Sunday, February 12, 2006

Il Divo

I decided to listen to Il Divo, the opera pop group of four guys created by Simon Cowell, basically because they are amazing.

“Unbreak My Heart”- Il Divo put a Spanish spin on Tony Braxton’s hit. The plucking of the classical guitar and the fact that it is sung in Spanish adds to the Spanish flair.

“Mama”- In this piece, I noticed the two direct modulations in a row in the last chorus and the lyrics struck me as important in this piece. The phrases were shaped around the lyrics and it is one of the only pieces on the album sung in English.”Cause I know you believed in all of my dreams And I owe it all to you, Mama”

“Nella Fantasia”- This piece had ten measures of an unnecessary instrumental interlude. The interlude was just the same as the accompaniment which was playing all along and didn’t transition, modulate, or anything. It was just rather boring.

“Passera”- starts out with a recitative-like verse, then the chorus is repeated many times, another recitative-like verse is in the middle, followed by the chorus many times adding instruments and voices then fades out in the end

“Unchained Melody”- While listening to this piece, I noticed most prominently that the tenor is in high falsetto the whole last chorus. It adds a lot of depth to the piece.

“Everytime I look at you”- Listening to these pieces intently, I’ve noticed that although the melodies in the songs are completely different, they are all built the same way. Each one starting with a single voice singing the verse and more voices added in the chorus. Each time the chorus is repeated, more harmonies and instruments are added along with modulations. Some pieces the end is very dramatic and in some cases, it winds down to similar to the beginning as in the case of this piece.

“Ti Amero”- This piece is built similar to a round. One voice will sing a phrase and another will repeat half way through the phrase. I love when in one of the final choruses, they start singing in unison then break out into harmonies.

“The man you love”- In this piece, the whole accompaniment seemed synthesized. The drum sounded really fake and there were odd percussion and synthesized string sounds. It kind of distracted from the voices and harmonies.

“Hoy Que Ya No Estas Aqui”- This song should be the soundtrack to a soap opera. It’s very sensual and has a very dramatic ending. They sing very softly and some of their sound quality and the timbre of their voices are ruined by it.

“Sei Parte Ormai Di Me”- Throughout this piece I noticed the castanets. They were played after most phrases and added to the Spanish allure of the piece.

“Feelings”- There’s something very nice about four guys with beautiful voices singing about feelings. The castanets also followed phrases in this piece which made the two pieces strikingly similar.

“A Mi Manera”- This song has one melody which is repeated five times:
1- single voice with piano
2 -piano and voice with harmony
3 -strings, cymbals, and piano; all four voices
4 -single voice with piano
5- piano drums, strings, brass; all four voices

“I Believe In you”- This is with Celine Dion. It includes yet another direct modulation in the last chorus. Seems like this is a common occurrence for Il Divo’s songs. The balance between was very nice. The guys were not overpowering. They were more of an accompaniment for Celine. The one thing I didn’t understand is that Il Divo begins singing in English. Then Celine sings a verse and chorus in French. In the end they are all singing English. They probably should make up their mind.

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