For all of the negative press he's received not directly down to but partly because of his well-documented battle with addiction, George Michael has managed to maintain a loyal and dedicated fanbase - a portion of which join him on this album to provide whoops and cheers as he plays at The Royal Albert Hall in London.

They're not the only people joining George here, as the Symphonica Air Orchestra showcase their talents to collaborate with the singer on his Orchestral Tour.

He opens with 'Through' and proves that despite all of his bad decisions, he's still got that unique and powerful voice we can all recognise, before delving into his jazz side with a two minute rendition of 'My Baby Just Cares For Me'.

'Praying For Time' sees the audience stunned to silence as the emotion brought about by George is raw and something special, but when he finishes the tune a rapturous applaude is heard before he kicks off with 'Praying For Time' - a little slurred but still ultimately impressive.

If George was trying to prove he still has what it hold his own in the ever-expanding world of music with this tour and subsequent album release, he's certainly done just that.

A cover of 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' is expertly delivered by a man who clearly knows his craft and ability just before the upbeat and cheerful 'Feeling Good'. He seems to be on top of the world and deserves to be there.

Deceased music legends are paid tribute to in 'John and Elvis Are Dead' from George's album 'Patience', and he also tackles his 1988 release 'One More Try' with perfect results.

'Cowboys and Angels' follows before Elton John's 'Idol' and the heartwrenching 'Brother Can You Spare A Dime' Bing Crosby cover that once again leaves the members of the audience speechless.

Finishing off with 'Wild Is The Wind' and 'You've Changed', there's no glossed-up finale with pretence - simply great music that showcases his voice in the best possible way.

This is George's first new album in seven years, and he sounds absolutely superb. He's got everything - the voice and the charm - sounding effortlessly fantastic throughout.

While the collection could have excelled with another couple of songs a little more like 'My Baby Just Cares For Me' and 'Feeling Good', where George could have shown off a different side to his personality, this is an extremely strong offering and the proof if ever we needed it that he could do this forever.

Leave the curtain up. George Michael has well and truly returned.

George Michael's 'Symphonica' is out now.


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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