I know we are in strange, cruel, enlightening pandemic times but it is not very often that a grown man can sit in front of his laptop in the morning and have tears streaming down his face. But this album – One Voice – did that to me.
And in doing so I discovered a voice, a new voice, with the clarity of pearls gently dropping into the cool, crystal-clear water of mountain streams combined with an endearing passion that truly tugs at the heartstrings.
Specifically what did it for me was the interpretation by Siobhan Dillon – for it is she – of the wonderful Sara Bareilles song She Used to be Mine from that great feel-good musical Waitress. I was lucky enough to hear Bareilles sing the song, accompanying herself on piano, in a preview of the show at Ronnie Scott’s but I would have to say that Dillon more than emulates the composer with this evocative and heartwarming rendition. The interesting aspect for me is that although this is a “song from the show” Dillon deconstructs it to find what I term the emotive structure so that this is not merely a cover but a full re-interpretation that becomes a poignant homage to the original. And herein lies Dillon’s skill: a beautiful haunting voice combined with sharp and eclectic emotional intelligence that sucks us in, captures our heart and leaves us as a quivering wreck.
I love music. I love the female voice in all of its myriad forms. And I love this album. There are other well-known covers – the often mauled Tears For Fears standard from 1982 – Mad World which has a subtle and spine-tingling intensity that caresses our frayed nerves and soothes our tortured souls.
There’s the evergreen The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face which demonstrates not only Dillon’s delicate touch but also her cultured dulcet tonal qualities that invite us to listen, and listen again. And there’s the Kelly Clarkson song Already Gone, beautiful in its simplicity, inspiring in its optimism.
The album has eleven songs in all which range from the pulsating and insistent Missy Higgins track Everyone’s Waiting to the haunting and beautiful Without You, where Dillon returns to the stage and the musical Rent. The album has been released in support of the Brest Cancer Heaven charity – Dillon herself was diagnosed in 2015 and after her successful battle returned to the studio to produce this deeply personal collection that, with producer Steve Anderson, has been four years in the making.
It’s been a privilege to listen to these beautifully crafted renditions and I for one could not demur from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s view that “Siobhan is a glorious soprano”. I would add, though, that although the genre differs, there’s just a little touch of Sandy Denny in her voice.
Great singer; great cause. Do listen and buy: I guarantee that the dim and distant light at the end of the tunnel will come ever much closer and shine that much brighter in the company of Siobhan Dillon.
Review by Peter Yates
Siobhan Dillon, last seen in the West End and on Broadway alongside Glenn Close in “Sunset Boulevard”, has released her stunning new album, “Siobhan Dillon – One Voice”, in support of the Breast Cancer Haven charity.
Four years in the making, Siobhan has teamed up with globally renowned producer Steve Anderson (producer/musical director for Kylie Minogue for over 20 years, along with Steps, Westlife, Leona Lewis Luke Evans and Susan Boyle), for a stunning collection of songs that each hold a special connection to her.
The 11 eclectic tracks include “She Used to be Mine” by Sara Bareilles from her musical “Waitress”, Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love”, “Mad World”, originally performed by Tears For Fears, Roberta Flack’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and “Without You” from the
Breast Cancer Haven
Also available on Apple Music and Spotify