Luke Evans’ second album A Song For You suffers a little from its lack of adventurousness
“Gofyn wyf am galon hapus”
Backed by Prague’s Philharmonic Orchestra and the massed voices of the Treorchy Male Voice Choir, Luke Evans’ second album A Song For You certainly has a luscious sound to it. As he did on his first album At Last, he largely steers clear of the musical theatre world in which he cut his teeth, opting for the safer choice of middle-of-the-road pop covers and standards with a couple of famous guests popping up here and there.
For me, the lack of adventurousness in the song selection does work against the record. Even with lush orchestrations and hints of Welsh male voice choirs, it is hard to get too excited about another version of ‘You Raise Me Up’ or ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ or ‘My Way’ or even ‘Over The Rainbow’, especially as their interpretations all hew to a similar format of quiet then loud then louder and vocally acrobatic – it’s not that it is bad, it just lacks inspiration.
Where the album does succeed more is in the moments that feel a little more personal. A couple of self-penned tracks (with Amy Wadge) do just that, dialling back the bombast nicely and a foray into Welsh language on ‘Calon Lân’ again finds a point of interest that stands Evans apart. A tenderness also creeps into his takes on ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ and ‘Everybody Hurts’ making them, for me, much more memorable than the booming elsewhere.
The obligatory duets are something of a mixed bag too. Nicole Kidman seems a bit of a random choice on a relatively restrained ‘Say Something’, not really making the impact you’d hope for but Charlotte Church gives ‘Come What May’ the requisite welly that blows Kidman out of the water (in both senses). A couple of Christmas tracks tacked onto the end offer a festive bonus, though personally I’d return the dirge-like rendition of ‘Last Christmas’.