Susan Boyle’s new album, I Dreamed A Dream, is the record of the year (2009). It’s the number one record in the world now. People all over the world will be playing it steadily for years to come, if not the upcoming holidays. What is the key to her success? She is a nobody who dares to be somebody, and we eat it up. Overnight sensation? Yes.
A Plain Jane in a pretty wrapper. She is an ordinary waif, just like Cinderella before she heads for the ball to meet her Prince Charming. She morphs queenly when she opens her trap and butterflies, trinkets and fairies trickle forth. The pumpkins and mice return after the janitor sweeps clean the wasted arena. Her dreams become ours and we share vicariously in the rags to riches thaumaturgy.
Daydream Believer and Homecoming Queen. Yes! I wrote this like Susan would like it, unadorned and natural. Just pecked out the first glimmer of light that hit me in the puss.
Bounced like The Joker (Batman) on springs, off her record and picked up the ions of joy, the blasts of rapture cascading off the ceiling. Was blind but now I see. No edits, no white out, no cushioning or quarter adjectives…just pure simple me, so dig it! I’m Suzie Que too.
Wild Horses is the most popular tune on the new Boyle record. Susan puts spring, buoyancy in the chorus that sweeps you up into the atmosphere of heaven. The arrangement is thicker with piano and strings laced into Susan’s upper range miraculous quivers. Wild Horses couldn’t drag me away.
The royalties to Jagger/Richards are carried to the bank by vassals, the chests of eight…silver coins spill out of Boyle’s mouth like a quatro-clover-leaf slot machine quakin’ in a Las Vegas casino!
But it’s sincere, she’s not pulling your leg. You think she is is, but she’s not. This is the conundrum that is the mystery of her success. Only Susan has the secret ingredient. We are droopy drudges bowing stupidly in the shadows backstage.
I Dreamed a Dream puts Boyle on the map, back in the heart of the country and the internet. It’s her signature song and theater music is her natural cubby hole of expression. This studio take is pruned to the bone, but builds to a crescendo of angelic frothiness and purpose. The adornment grows and grows, and we share with her, actually on stage grabbin’ the prize with her.
Smacks ya in the kisser with sincerity and warm and fuzzy hope and clairvoyance of wishy aspiration of the downtrodden or forgotten hordes of pipsqueak (good word) commoners. We experience her fame and glory vicariously through microcosmic iphone cabinets. Her success is ours, no difference.
How Great Thou Art is a natural for the churchy Boyle, who forged her chops in a house of God. Her vocal is dripping with reverb and echo, as if she is chirping from the lofty clouds of the Divine Spheres (of Scottish Presbyterianisms).
The Abba-esque pop queen fills me with joy and ecstasy as the riffs pipe mellifluously through the teeny-bop speakers of my iphone. This record is ideal for the iphone, and is my first purchase on my new iphone. The producers (Steve Mac and Simon Cowell) must have had this mind, clever ploy.
My favorite cut is Daydream Believer, made famous by the Monkeys. It’s a minimalist arrangement with just a piano and Susan’s lilting vocal. The peppy energy of Davy Jones is gone, replaced by a beautiful lullaby where every word is enunciated clearly and convincingly.
After the line Cheer up sleepy Jean, oh what can it mean, and on the words ‘Daydream Believer,’ Susan puts some English on the accent, a curlicue in her throat that thrills us to the bone; you chuckle giddily when she floats the line: you once thought of me as a white knight on a steed, now you know how happy I can be.
This androgynous reference chagrins us, makes us twist and jolt (shout) in our rockers! Boyle makes mincemeat of John Stewart’s (of Kingston Trio fame) bouncy pop tune, converts it into a beatnik poetry reading, or a barometer of feeling from this Cinderella princess. Daydream Believer is Boyle’s Imagine.
Up To the Mountain was written by Patti Griffin around Martin Luther King’s famous speech. The gospel staple is Susan’s cup of tea. She likes to get away from the crowd and climb up to a mountain, like Moses of olde, and drinks in spirituality with thirsty abandon; she sings rapturously in celebration of her faith in God (this is REAL). The lord telling me softly, you love me so. It’s so real!
Amazing Grace gets new life here! This cover is soiled from so many versions, but is sprayed clean with a hydraulic power-hose by our Missy. Her voice quakes with belief, yet distant, ethereal and acappella, was lost but now I see. Redemption Song with a fresh coat of paint from SB.
End of the World is a beautiful song that I have loved all of my life. Skeeter Davis made it a number one hit in 1962. I love the Herman’s Hermits take it on it also. Susan’s take is simple, clean and clinical. There’s just an arpeggio Spanish guitar and light strings as accompaniment, that’s all.
Boyle is an objective songbird above the fray. The emotion of Skeeter has disappeared. It’s like it’s sung in a snow-white hospital in the waiting room while a loved one holds on dearly for their life. Medicinally uplifting!
Silent Night is perfect for our ensuing holiday season. This one will be blaring out of every yuletide domicile the world over. Poor Susan is more popular than Jesus Christ himself. She may get more press than Tiger Woods even can! Sleep in heavenly peace, if you can get away from the paparazzi, you Scottish Belle. Catch her if you can!
Best thing since Tiny Tim or Mrs. Miller. Much better singer too. I Dreamed A Dream will sell millions and millions over the holidays! Not fake. Not contrived. We have compressed, condensed sexual repression that’s unleashed spiritually through unadorned vocal cords. Pure happiness and humility, a-swept-under-the rug Cinderella of Scottish heritage.
Traditional yes. Revolutionary yes. Susan Boyle is our Cinderella of Pop, so plain, it’s WEIRD! (The portrait of SB is by Christian Lessenich)