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I saw 'Il Divo' before I heard them, so was probably biased into liking their music - they are nice boys - but even so, they sound fantastic together. Yes, they're 'manufactured' but give them a chance...
~ Who are they~
Il Divo are Carlos (Spanish), Urs (Swiss), Sebastien (French) and David (American). They were put together by the infamous Simon Cowell who apparently has said he thinks they're his best achievement.
Anyway, It's interesting that they became famous at the same time as 'G4' on the X-Factor - Il Divo are more accomplished in terms of technique and professionalism (though granted they've not been asked to sing live for votes). They're like 'G4' for grown-ups (but grown ups who perhaps value good looking singers above absolute technical precision!)
~ The paperwork ~
The black and white cover is classy, which I believe is the image they're going for. Inside there are larger pictures of each of them - Sebastian and Urs win for my money - Carlos looks like a matador. The words are all there too, for all the good it does if you don't speak Italian or Spanish.
~ The songs ~
The songs are all beautiful - some are covers (Regressa A Mi being the most obvious, and most appealing), while some (eg Mama) were written for them.
It's rather disconcerting when they switch to singing in English, sometimes mid-song - I think I prefer the melody of hearing the Spanish-language songs. The latter half of the album I seem to listen to without listening to, if that makes any sense, but it picks up with 'My Way' at the end, which rounds off the album nicely.
It's not for the cynical - yes the lyrics (at least the ones I understand) are corny and romantic but resistance is futile - give it up, sit back and soak it in.
Here's the full tracklist:
1. Unbreak My Heart (Regresa a Mi)
I'm not sure why Regressa A Mi is titled as Unbreak my Heart when they don't sing in English. This is probably their most famous song. The strings and spanishy guitar introduce the song and when the voices kick in it's a bit spine-tingly. The song glides along and builds nicely, adding the others' voices along the way. After a spanish guitar bridge, they kick in with their full voices and I think this song works really well.
This is not a cover, and I believe was written with the Mother's Day market in mind (duh). The tune is singalongable, and the accompaniment well-orchestrated (with the first inevitable key change coming quite early on) but the words are unbelievably cheesy: 'thank you for all the things I'm not' for example. I would imagine it's every mother's dream to have their son sing this to them, and I'd imagine it's every son's nightmare to sing it!
3. Nella Fantasia
This is a beautiful song - the music is from 'The Mission' (my Morricone, I believe) and the orchestral accompaniment could stand on its own, but the voices add an interesting focus. This song is good if you've had a bad day. It's very mellow and relaxing.
This song is another one with a spanish feel, accompanied as it is largely by guitar and strings. It's quite a simple tune but the boys give it their all. Not as good as the previous track but easy to listen to nonetheless. Just wish I knew what 'passera' meant.
5. Every Time I Look At You
This is one of the few songs in English and fortunately the lyrics are not as cheesy as in 'Mama'. In fact, I think I could get quite swept away if this was sung to me. The song is introduced with piano and some gentle orchestration and has a different feel from the previous songs. It has a more 'pop' ballady feel - like a good chick flick, you know where it's going but it's still enjoyable to watch/listen to it get there.
6. Ti Amero
Back to the guitar intro on this one. It has a minor key and sounds more spanish (complete with castanets) and serious. It has the requisite number of key changes, and build through the song, and thus it's more striking towards the end of the song with fuller orchestration and drums.
7. Dentro Un Altro Si (try an alternative dentist)
Not the real translation of the title obviously. This is similar to (5) in its piano, pop ballad feel, and I like this sound more. There's a less obvious progression to this song, less belting-out of choruses and more harmony. Having said that, it does build to the end, and yes, of course, there is a key change.
8. The Man You Love
Another song in two languages, which is strange. Reasonable cheese factor on the lyrics (it is a love song after all). Some Christmassy twinkly noises in this one, makes me wonder if they were going for a Christmas release. More of a rhythm accompaniment too, less orchestration.
