In the Bullseye section of the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, they ask this about Susan Boyle: "If she's sold 2.4 million albums, how come we don't know anyone who's heard it?" Well, it's because all your friends are music snobs who spend their days clutching on to the hope that Bjork will release a comprehensive multi-disc collection of B-sides, outtakes, and screaming sounds, and they won't dare admit that they've listened to Boyle's full-length debut, I Dreamed a Dream, and actually thought it was good.
Well, I'm not afraid or too snobby to admit it. I've been listening to the Susan Boyle album for weeks. You know why? This woman can sing. I know that there's a whole mythology around her that may positively influence my appreciation of her, but what are music artists except for songs, performances, and mythology?
I will be the first to pass on her cover of The Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses," but she belts out excellent interpretations of the jazz standard, "Cry Me a River"; The Monkees' "Daydream Believer"; Madonna's "You'll See"; and, of course, "I Dream a Dream" from Les Miz. My favorite track is the album's only original, titled, "Who I Was Born to Be," which had an interesting genesis. The lyrics were penned by 25-year-old singer-songwriter Audra Mae, born in Oklahoma and now living on Los Angeles, where her star is rapidly rising because of the Boyle song and a just-released EP.
Listen to the beautiful and stirring "Who I Was Born to Be." And admit it—it's good!: