Personnel: Rupert Christie (programming).
Audio Mixer: Phil Bodger.
Recording information: Angel Studios, London; Ty Cerdd Studios; Welsh National Opera Studios, Cardiff.
The 2012 self-titled debut album from the Welsh all-boys choir Only Boys Aloud is a reverent, lushly produced work that nicely showcases the 2012 Britain's Got Talent contestants. Although they finished third on Britain's Got Talent, Only Boys Aloud earned the ardor of the fans of the show. The public also appreciated that the choir, created and led by Only Men Aloud mastermind Tim Rhys-Evans, was not simply a musical phenomena, but also a civic organization designed to keep its young singers off the streets and out of trouble while also broadening their horizons. Prior to being on Britain's Got Talent, the choir had already garnered a following in Wales through its various performances, and even appeared on a Christmas album with Only Men Aloud in 2011. Rhys-Evans and the choir bring all of this experience and goodwill to bear on this debut. Here, the choir performs various traditional songs culled from Welsh choral repertoire, as well as some choice pop standards and holiday songs. Featured here are the choir's takes on such songs as the Welsh compositions "Calon Lân" and "Sospan Foch," Journey's "Don't Stop Believing," the contemporary worship standard "You Raise Me Up," and even John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)." This is an uplifting album that should appeal to fans who championed Only Boys Aloud on Britain's Got Talent, or any fan of well-executed boys' choral music. ~ Matt Collar