It's a bit odd the way they switch languages repeatedly again in this- I think I prefer the songs in one language or the other. Nonetheless, I like the melody of this song. We get piano and guitar in this introduction. It has quite a dramatic feel, with less rhythm (at least at first) and more orchestral acommpaniment. It sounds like it came from a musical.
10. Hoy Que Ya No Est As Aqui
Try saying that after a few drinks. Another song in a minor key, with a piano led accompaniment. More harmonies in this song, which switches rather than builds from a gentle start to a dramatic finale. (I prefer the start). The different sounds of the four singers comes out in this song, although they do blend well too.
11. Sei Parte Ormai De Mei
No spanish guitar or piano here (although there's the odd castanet) - violin introduction and orchestra accompaniment. This song tends to pass me by without realising, not least because it's towards the end of the album. I prefer the ballady ones to the dramatic minor key ones like this.
12. My Way (A Mi Manera)
A good way to finish the album. A familiar song (hence singalongable) - there are more familiar covers on their second album and I think that was a good move, since this one is nice to have here, to round off the album with a known tune, albeit with unknown words.
Overall, I have to say I prefer this to their second album - Ancora - which I've also reviewed. There are fewer 'weak links' on this one, and it was a more original concept when they brought this out. Having said that, they're a of a Marmite group - love them or hate them. Each to their own, but I like em so there.
The only disadvantage to this cd is that it has anti-pirate technology on it, ie its own player, which means you have to have the actual cd with you to listen to it, I don't think you can listen to the tracks in random order, and it has trouble playing on some car cd players, for example.
Finally, this album can be purchased at amazon for a mere £5.97 which I think is a bargain. It's 2p more at play.com.
Il Divo - yipee. I have received their album as a Christmas present from my husband and therefore all Christmas Carols were banned during lunch Christmas Day to allow for this group of four gorgeous singers to serenade me.
Who are they?
David (American), Sebastien (French) Urs (Swiss) and Carlos (Spanish). They are not nor do they try to be 'pop' band style singers. They look serious and should be respected, as all had very successful careers before forming this group.
All the song lyrics are listed inside the booklet which accompanies the CD so you can join in if you feel that way inclined or failing that you can sit and stare affectionately at your favourite member of the group as their photographs are littered throughout.
1. Unbreak my heart(Regresa A Mi)
What a song this is. Starting with a known song and making it their own, what a way to start an album.
A song with fantastic, thought provoking lyrics. If you live a distance from you mother this really makes you think.
3. Nella Fantasia
I heard this song on the television and that is what inspired me to want the album. Fantastic song.
Another Italian song and like Italians very romantic. I loved it.
5. Everytime I look at you
Very romantic and soothing, wonderful lyrics.
6. Ti Amero
Relaxing and comforting.
7. Dentro Un Altro Si
Beautifully sung romantic song.
8. The Man you love.
Still waiting for husband to sing this to me!! However it would never be quite as romantic as Il Divo manage to make it sound.
Another romantic song, beautiffuly sung.
10. Hoy Que Ya No Estas Aqui
More Opera than others on the album, but brilliant none the less. Perhaps Opera will become the new Pop.
11. Sei Parte Ormai Di Me
Beautiful opera song, louder than others on the album but great.
12. My Way ( A Mi Manera)
Move over Frank, your time is up. Different but superb version of teh classic song.
Fantastic CD, will appeal to all. I will be out to get my second copy soon as I think I will wear this one away with excessive playing.
My wife was going on and on about how wonderful this new group-IL DIVO- are in their video clip on Classic FM TV so I logon to 101cd.co.uk and ordered it for her, the day that their cd was released.(1st of November).
(£8.95. They accept paypal.)
5th of November and the cd still not with us.
This afternoon I had to go for some shopping to the local Asda and as I pass from the cd section I saw their cd so I decided to buy it there and then (with £9.77) and surprise my wife. I thought I could cancel my order as after 5 days I think their service there in 101cd.co.uk is really slow.
I picked my wife with the car. I had the first track on the cd player. She was really happy and she was quiet all the way home listening to them. 7 hours later, the cd is still playing in the house non stop. We prepare our meal, listening to it, we eat with it, we drunk our coffee with it. We did everything with it!
