Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Reflections From Broadway
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
On the heels of his Broadway appearance in Stephen Sondheim's Putting It Together in November 1999, John Barrowman makes his solo debut with Reflections from Broadway, and it's a beauty. He provides plenty of Sondheim, of ... more »
On the heels of his Broadway appearance in Stephen Sondheim's Putting It Together in November 1999, John Barrowman makes his solo debut with Reflections from Broadway, and it's a beauty. He provides plenty of Sondheim, of course, as well as numbers from other shows he has performed in both New York and London, including Sunset Boulevard, Miss Saigon, Beauty and the Beast, Anything Goes, and Michael Leander and Chris Seago's Matador. Barrowman's voice is sweet on ballads and rings bright and clear on the big numbers, and the orchestra and piano accompaniments sound just as good. Also on hand are some rarities, William Finn's delightful "I'd Rather Be Sailing," and Marvin Hamlisch's "Dreamers," which disappeared quickly in 1983 as part of the critically lambasted Jean Seberg but is becoming something of a standard for lighter voices. --David Horiuchi
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Marieta | USA | 04/15/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw "Sunset Boulevard" in London 7 years ago, and John Barrowman was playing Joe Gillis (So incredible that his name stuck in my mind since). I've long awaited for a solo recording...and I am so glad I stumbled upon this on Amazon. Strengths: This CD has a wonderful variety of showtunes, and each is performed with **genuine** feeling. It's been awhile since a song has tugged at me quite like "Tell My Father." "Red Red Rose" and "Dreamers" are some of my favorites with touching lyrics. Note to "Miss Saigon" fans: His "Why God Why?" is the best version in comparison to both original and studio cast recordings. His voice flows through each song effortlessly with *amazing* control. The sound quality of the CD is as if he were right there. Weaknesses: The accompaniment for some of the Sondheim tracks is leaning on the "cheesy" side. I've also heard better versions of "Whistle Down the Wind" (e.g. Tina Arena). These weaknesses are *very* minor though (I'm nitpicky..check my other reviews). Don't let this stop you from considering buying this CD. It's truly wonderful and sentimental! Can I say "wonderful" enough? For this CD? No."
terroh | OH | 09/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After seeing him in De-Lovely, I decided to pick this up and am so glad I did. Count me a fan now. Gorgeous voice (and matinee idol looks too). A nice selection of Broadway and West End show tunes (some of which he starred in). If you stick around long enough, there's a surprise duet at the end, that will pull at the heart strings. Any theater lover (and music lover) would love this. I sure did."
Terran | Sunny CA USA | 08/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This has become one of my all-time favorite CDs. Whether the simplicity of a selection like DREAMERS (piano and voice) or the full ferocity of showstoppers like the songs from MISS SAIGON or SUNSET BOULEVARD, Barrowman excels. It is also wonderful to have someone who has played the parts in various London and Broadway productions have his signature tunes from those shows replicated here: and unlike someone not tooled in the productions there are no distracting (clever! bah) new arrangements, this is more a snapshot of how the song would have been played/portrayed for the production itself, so the lyrics that need to be stressed to convey the emotion, and how they are stressed, are per the instructions of the composer and director of the productions who hired Barrowman in the first place.
TRY TO REMEMBER, a signature tune for another artist, is presented here, and the only questionmark I have re this CD: It's like anyone but Garland doing OVER THE RAINBOW, it can't but suffer by comparison. However, for all that, Barrowman has a beautiful voice and the arrangement is true; he provides a real lilting quality I never heard in it before.
For anyone seeking new arrangements for Broadway standards - this isn't the place to get it. This is about re-creating arrangements from shows so they live again on a recording placed next to other songs, with only one vocal interpreter (the only thing missing is the audience applause).
Another reviewer declares Barrowman to be requiring voice lessons, as he is "untechnical," personally I detected no flaws here, as Barrowman's voice is vigorous, able to lull or pontificate as per the arrangements, so either sweet or bombastic, the full range is offered here.
It is true Barrowman is more pop/showtune vocalist (though not weak-voiced at all) than sublime operatic tenor in the way of Patrick Wilson (who can also sing rock; a great versatile and strong lyric tenor - where is his solo CD? I keep asking myself). But other "untrained" excellent singers of the past have been Sinatra and Garland, and they managed to convey great emotion, and that shines over technical brilliance in what stands the test of time. In re "technique" Barrowman is obviously superior to Sinatra, with much greater range, which is showcased here, which is not a putdown of Sinatra, who was never a Broadway-based performer, or required that power or range.
On this CD, it would be surprising if someone couldn't find a favorite selection amongst this collection of gems; as Barrowman chose wisely, so little known songs are in competition with show signature tunes, yet they all have equal pride of place.
One puzzlement: The surprise closing number, supposed to be a duet between Barrowman and his mother, is missing on my CD, so perhaps it was deleted on later issuings.
If I had to steer someone to Barrowman's voice and music I would steer them in this direction, rather than the Swings Cole Porter, as here his vocal talents are more showcased."