I Dreamed A Dream – Susan Boyle – 2009
Claimed Sales: 14m
First listen?: Yes
Format Listened?: Apple Music
Some people like to save the best for last, I think it was Vanessa Williams who told us to do that. It seems I like to save Susan Boyle for last, by far the album I was most dreading to listen to in this series (Yes, even more than Mariah). It’s the newest album on the list and one of just a few albums from the last 10 years with Worldwide sales high enough to even qualify. A video of her first audition on Britain’s Got Talent currently has 230 million views, but this doesn’t even scratch the surface of how many people have seen it. Susan Boyle is exactly what reality singing competitions are about, pulling a ‘normal person’ with a hidden talent from obscurity and catapulting them to stardom. This is perfectly fine, and SuBo has manages to capitalize on this and have the life she always wanted. I just hope I never have to listen to her debut album I Dreamed A Dream ever again. If destroying Rolling Stones classic Wild Horses wasn’t bad enough, her rendition of the underrated Madonna ballad You’ll See all but strips the song of discernible emotion. It’s not that Boyle is a bad singer, she can certainly hold a tune better than some of the acts I’ve written about in the past, it’s that there’s nothing distinctive or memorable about anything she does. Her audition works because you don’t expect her to be able to sing, once you put that on record the illusion and ‘surprise’ is all but gone. Original song Who I Was Born To Be is sickly sweet, while her attempt at Cry Me A River feels featherweight in comparison to other contemporary versions of the song. The John Lewis advert worthy version of Daydream Believer gives the album a central point of sheer awfulness to focus on too, but it’s hard to look past her version of the song that made her a star; I Dreamed A Dream. Fantine didn’t die for Susan Boyle (or more importantly Simon Cowell) to make her emotional breakdown into an inspirational singalong moment. I couldn’t even bring myself to revisit any of the tracks here while writing this, the threat of having to listen again was enough to make me rather sit in silence for the rest of my days. To every Mum, Nan, Aunties and Uncles, or anyone else who was friends with anyone who bought them I Dreamed A Dream for Christmas, you have my deepest sympathy.
Will I listen again?: PLEASE NO.
Best Track: Literally nothing here is worth a mention, but I suppose her version of Silent Night is simply terrible because it’s Silent Night.