The tracklist of the new release from the accomplished soprano Renée Fleming is full of surprises. Check out the Amazon page for detailed information and an interesting interview. Personally I like her approach in this recording, you know it could be a train wreck like her Perfect Day at the 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution... Singing pop songs in operatic style usually sounds terrible, especially those truly great pop songs. To me pop singing is all about seeking the the perfection of imperfection, songs like Perfect Day should be sung in Lou Reed's talking-into-a-walkie-talkie style, and Frank Sinatra is a master because he knows which notes are better to be left out. And what do you think a great tenor like Ian Bostridge would learn from Bob Dylan, a man condemned as "can't sing" by many music fans? "Just the way he uses his voice is spectacularly subtle." Full audio interview is here.
Here's the Spotify playlist: Dark Hope (19 tracks, 1 hour). I put the original recordings at the end. To keep it simple I only goes for the original artists, though Ms. Fleming might have the Jeff Buckley version in mind when she did Hallelujah. She did it well, but this live performance from k.d.lang remains my favourite.