I wasn't suggesting that no artists has ever mixed different ethnic flavours into their music - it's all Karl Jenkins ever does - I was more talking about the Chinese sound in a UK CC artist- on a major label no less and for a debut album. It's quite unprecedented for CC music here. Not just Chinese either, but any sounds influenced from the East. I think it's a big deal - though Decca seem to be failing her with promotion, and like Laura Wright, unable to get her on supermarket sheleves. :/
Sarah Brightman also 'copy-cat'ed 'Harem'. Her idea was not new, either. Sarah is inspired by what those have done before her and she then puts her own stamp on it. She's always worked that way.
Hayley of course has always done that. She is the most international of all of them. Does Mary-Jess actually sing in Chinese? Does she get the intonation right? Hayley does, and I've heard her do it live (OK, I'm not a Chinese speaker, but someone I know in that audience is, and he says she did it brilliantly). And Japanese and several other languages too.
I could argue too that Hayley alone performed Maori songs on her international debut album. Who else ever did that?
The range of ethnic music that Hayley can perform convincingly is staggering. So please, give her her due.
But this is Hayley's forum Nicola. And whatever topic is discussed here, it is slanted towards Hayley. When Mary-Jess sings in all the languages that Hayley does, without a degree in the subject, and with a voice as beautiful as Hayley's, then perhaps I'll agree that she might come somewhere close in the talent department. For now, Hayley's voice is vastly better. Remeber, power, range and control. As is her interpretation. I expect stage presence too, but I might be out of order as I have never seen Mary-Jess live. But in that area, Hayley is by far the best I have ever seen, so it seems unlikely.
No harm is done when in the Other Music section of the forum, people say nice things about other singers, because constructive criticism is what it is for. Positive comments about other singers shouldn't automatically be taken to imply either unfavourable criticism of, or even a comparison with Hayley, as there may well be no such intention.
What do I think of Mary-Jess? Well she has a lovely voice and has made a good album, but calling it classical crossover is stretching things a bit too far for my liking. From the online samples, I'd call it middle of the road pop music, easy listening pop if you like, without much 'classical' among the crossover. But I hope she does well.
As Nicola said, like Laura Wright it didn't get into the supermarkets so that has meant a fairly lowly entry into the main album chart today at no. 57, with my estimate of sales being just over 2,000 copies (hopefully we will get the exact figure tomorrow). It has not qualified for the Classical Artist Chart.
Not meaning to put her down, I support any artist that has talent, and Mary-Jess clearly does. But for me more than you Nicola, I think the voice is (nearly) everything. And although Mary-Jess is nice, she is not mindblowing like Hayley. Hayley will be remembered, perhaps still going (I lve in hope), (in any case listened to) in 10 years time, maybe still listened to in 100 years time, but not convinced that Mary-Jess will.
Martin, it is incredibly irritating to discuss other artists, and then you come along and say 'they're no Hayley' or 'they're copying Hayley'. You do it nearly all the time. Of course they are not Hayley. These are different artists and it is so tiring that they can't be discussed without being compared to Hayley. This is Hayley's forum full of Hayley fans - it goes without saying for most people here that they prefer Hayley to anyone posted in the other artists forum. I was never making an argument that Mary-Jess was better or worse - I wasn't thinking of Hayley at all when I described Mary-Jess's talents. I don't think of Hayley when I discuss other artists. The only time I think of Hayley is when I'm discussing Hayley, strangely enough. There's no one else like Hayley - comparing her to anyone seems pointless to me and irrelevent.
I have sometimes been irritated that other artists sometimes seem to be taking over Hayley's forum. At one time one other artist, who incidentally I admire a lot, seemed to be getting more posts here than Hayley.
But is suppose it is inevitable that that will happen when exciting new artists come along and we have an "other artists" board. As we should have.
I don't want you to shut up, I just want you to realise that it's no slight to Hayley for praise or any other type of comment to be made towards other artists. There's no one like Hayley. They're may be new female singers who have had similar training to Hayley, and might appeal to Hayley fans, but no one artist ever mentioned here is like Hayley the Artist as a whole. I'm just saying there's no need to make defensive comments on Hayley's behalf. Stop worrying, etc.
Jackie was very rare. She did cause a sensation over night in America - that was a big deal and understandable that she was discussed whilst everything was quiet on Hayley's front.
I would just like to say that I love the Shine album. She really is stretching the class-cross boundaries, though in some way to me, it seems more class-cross than Hayley Griffiths' album Silver Screen...
The songs are great and I REALLY love the arrangments. MJ's vocals are very nice but weak in some places, especially on the "An Angel Walking" ... I'd really like to see her develop her voice a little more. She has much potential.
I have heard a bit of mary-jess and I sort of agree with Martin- I don't see her voice as amazing, she is very good though so I do really want to like her more- it may be that I just need to listen a few more times to be won over, but I don't feel the same as when I heard Hayley for the first time- not that I want to upset anyone- of course you can't crticise mary-jess for not being Hayley and I do think she is very talented esp the song she sings in chinese. I also agree with dave that it seems more pop than strictly classical which isn't a problem, but it seem to me that calling it classical may make people want to compare her to Haley or KJ when mary- jess does not really do the same thing as them. I go to youtube to listen more!
I have decided to order the album- after reading the reviews on amazon and listening on youtube- I really like the wat she sings in chinese- I think she should do a whole album of chinese songs and some of the others are starting to grown on me esp are you the way home.
well, I haven'y bought an album since Paradiso in April and I don't feel ready for another one yet. It would mean taking Paradiso off the player. But if I did feel ready, it would probably be this one.
I know what u mean martin- i'm still listening to paradiso almost everyday, I was thinking I may have judged mary-jess prematurely and this could be a very good album, however amazon is being slow so I havn't got it yet!