Listening to Tonia Tecce is not a passive experience. She doesn’t simply rework American standards into her own operatic style; instead, she injects them with so much emotion and sense of wonder that one is taken aback, stunned and electrified at the same time. On one level, Tecce’s music could be described as easy listening, but that genre category is often used to describe bloodless background drivel. While Tecce’s soprano voice is soothing indeed, there is a genuine spark of life that transcends technical skill. She makes you feel the words that she is singing, every line of joy and sorrow. On her version of the title track, originally immortalized by Charlie Chaplin, Tecce’s angelic crooning is caressed and then lifted skyward by the startling, eye-popping beauty of the orchestration. It’s as exhilarating as breathing in the warm spring air.
On “When You Wish Upon a Star,” Tecce takes the often-covered Disney classic into her own stratosphere. Her voice soars beyond the sun. It is a faithful and lively cover; however, Tecce transcends mere imitation. A rush of violins greet the already haunted ears on “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” as Tecce’s singing yearns with spiritual longing. Probably the prettiest cut on the album is “What the World Needs Now is Love,” ironic since it finds Tecce at her most subtle of approaches. Whether she is aiming for high or low, Tecce never misses her target, which is your heart.
Tonia Tecce: www.toniatecce.com