Sunday, 31 May 2015

CD Review: Scott Alan Live

“And there it is…”

For a composer who hasn’t had a major show on over here, Scott Alan inspires an amazing amount of evangelical joy from his fans. This has come from a series of albums and concerts in which his songwriting has been showcased by a wide-ranging collection of Broadway and West End stars, culminating in a rapturously received residency at the St James Theatre a couple of months ago. I like his work, having previously reviewed a couple of his albums, but I haven’t as ecstatic as some about it so I thought I’d go back to the ones I hadn’t listened to. 

His double album Live offers reworkings of many of his songs and mixes things up further by retaining many of his frequent collaborators but letting them loose on different songs, even switching up genders on some of them. It’s a great move – Natalie Weiss smashes the joyful ‘I’m A Star’, Laura Osnes wraps her delicate voice beautifully around ‘Now’ and Jeremy Jordan is charming as ever on ‘Please Don’t Let Me Go’ and that’s all in the opening five songs. The slightly indulgent length of the album means we don’t always maintain such intense quality over both discs plus bonus tracks.

Other highlights include vocal group Pentatonix taking on the cheery ‘Love, Love, Love’, Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway duetting gorgeously on ‘Home’ and Willemijn Verkaik bringing a great confidence to ‘Say Goodbye’. There’s a real treat in getting Lea Salonga on here too, singing a new song ‘Look (A Rainbow), and Ramin Karimloo and Hadley Fraser are tons of fun on bonus track ‘Take Me Away’ with their real-life friendship translating to real musical chemistry. Some clever programming makes this a collection that acts both as a good introduction to Alan’s work but also has much for his fans as well – well worth the investment.


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