"Not many people have a musical written around their voice, but that's what Andrew Lloyd Webber did for ex-wife Sarah Brightman, by creating the classic "Phantom of the Opera" musical. And in "The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection," Brightman sings various songs from Webber's works -- some mesh with her voice, and some don't.It starts off on a strong note with the gothic "The Phantom Of The Opera," a duet with Michael Crawford. Following that is the ethereal "Unexpected Song," the rich but forgettable "Chanson D'Enfance," and the enchanting "All I Ask Of You," a duet with Cliff Richards. Following a few dud songs are the warm "Love Changes Everything," the Latin-tinged "Amigos Para Siempre (Friends For Life)" with Jose Carreras, and the entertaining duet with John Gielgud, "Gus the Theatre Cat."Brightman starts to falter with "Don't Cry For Me Argentina," "Another Suitcase in Another Hall," and "Memory." Her voice sounds restricted and uneasy, and at times her crystalline vocals sound shrill. "Maclivity: The Mystery Cat" is perhaps the lowest point of "Collection," with Brightman sounding completely weird. But the album rises again with the gently melancholy "Tell Me on a Sunday," soaring "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again," and finishing up with the majestic "Music of the Night."Certain voices are best suited for certain songs, and Brightman's vocals are clearly suited for songs from "Phantom of the Opera" and "Aspects of Love." Some of the songs sound astounding and heartfelt, but some of them just sound strange coming in her rich soprano.Brightman's voice is given a good range -- she can sing in a little high girlish voice, soar like an operatic diva, or just sound sweet. At her best, Brightman can give you goosebumps. In many of the songs, she emotes subtlely, as if she really feels the heartbreak, joy and fear behind the songs. But when her voice is poorly used, as in the "Evita" songs, she just sounds confused.The selection itself can't be faulted -- there's stuff from "Cats," "Phantom," "Evita," and other Webber musicals. And Webber's writing is just beautiful, simple and heartfelt: "In all your fantasies/You always knew/That man and mystery/ Were both in you..."Sarah Brightman is not in top form in the "Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection," but in several songs she is simply astounding. Flawed but definitely worth checking out."
I'm "Amigos Para siempre"
Anthony Morelli | Montreal, Canada | 09/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anything with "Phantom" music is great. This cd shows Sarah's multi-talented career back in the 80's. All the material on the disc are original versions of her songs.Every one of the 16 tracks are unique. The moods change from playful broadway to sad and gloomy. Sarah sounds so different, you just have to like her. The tracks from "Cats" are two very original tracks. "Gus the theatre cat" is solemn. "Macavity" is broadway. "Love changes everything" is the only track on this compilation that actually made it to a Brightman album. You'll find it on the import album "As I came of age". It's sung in her whiny, little girl voice.The "Phantom" tracks are great, especially "The phantom of the opera", used as the opening. There are 4 tracks from the said musical.When I purchased "The A.L.W.collection", "Time to say goodbye" was already out. Although I thought I wasted my money, I took it home anyhow, expecting the worst. Considering there were many tracks I previously did not know, I had made a great choice. The compilation is definitely a best seller, not to mention a great addition to anyone's collection. My Sarah collection started with "Dive" back in 93. I wasn't sure what she'd come out with next, if anything at all. Even though she played the leading role as Christine in "The phantom..." I never was able to believe that she was the same person as in 93. I've bought every disc from then on. Go out & buy the disc, or buy it on the net. You won't regret it."
She's still happily married to his music
Neal C. Reynolds | Indianapolis, Indiana | 01/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sarah Brightman and Andrew Lloyd Webber are no longer married to each other, but as I stated above, she's still happily married to his music. I was raised during the Rodgers & Hammerstein era nd it took me time to grow to apprciate Webber's influence on musical drama. Sarah Brightman's performances of Webber's music has been instrumental in my tastes maturing with the development of Broadway musical plays. No matter how often I listen to them, "Phantom of the Opera", "All I Ask of You", "Music of the Night", "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina", "Memory", all remain fresh while the less familiar works become more precious with repeat listening. Also outstanding is the theme song Webber wrote for the Barcelona games and sung by Sarah and Jose Carreras, "Amigos Por Siempre". And don't overlook the devout rendition of "Pie Jesus", a duet with Paul Miles-Kingston, from "Requiem". Other notable voices on the CD are: Michael Crawford, Cliff Richard, and Sir John Gielgud.There are those who might not like this CD which is one of my favorites, but the only people I would advise not to buy this are those who just don't like the modern theater music as represented by Andrew Lloyd Webber."
Oh, What a beautiful Voice!
Neal C. Reynolds | 10/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard Sarah Brightman on the Original Recording of Phantom of the Opera, and I thought her voice was beautiful. This CD is totally awesome, because it has some of my favorite songs from ALW's musicals. Sarah Brightman's voice is REALLY sexy in "Macavity the Mystery Cat." She was fabulous in my favorite song "Memory" from Cats. When Brightman sang the lines Touch me. It's so easy to leave me all alone with the memory," my eyes were filled with tears and my heart was pounding A must have for all Sarah Brightman fans."
The Ever Flexible Sarah!
beethoven_nikita_christ | Singapore | 01/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sarah Brightman is famous for her flexibilty in vocal style. One moment she can go pop, another moment she can go broadway and another moment she can go opera. Although this album is all of Andrew Lloyd Webber's works, she amazingly presents all the songs in the different vocal styles.She did wonderfully for songs like "Phantom Of The Opera", "Music Of The Night", "Pie Jesu" and "Chanson D'Enfance"."Phantom Of The Opera" is a very unique song. Before she sings an opera melisma at the end of the piece, she is actually using her broadway voice! The song grips me and some credit of it should go to Michael Crawford who sang the duet with her too! He also sounds great!I had seen and heard Sarah Brightman sing in the concert for Andrew Lloyd Webber's birthday in a VCD. Her "Pie Jesu" sounded more trained and mature in the concert than it is in this CD. However, I still prefer the version in this CD because it is sort of an original recording of Sarah Brightman many years ago. It sounded more innocent, more sweet!"Music Of The Night" is thumbs-up! Although many people say that Sarah Brightman has a small voice, it is not true! She sounded all powerful in "Music Of The Night"!I bought this CD after hearing Sarah Brightman in a concert. She sounded good! And the CD is definately not a disappointment!"