Russell Watson - Outside In

Matt Clutton 16/12/2007

Rating: 4/5

To the despair of friends, family, his record label and an army of fans across the country and further afield, the release date of Russell Watson's long awaited album 'Outside In' was met with the devastating news that the nation's favourite classical singer had fallen ill again with the re-emergence of a serious illness. Inspirational as he is to his faithful followers, full of true Northern grit and determination he over came hurdles placed before him and regained lost ground to release an album which is a testimony to one of the greatest singers of the twenty first century. Truly diverse, packed with an array of familiar tunes and a few that won't be so, guest appearances litter the album and include true greats like Jocelyn Brown, Denise Van Outen and Hayley Westernra.

Album opener 'La Califfa', released last month, bursts in to life with a beautiful orchestral accompaniment of soaring strings and delicate harp and flute melodies that will quite literally bring you out in goose bumps. With heartstring-tugging vocals drenched in Italian charm from Watson that truly justify his trademark 'The Voice', a passionate and emotively charged affair ensues. 'One More Time' sees a break from the traditional operatic course as Watson brings a touch of the Michael Ball's to the table but without the pomp and ceremony and with more, if anything, of a Westlife feel. 'Amazing Grace' sees the legendary Jocelyn Brown jump started into life with a classical dueting representation of an old sea shanty whilst Denise Van Outen's input on the album sees her Chicago roots stripped down and applied with gusto to 'Baby It's Cold Outside', something of a Rat Pack treatment yielding modest results. Watson's vocals and the overall composition on classics like 'Unforgettable' , 'Time To Say Goodbye' aand 'Adeste Fideles' are faultless and lead comfortably to the album's pinnacle, that being a personal tribute to the world's greatest classical singer, the late Luciano Pavarotti, with a meteoric 'Nessun Dorma'. All in all the perfect way to round off a perfect album.