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Inside I'm Singing
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  • Norwegian/Irish duo Secret Garden have been the toast of the neo-classical audience ever since winning the 1995 Eurovision Song Contest. High-profile collaborations with Barbra Streisand on her 1998 hit "I've Dreamed of You" and Josh Groban on the inescapable pop ballad "You Raise Me Up" have raised their profile with an adult contemporary audience as well, and so Inside I'm Singing is a combination anniversary project and entre into that wider and potentially even more lucrative market. Originally conceived as a tenth anniversary self-tribute album but a couple years too long in the making, Inside I'm Singing consists of 11 instrumental hits by the duo of pianist and composer Rolf Lovland and violinist Fionnuala Sherry given new lyrics. Or, in the cases of "I've Dreamed of You" and "You Raise Me Up," keeping the previous ones; indeed, the former is simply Streisand's 1998 recording slightly remixed. Van Morrison protg Brian Kennedy does the honors on "You Raise Me Up," doing about as good a job as anyone can do with that particularly mawkish and manipulative tune. Other guest singers include Broadway legend Elaine Paige, whose "The Things You Are to Me" is the set's emotional and musical highlight; Irish ballad singer Niamh Cavanagh, who turns in a simple, understated, and lovely take on the minimal, torchy "Simply You"; and nine other singers better known to fans of European cabarets. Add in two pleasant new instrumentals, Sherry's violin showcase "Sortie," and the soundtrack-like multiple keyboard extravaganza "Theme from the Mermaid Chair," and Inside I'm Singing is perfect for both longtime Secret Garden fans and the sort of folks who make a point to watch Celtic Woman every time they come on PBS. ~ Stewart Mason
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