Ever indefatigable, Simon Cowell here comes back from last year's Christmas single defeat by assigning his prize protegee to wrap up the album charts. So Boyle applies her quivering mezzo-soprano to a selection of carols and songs that might as well be carols, such is the one-size-fits-all, choir-and-strings slathered approach. And though her renditions of "Away in a Manger" et al are pleasant, she renders Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" sterile. You don't begrudge Boyle dreaming her dream, but you do wish she, and her svengali, could dream bigger.


Hugh Montgomery

The GuardianTramp

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