The Gift (Susan Boyle album)

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The Gift
Studio album by Susan Boyle
Released 8 November 2010
Recorded July–September 2010
London, England
Genre Operatic pop, holiday, crossover, adult contemporary, easy listening, Christmas[1]
Length 35:13
Label Syco/Columbia
Producer Steve Mac[2]
Susan Boyle chronology
I Dreamed a Dream
(2009)
The Gift
(2010)
Someone to Watch Over Me
(2011)
Singles from The Gift
  1. "Perfect Day"
    Released: 8 November 2010

The Gift is the second album and first Christmas album by Scottish singer Susan Boyle, which was released on 8 November 2010.[3] Boyle hinted that the album has a 1960s feel "because that was [her] era".[4][5] on 30 November 2011, the album received a nomination in 54th Grammy Awards for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.

Background[edit]

It was produced by Steve Mac, who says, "Now Susan’s used to the studio and the recording process, this time round we might go even further down a traditional route of recording by getting a band together and rehearsing songs before we go into the studio to see what works, how she reacts with certain parts, and so we can change the arrangements that way. I think that’s going to work much better... With Susan it's very important she connects with the public and the public connect with her. She doesn’t want to sing anything that hasn’t happened to her or she can't relate to."[2] Boyle included some Jazz numbers now she's "a bit more content" within herself. "My next album has to have an element of surprise in it again. I'm hoping to make it better and a bit extra special."[6]

Susan's Search competition[edit]

In a lead up to the release, Boyle offered her fans a chance to duet with her, with a competition titled Susan's Search. Applicants had to record a video of themselves singing "Silent Night" and upload it to her YouTube channel.[7] The winner was 33-year-old paramedic Amber Stassi of Brewerton, New York.[8]

Reception[edit]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the UK, The Gift debuted at No. 1. However, it only remained at the top spot for one week and dropped out of the chart altogether after eleven weeks.[9] In comparison, Boyle's first album topped the UK chart for four weeks and remained on the chart for 39 weeks.

In the United States, The Gift debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 chart with first week sales of 318,000 copies.[10] In its second week, the album stayed at No. 1, and sold even more copies: 335,000.[11] In its third week, it dropped to No. 3 on the Billboard 200, selling 263,000 copies.[12] In its fourth week, The Gift returned to No. 1, selling 272,000 additional copies.[13] The album remained at No. 1 in its fifth week with sales of 243,000 copies.[14] By the end of 2010, sales of the The Gift totaled 1,852,000 copies in the United States, and was the fifth best-selling album for the year.[15][16] As of November 2014, the album has attained cumulative sales of 2,180,000 copies in the United States according to SoundScan.[17]

The album debuted at No. 3 on the Canadian Albums Chart, selling 13,000 copies in its first week.[18]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[19]
BBC Music (favourable)[20]
Metro International (mixed)[21]
Yahoo! Music 6/10 stars[22]
InYourSpeakers (55/100)[23]

The album has received generally mixed reviews from critics.[24] According to Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 62, based on 5 reviews, which indicates "generally favourable reviews".[24] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic gave the album two and a half out of five stars, complimenting Boyle as the right person to make a holiday album, but referred to the music as "predictable".[19] Graham Rockingham of Metro International gave the album mixed reviews, criticizing how the album can be a number 1 charter, but at the same time be well suited for traditional carols.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Original artist Length
1. "Perfect Day"   Lou Reed Lou Reed 4:31
2. "Hallelujah"   Leonard Cohen Leonard Cohen 3:53
3. "Do You Hear What I Hear?" (featuring Amber Stassi) Noël Regney, Gloria Shayne Baker Harry Simeone Chorale 3:55
4. "Don't Dream It's Over"   Neil Finn Crowded House 3:47
5. "The First Noel"   Trad/Arranger Steve Mac, David Arch Christmas carol 2:59
6. "O Holy Night"   Adolphe Adam, John Sullivan Dwight / Arranger Steve Mac, David Arch Christmas carol 4:05
7. "Away in a Manger"   Trad/Arranger Steve Mac, David Arch Christmas carol 2:56
8. "Make Me a Channel of Your Peace"   Trad/Arranger Sebastian Temple Christian hymn 4:24
9. "Auld Lang Syne"   Robert Burns, Trad/Arranger Steve Mac, David Arch Folk song 2:45
10. "O Come All Ye Faithful"   Trad/Arranger Steve Mac, David Arch Christian hymn 2:06
11. "Vapor Trail" (Japanese bonus track) Yumi Arai Yumi Arai 3:46

[25]

Release history[edit]

Country Release date Format(s)
United Kingdom 8 November 2010 CD, digital download
Canada 9 November 2010
United States
Japan 10 November 2010
Argentina 10 November 2010

Charts[edit]

Chart procession and succession[edit]

Order of precedence
Preceded by
Rock Dust Light Star by Jamiroquai
Dutch Albums Chart number-one album
13 November 2010
Succeeded by
Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor by Caro Emerald
Preceded by
Messy Little Raindrops by Cheryl Cole
UK Albums Chart number-one album
14 November 2010
Succeeded by
Progress by Take That
Preceded by
Speak Now by Taylor Swift
New Zealand Albums Chart number-one album
15 November 2010 – 3 January 2011
Succeeded by
Duet by Ronan Keating
U.S. Billboard 200 number-one album
20 November 2010 – 27 November 2010
Succeeded by
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
Preceded by
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
U.S. Billboard 200 number-one album
18 December 2010 – 25 December 2010
Succeeded by
Speak Now by Taylor Swift
Canadian Albums Chart number-one album
18 December 2010
Succeeded by
Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album by Glee
Preceded by
Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album by Glee
Canadian Albums Chart number-one album
1 January 2011
Succeeded by
Loud by Rihanna

References[edit]

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  5. ^ Kaufman, Gil. "Susan Boyle's Debut Smashes U.S. Chart Records". MTV. 
  6. ^ Robertson, Colin (15 April 2010). "Intruder Scared The Living Daylights Out Of Me". The Sun. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  7. ^ Reuters. "Susan Boyle launches contest to find duet partner". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
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  9. ^ UK Chartstats.com (Susan Boyle "The Gift")
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