High Five

Tuesday 26th May 2015 

We think our new album, High Five, is brilliant.

But don't just take our word for it! We've asked some of our members for their thoughts, and here's what they had to say about each other's tracks:

Danielle

Member of The Starling Singers and blogger at http://countryandwestend.tumblr.com

Isn’t there supposed to be a ‘thing’ about second albums? Perhaps a difficulty in maintaining the standard of the first? Well, Starling Arts have had no such problem with their second album, High Five, celebrating 5 years since the company’s inception. With its mix of genres and styles, the album has something to appeal to every taste. (Take, for instance, my brother who is the furthest thing from a show choir fan – he now cannot stop playing the Meatloaf Medley on repeat!) 

High Five takes you on a musical and emotional journey, from the touching harmonies of 'Wild Horses' and 'Mama Who Bore Me' to the rock-out power tunes of 'Ode to Bon Jovi' and 'Meatloaf Medley'. The hauntingly beautiful reimagining of 'Wrecking Ball' is a particular highlight for me; who’d have thought this Miley Cyrus song could be so moving? 

The opening song, 'Seasons of Love', displays the collaboration of wonderful voices from all three Starling Arts’ choirs and sets the high standard of the album. This is maintained throughout and hits another peak in the final duet, 'For Good', performed by Anna and Emily. 

High Five has something for everyone and everything for someone like me, who loves a show tune! Every track is a joy to listen to and I am proud to be a part of it!

Laura

Coach and long-time member of Forte

High Five The Album is a great selection of songs of all Starling Arts' choirs that gets you grooving and takes you on an emotional journey. The recording quality impressed my music loving boy friend who snatched up one of my copies right away and my mum and I were dancing along to it when I visited my parents in Germany. It is a great gift and will lift your mood any time should you feel a little down.

Anna 

Member of Corvida and soloist on 'Mama Who Bore Me'

High Five is a veritable smorgasbord of favourites, old and new, from the world of pop and musical theatre. A familiar repertoire but not as you’ve heard it before, thanks to Anna Shields who has a shrewd ear for picking songs which showcase the ensemble and the musical talent to craft it all into something quite unique, too.

Of particular note (IMHO) is ‘Wrecking Ball’; both haunting and ethereal at times, bouncing between male and female voices, it brings a totally fresh take to the (somewhat controversial) Miley Cyrus hit. And the secret hipster in us all can’t help but let it all go to Florence and the Machine’s ‘Shake It Out’ – a good old-fashioned knees up song, carried beautifully by a lead vocal that soars above an adrenaline fuelled flock. Both Meatloaf and Bon Jovi medleys pack a punch demonstrating a full range of vocals whilst simultaneously satisfying the inner karaoke queen (or king) in us all.

Another stand out moment is ‘Anything Can Happen’ which frankly sounds as though it’s been taken straight from an original cast recording with its perfectly pitched simplicity and zest for life. And its message also serves to sum up the driving ethos behind Starling Arts, and as much so its two inspiring leaders, Anna and Emily – belief, faith, hope, determination and ambition… all things that make us listen to our hearts and follow our dreams.

For me, it’s the tight harmonies and control that make this recording so special; a nuanced passion on each track from a group of young(ish!) singers having the time of their lives making gorgeous sounds. Together. High Five is a document of a social, community activity rather than a bid for celebrity, and what comes oozing out of every note is that this is a recording with a lot of heart. Ultimately, it’s a hugely enjoyable listen, from start to end, that will hopefully make you want to sing!

What did you think of High Five? Let us know by leaving a comment!