Nan | Honolulu | 03/10/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The singer(s)does not do justice for the lyrics. It was grating to the ears. Save your money for the originals."
Okay, but kind of disappointing
bibliophilegirl | Somewhere | 04/16/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This isn't a bad recording, but the tracks are not the actual performances off of any cast recording of any of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musicals. The reditions of the songs on the disc are of varying quality. Some are pretty good. Some are borderline awful.
It is a good collection for inexpensively getting a lot of Andrew Lloyd Webber's most popular songs in one place and having them there to be able to listen to get the idea of what a certain song sounds like and is about. It isn't the collection of definitive recordings for certain roles. In fact in a couple examples, I wonder if the performer fully understood the context of the song he or she was singing &/or what it was about. Overall, the album is good, for the most part, if not excellent.
However, the liner notes for "The Essential Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber" is another matter. I don't mean to be unkind, but the author of the comments on the different tracks (one Rexton S. Bunnett) is blatantly WRONG in multiple instances. I don't mean just in nit-picky details, but in major plot details/context of songs, like the fact that Bunnett identifies "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" as being sung by "our heroine" (who he does not even identify by name as Christine Daae) as she thinks about her lover, not as being sung about Christine's dead father. He also says that the Phantom has found his perfect love and "Angel of Music" in Christine... because HE is the Angel of Music who Christine believes has been sent to her by her dead father, and because although the Phantom is obsessed with Christine, that relationship is far from "loving" (even if Christine shows him compassion. I feel like these (and a couple other mistakes) are major plot points to get wrong. A good amount of the commentary reads as if Bunnett might have written it at the last minute, fudging his way through entries on musicals of which he had little knowledge; like what an essay I might write on a book I never read for my college class but had quickly looked up on Cliff's Notes would sound like. In terms of sheer editing, there are spelling mistakes, run-on sentences and spacing errors ("Any DreamWill Do")in the liner notes. Where was the copy editor?
And the most frightening fact of all, under Bunnett's credentials, it says "Harper Collins has just published his revision and updating of the Collins Book of the Musical."
I am being very critical, but I think that for a widely-released CD it is reasonable to expect the liner notes to be at a professional level, as they were most likely supposed to be."