Sarah Brightman – Love Changes Everything: The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection: Volume Two / 2005 Decca / 14 Tracks / http://www.sarah-brightman.com / http://www.deccabroadway.com / Reviewed 19 November 2005
The poppy sound of Brightman’s vocals during “Probably On A Thursday” really allows eir to achieve an audience that may not have been tapped previously. In some sense, there seems to be a timeless pop sense to the tracks on “Love Changes Everything” that was most prominently shown during Cyndi Lauper’s earlier rock. The tender guitar work that wins out at times on the aforementioned “Probably On A Thursday” is something that seals the track’s success up.
Continuing the nuanced pop expressions of Brightman during “The Perfect Year”, the symphonic presence of the track really bolsters the vocals in all the right ways. Coming to a crescendo with the emotive, earthy horn solo, “The Perfect Year” is a track that will hit all listeners hard, regardless of their musical tastes. The theatrical nature of these tracks is beneficial to Brightman in the sense that each track can conceivably approach both the timeless nature of an opera while having a contemporary connection. “Only You” (featuring Cliff Richard in a duet) looks back a good twenty years to the earliest Amy Grant tracks; the title track has a doo-wop type of backing sound even as Brightman’s vocals take a role well above the instrumental fray. What may be the biggest success for Brightman here is the instrumental role that eir vocals take; sure, there may be a full compliments of instruments here but the additional sound given by the vocals really pushes the track into new levels. Moving into a more traditional opera type of role for “Think of Me”, the track’s slower, more Spartan type of arrangement allows for Brightman to really shoulder the entire load, with tremendous success.
“Any Dream Will Do” has a sort of traditional sound that really opens the door for Brightman to create a Christmas/holiday type of album. The overall sound of the track is not too far detached from the current wave of retooled Christmas classics, and any role in which Brightman assumes a more contemporary and larger-reaching sound should be perused. While the tracklist is a little lesser-known than the first volume of eir Andrew Lloyd Webber hits, there is no lack of strong tracks here. Unreleased tracks like “Probably on a Thursday” and “Make Up My Heart” mix with hits like “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” and “The Phantom of the Opera’. Definitely worth a purchase, whether one is a fan of classic pop, opera, or musicals.
Top Tracks: The Phantom of the Opera, Probably on a Thursday