Aged 83 years young, Dame Shirley Bassey has today released her 37th studio album. Entitled I Owe It All To You, it is a love letter to her fans as she bows out of recording after a truly incredible career. The words icon and legend are attributed to the Welsh diva, but they are words that simply do not do credit to the magnitude of her status. She is beyond legendary, and the sheer depth and breadth of her work is overwhelming.
Arriving six years after her last body of work, I Owe It All To You is grandiose in stature, boasting big, bold and emotional numbers - some which we already know and love, and others which are destined to be future classics.
While the material is unquestionably strong, a Dame Shirley Bassey is not just about the high quality of songs on display, but just the sheer impressive nature of her always faultless vocal. Aged 83, Dame Shirley Bassey can out-sing any of her younger competitors. And her final album shows that time has not taken its toll on her vocal prowess in the slightest.
While there are stronger moments - notably I Owe It All To You, Maybe This Time and Music - there is not a weaker moment within the album's 14 songs.
Although it is heartbreaking to know there will not be another album of new recordings by the Welsh wonder, there is a magic in walking away from a recording career with such a fine record.