Michael Ball and Alfie Boe have decided to work together to give us a new album of cover songs from the stage and their album is funnily enough called Together. Michael Ball is of course one of the leading musical theatre stars in the world and Alfie Boe is one of the best and most loved Tenor’s in the world. Those who love both are in for a treat, as they have just started a six week tour of the UK with the album. The songs that have made it on to the album are some of their personal favourites from film and the Broadway shows that they have both always wanted to record. The album was recorded in New York and Prague with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra).
Alfie’s version of Bring Him Home from Les Miserables is one of my all time favourite moments of hearing any song sung live. It is the first song that comes to my mind when I think of Alfie. When I heard him singing the song live, every word sent a shiver down my spine and I couldn’t quite believe how beautiful it was. It seems quite a coincidence that this is the song to open up the album. Every single word is delivered with such meaning. Bring Him Home, Empty Chairs at Empty Tables and I Dreamed a Dream complete the Les Miserables mash up.
Song after song on this album, they are all sung with the sublime power and depth that you would imagine. Together, they do sound really special. They are a dreamy pairing and they do more justice than you can imagine to every song chosen. Given their talent, this doesn’t come as a surprise, but it’s always wonderful to listen to new takes on songs that you are familiar with.
When I think of the song Tell Me It’s Not True, I can only think of watching Bernie Nolan in Blood Brothers in the Phoenix Theatre and of how utterly amazing she was in the role. I watched her countless times and she always gave me goosebumps. It took a few listens to try and get that vision out of my mind because of this. Of course listening to Alfie and Michael singing it gives it a completely different feel. Alfie powers through the songs and Michael’s gentler tone melts the two voices together. On this album, Ball and Boe want to reintroduce people to songs that they think they know.
You’ll Never Walk Alone is maybe a surprise choice, but as Alfie explains: “It’s one of those songs that’s been done so many times. And done properly, done respectfully, and with our blend of voices, it’s something unique. And of course the reason we’re doing it is because of the Hillsborough verdict that finally came through this year. We wanted to honour the victims and their families’ long, long fight for justice. And for me, as a Liverpool fan, it has added resonance.
There are also some unusual twists and surprises in the album, with a cover of Louis Armstrong’s Wonderful World mashed up with Somewhere Over The Rainbow – this sounds nothing like the originals, it sounds like a mash up from a Disney movie and we love it! With the same feel to the song is When You Wish Upon A Star. The songs make us feel a bit warm and cosy inside – indulging in our inner magic/child.
This album is really wonderfully done and oozes class, charm and depth. The album wraps up like a christmas present by ending in I’ll Be Home For Christmas – very apt! We imagine that this album will make it’s way to many homes in time for Christmas this year!
Track Listing: 1. Les Miserables Suite (Bring Him Home, Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, I Dreamed A Dream) 2. Somewhere (West Side Story) 3. Music Of The Night (Phantom Of The Opera) 4. Anthem (Chess) 5. Speak Softly Love (The Godfather) 6. Tell Me It’s Not True (Blood Brothers) 7. Incurably Romantic (Let’s Make Love) 8. I’ll Build A Stairway To Paradise (An American In Paris) 9. Wonderful World/Over The Rainbow 10. For Once In My Life 11. A Thousand Years (Twilight) 12. When You Wish Upon A Star (Pinocchio) 13. You’ll Never Walk Alone (Carousel) 14. I’ll Be Home For Christmas Record Company: Decca Records Release Date: 4th November 2016