Ancora

Studio Album by released in 2005
Ancora's tracklist:
Heroe
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Isabel
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I Believe In You (feat. Celine Dion)
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Unchained Melody
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Si tu me amas
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Ave Maria
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Hasta mi final
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All By Myself
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En Aranjuez con tu amor
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Esisti dentro me
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Pour que tu m'aimes encore
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O Holy Night
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Ancora review

Il Divo put a fresh face on popular songs

If "popera," the fusion of pop music imagery, attitude, and marketing with operatic vocalism (even the pop-arranging of opera and classical music) must exist, then thank God Simon Cowell, of American Idol fame, finally stepped into the picture. With his quartet of GQ male opera singers and their self-titled album Il Divo, producer has taken a big step toward making this music – a genre that rock and pop fans find cheesy and opera fans find insulting – more palatable for both. Il Divo put a fresh face on popular songs, utilizing their exceptional voices, good looks, and cultural diversity to bring their romantic blend of classical and pop music to audiences around the world. Formed after a two-year search, the quartet is comprised of American tenor David Miller, popular French singer Sebastien Izambard, Swiss tenor Urs Buhler, and Spanish baritone Carlos Marin. Their eponymous debut album was released in April of 2005 and featured a diverse play list. Ancora is the second album from international quartet. It once again features a collection of pop and classical tracks all given the unique Il Divo treatment.

Modern classics are given a refined classical twist

Il Divo are more exciting to listen to than any of their predecessors because if they understand one thing, they understand that operatic singing is something you do with moxie. Sure, there is plenty of crooning to be found on Ancora. Each singer gets to shine on the album. In general the two tenors, David and Urs, are far above average for opera alone, much less pop. One has a full almost baritonal sound reminiscent of a young Domingo, the other has a thrilling top not unlike current straight-out opera star Roberto Alagna. Carlos Marin is easy to pick out – his is a true, solid lyric baritone, equally well suited usually to classic Broadway music and the operatic stage. Here he gets to show off his own top notes. Sebastien Izambard acquits himself so well in this group that one wonders why he's set apart in publicity about the group as the lone "pop" voice. He sings with nuance and taste, but easily throws in with the other three in the big, full-throated moments in all the songs on the album. Modern classics such as Mariah Carey's Hero and Eric Carmen's All By Myself are given a refined classical twist with lyrics sung in Spanish; also included is a rousing Italian version of Unchained Melody. Among the originals are the beautifully stripped down Si Tu Me Amas and the duet I Believe In You, performed in English and French with Celine Dion.

Ancora is an improvement on what was already first class

Translated, Il Divo means The Superstar, and without a doubt, that is exactly what this group is. Il Divo have taken opera into the mainstream on a global scale. They are now firmly established on the world stage, breaking all the rules and records in the process. They have hit the number 1 spot in 13 countries and achieved top 5 chart positions in 25 countries. Their upcoming tour for 2006, to promote the new album Ancora, should ensure this level of success continues for Il Divo. Even though a lot of their tracks are in Italian and Spanish, you will soon be singing along. They manage to turn classical music and well-known tracks into vocal masterpieces via their beautiful and distinctive voices. Their first album was fabulous, but Ancora is an improvement on what was already first class. In the end, for people who have never heard of Cowell and his co-hosts, this album will prove just as rewarding for them as the best-selling Idol records are for fans of the TV stars.