Perfect Day

by: Various Artists

One of countless compilations to focus solely on the Mother's Day market, this 2011 Decca release can perhaps lay claim to being the most unoriginal of them all. While the opening title track (the Lou Reed original, not the Susan Boyle or BBC various artists covers), indicates a slightly different slant on the usual MOR favorites, the two-CD, 40-track collection soon gives way to the more predictable fare of million-selling number ones (Wet Wet Wet's "Love Is All Around," Will Young's "Evergreen"), wedding disco staples (Joe Cocker's "Up Where We Belong," Lionel Richie's "Hello"), and big-voiced power ballads (Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On," Oleta Adams' "Get Here"), alongside pop-opera favorites Il Divo ("Unchained Melody (Senza Catene)," Alfie Boe ("Bring Him Home"), and Russell Watson ("Bridge Over Troubled Water," "The Prayer"), professional balladeers Boyzone ("Baby Can I Hold You"), Westlife ("The Rose"), and Ronan Keating ("When You Say Nothing at All"), and the usual Radio 2 favorites, M People ("Search for the Hero"), Lighthouse Family ("Lifted"), and Eva Cassidy ("Songbird"). While there are undoubtedly some iconic songs featured, the majority included here are less familiar versions recorded by both lesser-known artists such as the Choirgirl Isabel (John Lennon's "Imagine"), All Angels (Robbie Williams' "Angels" and Sinéad O' Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U"), and Only Men Aloud (Eric Carmen's "All by Myself"), and in some cases, completely unknown artists like Melissa Elliotte (Norah Jones' "Come Away with Me"), Chantz (Bill Withers' "Lean on Me") and randomly, forgotten Pop Idol 2 finalist Marc Dillon (James Blunt's "You're Beautiful"). It's hard to see how this hodge-podge of ubiquitous standards and karaoke-style cover versions would be anyone's idea of a "perfect day," and if anyone is looking for a generic Mother's Day-themed compilation, they would be far better off with the likes of UMTV's Your Songs than this overplayed and rehashed set of unimaginative selections. ~ Jon O'Brien

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