Katherine Jenkins - The Ultimate Collection (CD)
The Microscopic View
This is a fine DVD, although anyone could argue about whether the contents are an "ultimate" collection. I have my favorites, as I'm sure you do -- so no single compilation would ever satisfy everyone.
A couple of observations: Generally, I would prefer if KJ NOT record songs already performed by other artists. Doing so, invites an apples and oranges type of comparison. Having said that, I believe her rendition of "Nella Fantasia" is the best I've heard.
Oddly, the same holds true of "Music of the Night." Though Webber wrote this for a male voice, I haven't heard one yet that does it justice. Although KJ's orchestration lacks the original authenticity/punch that say Sarah Brightman's recording presents, KJ's mezzo soprano vocals are better equipped to handle the lower notes.
On the down side, "Time to Say Goodbye" is unbeatable by the Bocelli/Brightman duet.
"Caruso" is a signature song of Bocelli. KJ does a great job with this, but, again, it only invites/instigates comparison.
"I Could Have Danced All Night" is owned by Julie Andrews.
"Don't Cry For Me Argentina" is a flat effort by KJ, and cannot stand up to the renditions of Sarah Brightman or even Madonna. Why? Well, if I have one criticism of KJ it is that she simply cannot inject personal emotion/passion in any of her songs. (Brightman and Madonna (for instance) have a long history of theatricality under their belts. Perhaps KJ is still too young/inexperienced to feel comfortable surrendering to these impulses (if she has them). I don't know. She seems focused on technical perfection and unable (yet) to inject her own soul into the recordings. I think she'll get to that point, but it might take awhile.
This is an apples/oranges comparison, but try to recall how Barbara Streisand (right out of the box) just allowed everything to flow from somewhere deep within. It's not a lack of enthusiasm on the part of KJ, just (seemingly) an untapped ability to let herself go.
That criticism aside, I will nevertheless continue buying everything she releases, and I'll be carefully listening for any evolution.