Stacey Kent: Never Let Me Go


Never Let Me Go


Stacey Kent (vocals)


Breakfast on the Morning Tram (Blue Note 50999)

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Stacey Kent (vocals),

Graham Harvey (piano), Dave Chamberlain (bass), Matt Skelton (drums)


Composed by Raymond B. Evans & Jay Livingston


Recorded: England, March-April 2007


Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

Novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, a friend and admirer of Stacey Kent, wrote four sets of lyrics for her that Kent's husband, Jim Tomlinson, set to music for the vocalist's Breakfast on the Morning Tram CD. (See review of "The Ice Hotel.") However, Kent also sings the standard "Never Let Me Go," an intriguing choice because one of Ishiguro's best-known novels has that same title. The chilling novel deals with cloning and organ harvesting, as well as the possibility of prolonged survival only for those clones truly in love. Never let me go, indeed.

The gently delicate yet worldly wise quality of Kent's voice fits these moving lyrics well. Kent's exposition is clearly and compellingly enunciated with understated emotion. She is intimately conversational while unabashedly evincing a heartbreaking fragility. "You'd never leave me, would you? / You couldn't hurt me, could you?" Pianist Graham Harvey's lovely intro, fervent accompaniment, and sparkling solo (sounding much like Alan Broadbent) raise the quality of this performance to an even higher level, as does the flawlessly complementary expressiveness of both Dave Chamberlain's bass and Matt Skelton's drums. "Never Let Me Go" has never been sung any better than this. You'll not soon forget this track, and most likely will never let it go.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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  • 1 Judy Hartman // Mar 13, 2009 at 12:10 AM
    This review is just right. I have all of Stacey Kent's albums and love them all. It amazes me when I talk to people and they don't know her and her music. Nobody does a better job at singing the words the way they should be sung, clearly and beautifully!