Let’s get one thing straight—Renée Fleming has a spine-tingling, tear-inducing, gorgeous voice. Dubbed the “people’s diva,” the opera singer even performed at President Obama’s inauguration. That being said, whether you see this record as a comedy or a tragedy, it’s an utter flop.
The collection of covers spans a youthful and diverse set of songs from bands including Arcade Fire, The Mars Volta, Band of Horses and Leonard Cohen. Fleming’s usually bell-clear soprano is awkwardly pinned in the lowest part of her vocal register, creating a downright comedic Celine Dion effect when paired with over-enunciating. Meanwhile, David Kahn’s histrionic production leaves the songs fatally over-sterilized. The original songs’ heartfelt sentiments of love and regret aren’t felt, they are melodramatically over-acted. Predictably, her performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” merits a clap or two, but as for the rest, bring tomatoes.