These days, one of the most notable things about Neil Diamond’s extraordinary career is the continuing success of his 1969 hit Sweet Caroline. You hear it everywhere, not just coming from bar room wall speakers but from the throats of enormous stadium crowds at sporting events. This gives rise to the strange phenomenon of tens of thousands of men and women singing along to an exuberant love ballad minutes before two terrifying heavyweight boxers step into the ring with the aim of knocking … [Read more...]
Reviews of Cast Recordings, Soundtracks from Musicals & Music
Reviews of music from performers from the stage, cast recordings, soundtracks from stage productions, albums etc...
London Musical Theatre Orchestra’s debut album GIRLFRIENDS
With such a talented cast, it’s difficult to single out stand-out performances. But the ones that stick in my mind are Bronté Barbé’s rendering of ‘The Chances Are’, a heartfelt number about the sitting and hoping that goes on when one’s partner is out to war, and Rob Houchen’s tenor voice is perfectly suited to the soaring melodies in this musical. It’s not often that a new recording of a musical with an orchestra as large as the LMTO is released these days. Rather longer than most cast recordings, coming in at just under two hours, this is set to be the go-to album for Girlfriends, a hearty and passionate listening experience.
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The ‘2019 live action version’ of Aladdin (to distinguish from the 1992 animated motion picture), is not the first remake that the Walt Disney Company has embarked on, and the chances are they have yet more in the pipeline. A remake is, of course, an opportunity to revise, reshape and re-orchestrate, and they’ve done a pretty good job on those scores here. There will be those who won’t like the new versions in this Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, primarily because they are such big fans of … [Read more...]
Hearing orchestral versions of songs made popular by The Beatles isn’t a brand-new phenomenon. Later in 2019, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will also tour, providing orchestral renderings of the Fab Four’s back catalogue, and the London-based Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has previously released an album called Symphonic Sgt. Pepper, which does what it says on the cover. Here, the National Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, a twenty-piece outfit, flanks the four main stars of the … [Read more...]
I went along to this concert version of Girlfriends towards the end of 2018 and I must confess I wasn’t exactly blown away – the actors were in fine form, but it felt to me as though this fairly subtle musical would have been better played by a chamber orchestra rather than a full one, and I was most grateful for the spoken narration, by Group Captain Victoria Gosling OBE. Without the visuals and nuances of a fully staged production, I found myself heavily reliant on the descriptions to place … [Read more...]
There aren’t very many albums like this one out there. Behind the Curtain: Broadway Composers & Lyricists Sing Their Songs, does exactly what the title suggests – a number of songwriters introduce and sing songs they have written. Each song is also introduced by the person who sings it, to give it some background. On the whole, these nuggets of information were useful, whether or not I knew the song prior to listening to this album. While it was fascinating finding out about how the songs … [Read more...]
I was never lucky enough to see Michael Jackson perform live and to give an opinion of his performance. I enjoy his music and think he was an incredible performer and the “King of Pop” title seems to be well deserved, however I am not a diehard fan who knows all the words to every song or be able to identify every dance routine. Michael Starring Ben is a concert production and having seen it you can understand why it is billed as the largest touring tribute to Michael Jackson in the UK … [Read more...]
If Whitney Houston (1963-2012) is, even in death, ‘Queen of the Night’, then who is ‘Queen of the Day’? These are the sorts of questions that fleetingly crossed my mind during Whitney - Queen of the Night, which has even less exposition than Thriller Live. There are a few moments in which the audience is given a few facts about Houston’s life, but nothing that her fans didn’t know already - she won Grammy awards and sold millions of records. Like many Americans, Houston believed in God, so the … [Read more...]