GALLERY: Charlotte Church goes from good girl to betterCharlotte Church began as a classical soprano, signing her first contract at age 12, after being discovered on an ITV talent show. She was a good girl, appearing on the evangelical show Touched by an Angel, and singing for the Pope.
These days, her image is more fallen angel than angelic. The tabloids take pictures of her leaving clubs and splashing around in drunken disarray.
Like many women labelled "slutty" by the tabloids, she may not deserve her rap. Her ex boyfriend tried to blackmail her to stop him writing a tell-all about their sex life. A topless photo found on her current boyfriend Gavin Henson's cell phone, which she says is doctored, has done the rounds online. Some sources say her weight has been an "issue". But it may be the only healthy thing about her! And men don't seem to mind - at 16 years (almost the instant she was legal by UK law) she won the 2002 Rear of the Year prize. Who do you thank at the awards ceremony for that? Your mother, perhaps?
Charlotte Church is making a profession out of not giving a toss, and her music stands on its own, albeit unsteadily.
She's an astoundingly good singer. Her smoothly textured vocals are versatile, broad, and effortless but never bland - smoke and cream in equal parts. She wrote or co-wrote most of the album herself, and it's not too bad. Not terribly distinctive, but definitely not bad.
Some of it is actually good. Like "Call My Name", a genuinely erotic list of what she likes about a lover. "Crazy Chick" a fairly original talking-to delivered to a guy daring to try the mind games trick. "Let's be alone" exploits her flexible range to the full, with cheesily euphoric effect. In the final "Confessional Song" - a deceptively gentle, sad tune that could have been written on a hangover from hell - Charlotte plans to clean up, stop smoking, and stay at home with her dog, MTV, and a takeaway. Sometime soon.
Tissues & Issues is interestingly produced, never brilliant but always pleasant pop that'll float on and off the radio without rocking the boat - if you like the sound of Dido or Jem, buy Charlotte Church today. But don't expect anything startling, musically or lyrically. The album is really just a satisfying companion piece to Charlotte's much more entertaining pop star persona.
- Jean Barker
If nothing else, you have to be grateful that she has decided to channel her energies into pop music rather than her own range of cocktails.- Alex Petridis for The Guardian
Charlotte Church as a pop star is an undoubted A+. This album, on the other hand...- Dom Passontini for Stylus Magazine
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