters such as the delightfully irritating Katie Melua snapping at her heels in the easy-listening blues-and-jazz-lite stakes, but while there’s much to admire in Voice equally there’s little to love.
Her middle-aged army of fansite webmasters will disagree, of course.