I had no idea what to expect when I put on Chris Mann’s album, Roads, for the first time. The only thing I knew about this young artist was that he did well as a contestant on The Voice, which is a show that I don’t watch but caught snippets of here and there on various talk or entertainment shows.
My first thought as I listened was “Wow, forget albums, this guy has a voice built for Broadway!” I was awed by his vocal range and the unique clear quality of his voice as I listened to the first track of the album, which is the title track, Roads. After doing a quick Google search to try and find out more, I learned that Chris has quite the impressive resume which includes singing in an Italian opera in Europe. His voice is honest and vulnerable, a beautiful mix of passion and clarity. Though his voice itself is incomparable, his album will appeal to those who enjoy the sounds of Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli, and Michael Bublé.
Set to classical and sometimes jazzy arrangements, the album is one to be savored and enjoyed. On my first listen I thought it was an album I’d likely put on over a romantic candlelit dinner or a long soak in the tub, but upon subsequent listenings, I decided that I’d want to hear it any time.
I tried to pick favorites and couldn’t, there are too many wonderful songs on this album to pick a favorite, but can’t-miss tracks include The Blower’s Daughter, which builds to a climax of a duet with Christina Aguilera, who acted as Mann’s mentor on The Voice. And Cuore, based on Bach’s “Air on a G String” and one of two songs on the album co-written by Mann (the other is Falling) makes my heart swell with anticipation in the way that usually only live performances can inspire.
In the interest of disclosure, this is a review post from One2One Network. I was provided with a copy of the album and I am eligible for a prize drawing. All opinions stated are my own.