Music reviews: In show business, Shirley Bassey marks her 70th year

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Dame Shirley Bassey, I owe you all.

You wouldn’t guess it from listening to her voice, but in show business, Dame Shirley Bassey is celebrating 70 years.

In I Owe It All To You, an album described as her’ grand finale’ and dedicated to her fans, the 83-year-old singer demonstrates her enduring talent and powerful singing voice. “This audience of mine has been my bread and wine,” she sings on the title track of the song.

Dame Shirley, who caused laughter when promoting her latest release by wearing a matching mask and gold sequined dress, mixes new material with covers on the record. Her new takings, however, have varying degrees of success.

The class of the rest of the album is lacking in Look But Don’t Touch and sounds borderline cheesy, though I Don’t Know What Love Is seems a little predictable and dull.

I Was Here, however, has an ethereal quality and Who Wants To Live Forever is a courageous reinterpretation of the original Queen.

Though I Owe It All To You is definitely not the best work by Dame Shirley, her fine vocals on the album are sure to please her fans.

TOM HORTON, TOM HORTON

Blessings, Aled Jones.

It sounds cliched and cheesy, but the new album title from Aled Jones is really as it says: a blessing. If there is something subtle and calming you want to hear, Blessings, his 40th album, is it.

With contributions from Dame Judi Dench, Susan Boyle, Sami Yusuf, Brian Blessed and many more, it is truly a welcome piece of calm amidst the uncertainty of the past few months.

The album covers a range of faiths and beliefs – Quaker, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist – all explored and represented through music.

The album is accompanied by a Book of Blessings, which is another new element.

His version of “Silent Night,” featuring the voice of Blessed, is the perfect way to set the mood for the Christmas season.

KATHY IFFLY

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