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Last Updated: Friday, 31 October, 2003, 09:41 GMT
Myleene Klass plays it safe
by Tom Bishop
BBC News Online Entertainment

Myleene Klass
Myleene Klass returns to her classical roots for her solo debut
After the rapid demise of TV talent show act Hear'Say, singer Myleene Klass won a seven-figure deal with a classical music label.

Moving On is its first fruit, an album that allows the Royal Academy of Music graduate resume her position in front of the piano.

She aims to "eradicate the barriers between pop and classical music", an approach that proved lucrative for violinist Vanessa Mae.

To this end, Myleene's solo debut is a collection of popular classics with a cover that shows her teetering atop a piano in a lacy dress. But will she fall between two stools?

Restrained

It opens with a stirring version of Bach's Toccata, as the 25-year-old's passionate playing leads a flurry of beats, strings and samples.

The album then settles into faithful versions of familiar pieces such Elgar's Adagio, Moonlight Sonata and themes from Gladiator and Braveheart.

Electronic pulses and Gregorian chants enhance the orchestral sound, yet conservative production restrains these emotive tunes and rarely allows them to soar.

Versions of the Linkin Park hit Crawling (retitled "Krwlng") and Daniel Bedingfield's ballad If You're Not the One prove intriguing but do not stray far from the original pop arrangements.

Undemanding

Few Hear'Say fans are likely to follow Myleene's move from safe pop to safe classics, having already defected to Blue, Beyonce and Justin Timberlake.

Nevertheless the album makes undemanding background listening and could be a big hit with their parents.

It proves that yes - Myleene can play, and no - she wouldn't be out of place on either Top of the Pops, Classic FM or the pages of FHM.

Moving On is a solid foundation for a solo career and should encourage Myleene to pour more of herself into the follow-up.

Moving On is out now on the Universal Classics and Jazz label.


Have you heard the album? What did you think? This debate is now closed. Please see a selection of your comments below.

Myleene just made the right move. Her versions of Pavane, Gymnopedie and the Braveheart theme are great - seriously. With Moonlight Sonata, I'm not sure though. I think I've heard a better version before. Comparing Vanessa Mae's Toccata with Myleene's, I think Vanessa's will be favoured by the "purists" while Myleene's version caters to the general public for the reason that it is shorter and more contemporary. Moving On is a very intimate album. It can move your emotions to a higher level. Simply beautiful.
Jonah, UK

I bought Moving On last week and I was not disappointed. This album is simply gorgeous and would recommend it to anyone. Myleene deserves much praise and respect for this excellent debut.
Steve Noon, Warwickshire, England

The unfettered arrogance of her playing is astonishing and condescending in the extreme. The fact remains that she is being marketed just as cynically as she was in Hear'Say - bland, soulless production allied to a pretty face... the Universal label must be rubbing their hands waiting for the moeny to roll in.

The best classical music strives to engage, evoke and challenge. Klass' lightweight effort only irritates with its insincerity. There are far better young talents who are being criminally ignored.
Andrew Coombes, Cardiff, Wales

This is probably unfair, but I watched the video clips and found them quite amusing. Sadly it appears as though the only way to make playing piano interesting is if you swish your hair from side to side rapidly. I don't doubt her ability, but really she should be popularising works that have been ignored, not dragging out done-to-death compositions out in banal, supposedly new versions. Maybe she should have a go at Ravel's Ondine.
Stuart Reeves, UK

You have to give Myleene credit for not going down the road of so many manufactured pop stars; either into drink and drug overload or trying to relaunch a sagging pop career by reinventing the same old formula in a different frock. I won't say I'm a fan of this one as it treads too much of the same old ground and could have done with some new tunes (Acoustic Alchemy style perhaps?) but it's nice enough to appeal on a broader front than Hear'Say. Oh and for me she looks smashing too!
Dave, Kent, UK

Leo - never underestimate the power of a weighty cleavage.
Stuart G Cox, Scotland

Myleene proved that she is a very talented musician. The selections in the album will be enjoyed by the young and old alike. An excellent album. Hope she'll do a lot more to showcase her talent in playing other instrument like the harp and the violin.
Charito Modina, UK

Patronising. Anybody whose concentration span is even remotely intact should make the effort, hoist themselves off the couch, and go to a concert hall and see the music of Beethoven and Elgar played by real musicians. Breaking boundaries? No, just getting a huge amount of money to try - it will take more than a lacy number and weighty cleavage to fool me...
Leo, UK

Moving On is an amazing solo debut album for Myleene. As a Hear'say fan I wasn't too sure if I would like it but I can't stop listening to it now. Each song is performed brilliantly and Myleene shows she is much more than just a pretty face.This album will be suited for people who listen to classical and pop/r'n'b and they won't be let down.
Becky Mason, England




SEE ALSO:
Hear'Say star signs classical deal
13 May 03  |  Entertainment
Hear'Say star plots classical return
24 Dec 02  |  Entertainment
Hear'Say split up
01 Oct 02  |  Entertainment
From Hear'Say to old hat
01 Oct 02  |  Entertainment


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