Il Divo - Ancora - Sony BMG Music Entertainment - 82876738712
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Personnel: Fridrik "Frizzy" Karlsson, Mats Berntoft (guitar); Henrik Janson (acoustic guitar); Esbj?rn ?hrwall (electric guitar); Jan Bengtsson (flute); Steve Mac (piano, keyboards); Dave Arch (piano); Per Magnusson (keyboards, programming); Chris Laws (drums); Gustave Lund (percussion); David Krueger (programming).
Audio Mixers: Fredrik Andersson ; Ren Swan.
Photographer: Walter Chin.
Arrangers: David Krueger; Uli Janson; Henrik Janson; Per Magnusson.
Unbearably handsome opera-pop quartet Il Divo deliver another amorous collection of European housecleaning ballads with Ancora, an album so riddled with Cupid's arrows that it requires its own storage unit. Once again, David Miller, S?bastien Izambard, Urs Buhler, and Carlos Marin bring the love in Spanish, English, and Italian, emoting over classical and opera standards, as well as some notable contemporary compositions. They fawn over Celine Dion -- who can barely contain her own affections -- on "Isabel," and make Mariah Carey's "Hero" sound like the rolling of credits over a Jerry Bruckheimer action/tragedy blockbuster, all the while maintaining the perfect pitch and impeccable showmanship that are their stock-in-trade. Fans who flocked to Il Divo's self-titled debut and 2005 Christmas Collection need no reassurances that their boys are in top form, as a recent appearance on Oprah brought the quartet into the homes of millions of potential converts, but in this age of manufactured goods over artisan rusticity, it's hard not to look at Ancora as the classical crossover equivalent of a bistro-style TV dinner. [Sony's 2005 German edition included one bonus track.] ~ James Christopher Monger