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This is a review of the Original London Cast recording of the brand new Ghost - The Musical, which is currently wowing packed audience at the Piccadilly Theatre in the heart of London's West End. For those who are interested you can read my full review of the actual show by looking at my profile to find the review "Does this musical have a Ghost of a chance"
A very quick summery of the plot, though this review will focus on the actual CD music. Sam (Richard Fleeshman) and Molly (Cassie Levey) are a young couple in love. All seems to be going well when Sam is murdered in a bungled street robbery. Sam therefore becomes a ghost and at first struggles with his new "life". He finds psychic Oda Mae Browne, who although is a bit of a con artist, can actually hear Sam and agrees to help him warn Molly of the dangers she is facing. The tale is full of twists and turns and I would highly recommend seeing the film or show to find out the whole story. Now onto the CD
I will breakdown the CD track by track, but generally due to the input of Eurythmics star Dave Stewart, it has an electro pop kind of feel about it, with hints of classical and musicals feels at times too. With any musical generally there is a musical hook which runs throughout most songs. Here there is the classic Everley Brothers Track Unchained Melody which there are nods too in various ways throughout, as well as parts of the firs main song "here right now" and other piano riffs.
Overture: The overture starts with a haunting piano and cello in a piece of music which plays around Unchained Melody before bringing in huge guitars and horns to provide a stirring opening to the CD
Here Right Now: Classic pop songs style duet between Sam and Molly. Upbeat and gives an insight into the hopefulness of our young couple. They did release this as a single. Find it on YouTube if you want to hear it.
Unchained Melody: This track starts off with a minor argument between the two stars, leading to an impromptu guitar solo of this classic song from Sam. Which slowly builds to a romantic musical moment with a little Elvis impression thrown in for good measure! The ending is stunning full of piano and strings
More: An upbeat song which is there to describe the hustle of bustle of the financial world in New York where Sam works. Again fairly poppy, but with more grit and depth than before. Big guitars and drums, but with typical musical harmonies.
Three little words: An argument in song! A discussion about the use of the words I Love You. A wonderful duet with plenty of strings and piano used. And a really good two part "argument" brings the song to a conclusion.
Sam's Murder: Bit tricky to really gage what is going on unless you have seen the show. It starts with an argument between Sam's murderer and dramatic music is used to good effect. After the gunshot it turns to more of a choral mix with dramatic film style strings as we follow Molly's journey with Sam into hospital. Though by this time Sam is already dead and is a ghost.
Ball of Wax: On first listen this appears quite random, but trust me on stage it works. A kind of trad-jazz ragtime number when Sam is realising he is a ghost. One of the weaker songs though.
I Can't Breath: With the realisation he is dead, Sam bursts in with this highly charged dramatic pop rock almost ballad number which is full of anger and hurt.
Are You A Believer: Our first meeting with Oda Mae Brown. This lively gospel fuelled track is full of typical gospel style organs, guitars and pace. A lively and fun song which ends with the realisation that she really can hear Sam.
With You: Molly's songs now turn into ballad style songs about her loss. This one is full of meaningful lyrics and tear jerking music.
Suspend My Disbelief/I Had A Life: A bit of action I this one. After meeting the psychic, Molly meets with Sam's best friend to tell him that she is going to the police with the info she has been given. The spoken words are backed up with music and in the middle turns into an angry song from Sam's best friend Carl. From there Sam and Molly sing a line from "here right now" over the top, then the big twist in the story is revealed. This turns into the Act 1 finale, in which the three characters sing their own parts of songs which mix perfectly, much like the Les Mis Act one ending. It's a very powerful ending to the fist act and is just as powerful on CD
Rain/Hold On: The Act 2 opener is a moody opener, where Molly finds out Oda Mae might not be all she says. The song is a angry rock number which lead into a song where Sam expresses how much he still needs Molly. And move into a desperate power ballad full of emotion
Life Turns On A Dime: A cutesy style pop song with a sinister undertone. Although the song at times sounds like typical boy band fodder, the dark sneaky lyrics where Sam's friend tries to make a move on Molly is played out and sung very well.
Focus: My least favourite track on the CD, though again with the action going on stage it is amazing, but just listening, I tend to skip this one. An angry rap and drum style song, which focuses on Sams need to focus on things if he wants to move object. A very loud and angry song.
Talking 'Bout A Miracle: On the CD this blends in effortlessly from the last track. This takes place in Oda's psychic shop. And is sun by the ghosts trying to get messages through to their loved ones. The song is pleasant enough, typical musical fayre, nothing special though.
Nothing Stops Another Day: Another Molly ballad. Typical ballad about moving on. Nice safe song.
I'm Outta Here: Oda's big number and it's a cracker. Back to the gospel/rock and roll style vibe about her spending $10,000,000. The music plays second fiddle to the lyrics which are comedic genius places, the sneaky Whitney Houston comment is genius! Uplifting and fun.
Unchained Melody (dance)/The Love inside: The final track is stunning starting off with a lovely split part version of Unchained melody, followed by Sam's final departing into heaven. Sam finally says "I Love You" in a moving sting filled ending. This is culminated with a final flourish of music which is much like the overture, and finished the CD in a Spectacular way.
This CD really brings the show into you homes, cars etc. If you haven't seen it on stage it will make you want to go, if you have seen it, it will make you want to go again. Great musical score and lyrics gives this a high 4 stars, with the slight drop due to the couple songs I don't really like!