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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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Hayley Griffiths - Silver Screen - Cover Artwork
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(10 June 2010) Hayley Griffiths, Celtic singer/songwriter phenom, has released her debut album, Silver Screen (Surefire Music Group (USA) 6 43157 41148 2, 2010), which showcases her gorgeous soprano vocal style with a ten track album of Hollywood-esque inspired works. This classical crossover artist has been known for her dynamic singing roles in Riverdance and Lord of the Dance world tours over the past six years. Quite an accomplishment for this lovely twenty-four year old young woman! In addition to being an experienced singer, she is an actress with a significant number of high profile acting roles including an appearance in the BBC period drama, The Aristocrats as well as a West End part in Scrooge The Musical just to name a couple.

Hayley is a native of Surrey, England and her talents were recognized at an early age. She began singing lessons at age six and attended the acclaimed Laine Theatre Arts school for ten years, which helped to fine-tune her performance skills in musical theatre, acting and dance. Intensive vocal training with mezzo-soprano Louise Crane earned her grade eight ABRSM and the prestigious ABRSM performance diploma in singing. This refined her ability to not only sing in her native language, but also in French, German and Italian. She also gained invaluable experience from her years as a school chorister, performing solos at St. Paul's cathedral in London, and both the Basilica San Francesco and Chiesa Sta Maria Dei Ricci in Prague. In addition, she has sung the soprano solo roles in performances of Carmina Burana and Mozart's Coronation Mass in C Major.

All of the songs in Silver Screen are original and co-written by Hayley. She exhibits great poise throughout and exudes a lush, pure sound that is a delight. This album is infused with Celtic/New Age sounds with some pop and R&B mixed in to create wonderful, striking arrangements.

Hayley's album opens with "Prelude" where Hayley's soaring soprano is crystalline and enticing. Her lilting style in "Vanished" has a flowing melody with simple keyboard accompaniment. The vocal layering contributes to the richness and lovely resonance of this song. The pop sound of "What Is A Champion" presents the listener with Hayley's exquisite clarity of sound, with her vocals effortlessly gliding through the score. "Our Love" could easily be a standout track in a Hollywood movie as the memorable love song. She does not fail to please with her electronic-infused layerings. Her stunning vocal range is clearly displayed with an inspiring beauty of sound.

The electronic "Wait For The Sun" has an hypnotic and entrancing beat. There is an urgency to "Haunted" where Hayley spins a tale of anger and revenge. Her clearcut and distinguishable vocals create the scene in the deliberate mood-setting melody. The haunting music is a wonderful background to her mature vocalise. Her Modern New Age Celtic sound is certainly evident in "Mechanical Lives." She admonishes the listener to break free from the everyday routine and to create a new rhythm.

"Blank Canvas" has a wonderful classical intro that segues into a catchy and romantic movie tune. This song reminds one of the heroine searching for answers to philosophical questions that have no real answers, just "inspired by the faith that in time we'll find the answers." The dramatic "Separated By Glass" has a striking musical arrangement that clutches at the heartstrings. This song was her debut single that has received much acclaim. Her beautiful vocal ascent is uplifting.

She continues her theatrical and expressive interpretation with "Is This A Dream." There is a vibrancy in her music as she takes us to her paradise. She concludes this dynamic album with the expressive "Silent As The End." This song could certainly have been plucked from a "Golden Age" of Hollywood film with its emphatic melodramatic qualities and Hayley's poignant and vivid vocals.

The songs of Silver Screen are certainly representative of its title, bringing a passionate, showy yet thoughtful edge to Hayley's definitive vocals. She has a true eloquence with her soaring soprano voice that strikes a note with her electrifying soundscapes. Hayley Griffiths truly shines in this lovely album and one can't wait for more.--Audrey Elliot in New York

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