This trio of album reviews covers Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project, Mamma Mia! The Movie Soundtrack and Il Divo – A Musical Affair
“You know I’ve got
So much that I wanna do”
Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project has an amazing list of performers, composers, and musicians behind it, all coming together to create a 2-CD set and 48-page children’s book to benefit breast cancer research, support and education. And rather wonderfully, it is an utterly gorgeous record. Brilliant jazz musicians accompany writers like Michael John LaChiusa, Adam Gwon and Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez in indulging their gentler side to create the prettiest tunes. And then a cast of dreams sing them – just listen to Raúl Esparza’s aching tenderness on ‘This Little World’, or Donna Murphy’s crystal clear ‘Lucky’ (by Stephen Schwartz) – we should all be so lucky to be lulled to sleep this way.
Much as I love watching Mamma Mia! The Movie, I’m not entirely sure what the circumstances are that I would ever choose to listen to Mamma Mia! The Movie Soundtrack. An album of ABBA covers is a notoriously tricky business at the best of times, not least when the people performing them aren’t noted singers. Meryl Streep’s Donna just about carries the day as she sells the feeling of every word, and there’s great value in Christine Baranski and Julie Walters on tracks like ‘Does Your Mother Know?’ and ‘Take A Chance On Me’ respectively. The less said about Pierce Brosnan (and Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård tbh) without at least the salve of the visuals of Greek sea and sun the better.
More reliable voices are available on Il Divo’s sixth album A Musical Affair, the classical-crossover group turning their hand, and their magnificently booming voices, to the world of musical theatre. And such is their cachet that they can call on the likes of Barbra Streisand, Kristen Chenoweth, Heather Headley and Michael Ball to help them out. You pretty much know already whether you like these guys and this isn’t the album to change your mind but for me, it is a guiltily pleasurable experience.