Flashback: Charlotte Church – Tissues And Issues (2005)
The only time I ever realise my age (22) and become amazed at how time flies is when I hear an album I bought upon original release, and look at the time that has passed. For example, Tissues And Issues, the pop debut from teen soprano Charlotte Church was released in 2005, six whole years ago. What have I achieved since then? Not a whole lot to be honest.
When Charlotte Church announced plans to release a pop album, there was a huge fuss within the media. After shifting a few million classical albums both here and stateside, she hit sixteen and began acting like most other teenagers; smoking, drinking, swearing, and so on. The press loved it, as it contrasted so much with the sweet girl who sang Ava Maria so perfectly.
First single Crazy Chick was a big radio hit, and was only denied a number one spot due to Coldplay releasing one of their biggest ever singles the same week. Further controversy when Chery Cole (the gobby one from Girls Aloud, incase you didn’t know) accused Charlotte of ripping off their sound. I can only assume she meant the instrumental, as the idea of Charlotte wanting to sing like any of Girls Aloud is hilarious to say the least. As Charlotte rightly said, if she was asked to sing one of their songs on karaoke, she would; ”sing it ten times better than they ever could”. True story.
The album was released and charted at number 5, higher than her last few Classical releases, sales of which had peaked after her second release. Despite her incredible voice, her age meant she was more of a novelty act in a way. Although it quickly dropped down the charts, it eventually attained a Platinum certification (300,000 copies). What makes this even more impressive is the fact that the single is not necessarily reflective of the album as a whole. It’s more Will Young than Girls Aloud, still pop, but mostly sombre and relaxing pop. Featuring eight tracks that were co-written with Church, and four that was given to her, the album is more of a grower than a standard pop album. Tracks such as ”Show A Little Faith”, ”Fool No More” and ”Casualty Of Love” require a few listens, initially only being notable for Charlotte’s stunning vocals, eventually being strong tracks in their own right. The singles run was flawless, ”Moodswings” is an uplifting track that talks about the protagonist making no excuses for her changes in mood. ”Call My Name” is more along the lines of ”Crazy Chick”, straight forward pop and perfect for radio, becoming the albums only other top ten. Album track ”Lets Be Alone” uses a pop backing track and features the only in your face use of Charlotte’s opera voice on the album. It is completely stunning, and it would have been a good single.
There are a couple of duff tracks, such as the plodding ”Easy Way Out”, and ”Finding My Own Way”, which seems to be her response to the media scrutiny of her extra curricular activities, but on the whole, the album is a surprisingly strong debut pop album, especially coming from a classical artist.