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One Fine Day [SHM-CD]

Notes & Reviews:

Released three years after she left Decca for Warner Bros., One Fine Day is the third time that the classical label has raided the back catalog of Welsh soprano Katherine Jenkins for a new "best-of" collection. The classically trained singer might have recently encouraged audiences to boycott the record due to the lack of any new material, but for any casual fans wanting a brief overview of the first chapter of her career, this is as good a place to start as any. Indeed, whether it's a cash-in or not, it's admirable that the compilers haven't just tossed out the same batch of songs as the other two releases, sharing just one number with early-2011 retrospective Sweetest Love ("The Prayer") and just two from 2009's The Ultimate Collection ("I've Dreamed of You," "Music of the Night"). All of her six albums are represented here (although "Agnus Dei" is the only cut from 2008's Sacred Arias), allowing listeners to follow her natural musical transition, from the traditional operatic fare on 2004 debut Premiere ("Ave Maria") right up to the more pop-oriented classical crossover output on 2007's Rejoice (the Gary Barlow-penned "Shout in Silence"), while there are several nods to her heritage with the Welsh-language hymns "Cwm Rhondda" and "Ar Lan y Môr" and the country song made famous by her homeland's most famous musical export, Tom Jones ("Green Green Grass of Home"). Jenkins has yet to have that one defining song in her career, which means this selection of 19 tracks is as essential as any other compilation, even if Jenkins herself isn't a fan. ~ Jon O'Brien


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