Charlotte Church: Classical Pop Princess No More!
"I love this new stuff I'm doing, and this feels more comfortable and more creative to me than anything I've done before."After releasing four classical albums: Voice of an Angel (1998 - Sony Classical), Charlotte Church (1999 - Sony Classical), Dream a Dream (2000 - Sony Classical), Enchantment (2001 - Columbia Records) - cementing her name in the hearts and mind of classical music lovers all around the world, Church attempted a complete genre 180 with her fifth studio album, Tissues & Issues (Sony BMG) in 2005. Pairing up with certified hitmakers like Guy Chambers (Robbie Williams, The Wanted), Graham Stack (Kylie Minogue, Donna Summer), Eg White (Adele, Paloma Faith), Wayne Hector (Britney Spears, The Pussycat Dolls), and Gary Barlow (Take That, Shirley Bassey) to name a few, Charlotte Church ditched her classical roots, and turned complete pop tart releasing catchy tunes like "Call My Name," and her #2 hit single, "Crazy Chick." Unfortunately for Church, the new pop sound didn't quite gel like everyone had hoped. Parting ways with Sony, the talented singer took a break from music.
During her musical hiatus, Church dabbled in television (The Charlotte Church Show), philanthropy (The Topsy Foundation), stage (Over The Rainbow), and film (I'll Be There) not to mention family life, giving birth to two children, Ruby (5) and Dexter (3) with ex-husband Gavin Hensen, all the while dealing with the unfairly cruel British tabloid media. Church returned to music in 2010 with the release of Back to Scratch (Power Amp Music), the singer's first new album in 5 years. Unfortunately, the album failed to make much of an impression in the UK, peaking at #23 on the UK Album Charts and Church parted ways with the label. According to Church:
"Even though I wasn't in a traditional record label deal and had more creative control, I didn't have total [control], and if you're going to do anything of artists worth I think you have to really have the majority of the creative control."Hence creating her own label, alongside boyfriend Jonathan Powell and Jamie Neasom. In listening to One & Two, you get a sense that Charlotte Church is finally putting out the kind of music that she wants to put out, the sort of music that she actually listens to. Whether or not it sells millions of copies and makes it to the top of the charts, being able to finally grab hold of the reigns must be incredibly gratifying. Take a look at a live performance of "Glitterbombed" below from the Jonathan Ross Show, and you'll see Church is wild and free, letting her creativity flow. Dramatic, theatrical...oh...and did I mention that voice? This sounds like the Charlotte Church I want to listen to.
Currently touring North America in support of the album, Church hopes to have a third EP out sometime this year. She recently made appearances at SXSW in Austin, Texas and has tentative plans to return to the states later this year.