Poor Susan Boyle messed up Big Time on The view yesterday; the debacle was an apparent ‘frog in the throat’ on a cherished Christmas carol, O Holy Night, followed by an odd stomach malfunction where the Cinderella Moll clutches her tummy in despair. Don’t know if it was Trimalcian gas or a burp or what? Sherri Shepherd and Whoopi Goldberg attempted to comfort her, but to no avail, the BOO-BOO was a done deal.
But I was thinking, her Plain-Jane populist Bubble had POPPED already, unfortunately. Her sophomore effort The Gift is a bust and the frog in the throat blooper is a hot-air balloon of happiness in an otherwise tranquil sea of mediocrity. I parked all attempts at writing a review of The Gift until the fiasco on The View blesses we unbelievers with fractured frailty, a whiff of humanity, and oodles of noodles of imperfection.
This is the Susan Boyle we recognize and long for, a working class waif in seclusion, who mines sour notes against a bleeping fog machine blowing smoke through space. Perfect performance art that will launch her back in the limelight of IFFY commerciality, the tinsel-town Hollywood dreamscape of no tomorrows, only yesterdays and forgotten field mice and palatable pumpkins. Wailing waifs without a lollipop to suck on.
Stay there Suzie and enjoy the ride. Put The Gift past you, it’s an empty box. Zero for 10 on The Gift. All ten tunes are fillers. One worse than the other. Steve Mac never lets you sing, you hold back every time. Arrangements are Mall Fluff, Musak for Elevators, pipings in a bank where you’ve $2.28 in your checking account, ’bout to close it. Where to begin, or better yet, where to end and forget? Butchers every song.
Why cover Crowded House’s forgettable Don’t Dream It’s Over? I had buried those memories years ago (wanted to keep em there), but Boyle digs up a can of worms from the bowels of the 1980s. And how does it fit in with the Christmas theme? It doesn’t. The vocal on the final chorus is so limp I thought I would fall asleep. No feeling. A dormant Barbie doll in an empty playpen.
The mix is thin and you can barely (bearly) hear Susan. I thought she was the superstar here? I guess not. It’s like the musicians didn’t get their coffee. Everything sounds like a warm up, no pulse in the playing. Corpses clangin’. And poor Leonard Cohen, his Hallelujah was hung on a clothesline to dry, but it’s still damp with moldy mildew. A rehearsal for a rehearsal that never happens.
Do You Hear What I Hear? Sounds like it’s in a hollow tunnel under a fake plastic mountain. The First Noel sounds like the third or fourth or twenty-second Noel. When the strings come in you question why. This one is destined for those empty shells of malls stringing across the land, whose foreclosure is foretold in this dreary effort of Yuletide Euthanasia.
Gassed by a carol. O Holy Night makes me gag, I’m gasping for air! Is there a glass of spring water in the house? Away In A Manger is cotton candy fit for a midget in Volkswagon Love Bug. What does that mean? Nothing, as empty as Away In A Manger. The choir of angels caused me to not hear the news on Morning Express. Had to turn it off. Not again. Why Auld Lang Syne?
I would prefer to enjoy my New Years Eve. Robert Burns turns frantically in his grave. The gift is an empty box. Don’t give it as a stocking stuffer unless you hate your loved ones. A grimacing Boyle with a frog in her throat is comic relief for this fiasco of a record. And check out the liner notes penned by Susan herself. More mediocrity in words than her worrisome warbling. Unless she pulls a rabbit out of her hat, she’s a One Hit Wonder, slated for a Cut Out Bin from Hell that no one dares to touch!