Cell phone salesman Paul Potts became an instant celebrity in his native England earlier this summer by singing opera on television’s “Britain’s Got Talent” competition, moving an initially suspect audience to tears. Then he became the same worldwide thanks to a kajillion YouTube viewings of said performance.
Haven’t seen it yet? Go take a look.
Did it not at least give you goose bumps? The same feeling is ported over to his debut album, “One Chance.” His schlumpy demeanor is all part of his charm, but it wouldn’t mean squat if he didn’t have an incredible voice to back it up.
The disc begins with “Nessun Dorma,” the same song he brought the house down with on TV, before moving on to other opera favorites. But in a bid for accessibility, he also R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts,” only in Italian. Shockingly, it works, and remains moving.
Two bonus tracks make this disc stocking-stuffer-ready: “Silent Night” and “O Holy Night,” the latter proving a solid showcase for Potts’ tremendous vocal gifts.