Its so easy listening, so relaxing, so smoothing, soothing, comforting like none of the cds I have heard before. I am addicted to Il Divo now along with my wife!
WHO ARE THEY?
David, Sebastien ( looks so like my brother!), Urs and Carlos. They come from Geneva,Paris,New York and Madrid. Good looking guys and they look and try to be cool, divos (male divas in Italian you see) I like their style. They are not as the pop boy bands. They look serious and respected.
All of them had their own careers, before they join this scheme and all of them were quite happy with what they were doing. But they left everything to form this band. How wise that proved to be!
The picture on the front, demonstrates their coolness and in the booklet the rest of the pictures build this image. Also in the booklet you will find the lyrics of all the songs. I tried to give it a go (to sing!) with one of the Italian songs but my Greek accent didnt go down well according to my wife! Anyway, you can follow if you feel like.
Unbreak my heart(Regresa A Mi)
What a song this is. What a tasteful version of the known song. That song made my wife to like them, and their video clip was the most wanted on the classic fm tv last week. Warm and clear loud voices make this song to stand out and its an excellent introduction to the rest of the Album. *****
If you leave away from your mother and you have long time to see her, this song can easily bring tears to eyes! A song written by the Swedish Quiz & Larossi that has fantastic, thought provoking lyrics. The combination of good lyrics and the divine voices of the Il Divo made this song one of my favourites in the album.*****
Ennio Morricone and Il Divo! Fantastic song. It takes you away. In this song, the voice of David stands out! What a voice!*****
Another Italian song that if you allow it, it can take you to the narrow roads of Florence and Venice. Very romantic song. I liked it very much.****
Everytime I look at you
Romance in all its grace. Soothing song, that took me away as well. In this song the voice of Sebastian stands out more. I think Sebastian is the less opera-voice of the band and can do really well as a solo pop singer.****
Ti Amero & Dentro Un Altro Si
Time for Urs to show us what his voice's like and what a result in both songs! He has a great voice ,powerfull and steady.These songs were so relaxing, so comforting. Really nice songs. They will touch you.****
The Man you love.
I find myself singing it to my wife! Excellent song, fantastic lyrics and music. When the lyrics turned to Spanish I just said to my wife: This is how you make a perfect song to sound even better. Very nice, romantic and touching. A man will definitely sing it to the woman he loves. One of my favourites.*****
Written by a Swedish in English originally and it performed with Italian lyrics. Another romantic song.*****
Hoy Que Ya No Estas Aqui & Sei Parte Ormai Di Me
Two excellent songs, louder than the rest of the album and more opera-like songs. That doesnt mean that they werent good. They were great. I think Il DIvo help a lot in making opera more appealing to the masses. The voices of Carlos and David are really fantastic when they perform the extended part of the lyrics. They keep going forever!****
My Way ( A Mi Manera)
Better than Frank Sinatra? Different. But very very nice version. I really liked it.*****
I will recommend this cd to all. Its a classic cd. A cd that you can put on repeat and never get bored of it. I am listening to it for 7 and a half hours non stop and still goes great. Buy it from 101cd.co.uk for £8.95 with free delivery if you dont bother as of when you will have it. 5 days after I paid, I still wait for my copy which I decided to give to my mother-in-law as a present. She has joined the club as well! Also play.com for £8.99 with free delivery too. I havent seen it in cd-wow.com.They dont have it! What are they doing?
At the booklet,at the end they have several thank yous. I liked the last thank you to Simon Cowell.
.This is the achievement of your vision. Thank you for daring so big.
I am doing the same! Thank you Simon!
Thanks for reading...
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Regresa A Mi (Unbreak My Heart)
3 Nella Fantasia
5 Everytime I Look At You
6 Ti Amero
7 Dentro Un Altro Si
8 The Man You Love
10 Hoy Que Ya No Estas Aqui
11 Sei Parte Ormai Di Me
12 A Mi Manera (My Way)