I'm almost afraid to admit it, but I don't enjoy her voice. I think it has a studied air about it (all that vibratto) and a flat edge to it (although that IS a hard song to sing- those low notes would test anyone's range and pitch- maybe she'd sound better on another song).
I just listened to it here, expecting too much maybe, but I wasn't inspired.
But no, I don't think she's a departure at all in terms of her voice- I think she's a departure because of how she looks and because of her poignant life story (which sort of goes along with that song- never been kissed, lonley spinster, etc.:
There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong
I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted
But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
And they turn your dream to shame
He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came
And still I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.
So to me, it's just another marketing gimmick for Simon Cowell and his shows. Some of these people really have the voice, some really have the look and he tries to make both of them fit somehow.
I don't think Susan Boyle really has either, but what a STORY!
And she can obviously sing well enough to learn to sing better.
So there you go. Good for her.
I hope it brings her some dreams that come true.