Hayley Westenra: Odyssey
By Pauline Berry
There is a definite Celtic mood to many of the non opera tracks on this album, including Enya's May It Be and She Moves Through The Fair, the latter previously made popular by Loreena McKennitt. This makes for an intelligent style choice that compliments the operatic pieces, rounding out a selection that includes pop and gospel. Hayley's voice and ability to assimilate so many styles are showcased well, while still fitting overall within the 'popera' category. The duet with Andrea Voice of God Bocelli is an apt inclusion, but on this and the following track there are mixing issues and Hayley's voice is slightly overwhelmed. She sings On Both Sides Now beautifully, although the lyrics are about disillusionment in love, and better suited to someone much older. This is a classy production, as expected, and safe to buy for parents and aunts as it is so easy to listen to. Recorded wholly overseas, mostly in London, obviously for the international market, the overall production is more consistent than on her previous album 'Pure'. Hayley Westenra is the shining, precious jewel in Universal NZ's crown.