Cruising With…. Jane McDonald

mcdonald and wivesA x1 cong

Ahoy,  shipmates! Trying to rate this on musical terms is as pointless as a bookie’s pencil. There is no pattern to the songs — the set-list goes from Ultravox’s Vienna to Frozen’s Let It Go, and takes in Mambo Italiano and Bjork’s It’s Oh So Quiet. Eclectic, to say the least.

To call the covers bland would be overly kind, and she has an average voice for a successful singer; compare Let It Go to the original. She delivers all the songs in the same easy listening style.

But of course fans don’t buy this for the music; they buy it for Jane McDonald; “so warm and down to earth” said one adoring fan on mumsnet.com

And we can see the attraction. McDonald worked hard as a cruise ship singer for years, where her easygoing charm and inoffensive covers of well-known pop hits are what cruise passengers want. All these songs on here have been on her Channel 5 television series, Cruising With…

So fair play to her: she’s grafted all her life, sacrificed partners and children for her career (not literally, that would be illegal) and put her house up as collateral for albums and tours. She deserves her success, and she’s a sign that if you work hard and stick to it, you can be successful while staying a nice person.

The band of session players is good and deserves a mention: guitarist Keith Beauvais played on Tom Jones’s Kiss; keyboardist Jon Dixon produced all the songs for the television show and plays in a band called The Freudian Slippers; guitarist Steve Cooper recently toured with Jason Donovan and is course leader for popular music at the University of Wolverhampton. The Killer Horns, a London-based three-piece freelance horn section, just seem cool.

For fans of Jane McDonald.

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