Album review: Kimberley Walsh, Centre Stage (Decca)


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The Independent Culture

Following her stint as Princess Fiona in Shrek The Musical, an album of familiar show tunes is a logical solo gambit for Kimberley Walsh; but familiarity is a Faustian pact from which she profits little on Centre Stage.

The single "One Day I'll Fly Away" is fine, borne aloft as it is on floaty Enya-isms; but elsewhere her delivery lets her down: gushingly over-emotive on "As Long As He Needs Me", coy rather than yearning on "Somewhere". The best is "Hushabye Mountain" from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which she imbues with genuine affection – a childhood favourite, perhaps? Swedish producers Per Magnusson and David Kreuger ladle on the strings with only occasional originality – notably the cruise-liner Springsteenisms of "Defying Gravity" .

Download: Hushabye Mountain; One Day I'll Fly Away