‘Il Divo’ live album not so divine

By Brian Pope

Il Divo

An Evening With Il Divo: Live in Barcelona


Rocks Like: Four Andrea Bocellis and… Il Divo

An Evening With Il Divo: Live in Barcelona


Rocks Like: Four Andrea Bocellis and a lot of vibrato

Grade: B-

When he’s not on “American Idol” breaking the spirits of misguided singing hopefuls, Simon Cowell spends his time scouring the globe for the next big thing in music on shows like “X Factor” and “Britain’s Got Talent.”

Unlike his latest British import success stories — Leona Lewis and Susan Boyle — Cowell did not discover the operatic male quartet Il Divo on one of his reality competition television shows. After an extensive two-year search, Spanish baritone Carlos Marín, Swiss tenor Urs Bühler, French pop star Sébastien Izambard and American tenor David Miller were chosen, and Il Divo was born. Since its formation, the group has released six lucrative albums and truly lived up to their namesake, an Italian word meaning “divine male performer.”

The group’s first live album captures their 2009 concert in Barcelona, Spain’s Palau Sant Jordi. Il Divo reprises some of its most famous songs which include multilingual covers of pop, classical and even Broadway romantic hits with lush orchestrations like “Unbreak My Heart,” “Amazing Grace” and “Somewhere” from “West Side Story.”

The handsome quartet has undeniable vocal skill, but unless one can tell the difference between a baritone and a tenor by ear, their voices are hardly distinguishable. The one thing that is noticeable is the lack of original music. For a group that satisfies such a unique market in the music business, it is shocking that Il Divo does not experiment freely and put more of itself into its work.

Still, the music of Il Divo is so enchanting that one doesn’t need to hear the applause of a raucous Spanish crowd to feel transported to an equally romantic state of mind.

Check out the band’s website here.