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Music Review

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No Space For Air


Artist: Julie Atherton
Speckulation Entertainment
RRP: £14.99
5 024545 597622
Available 06 June 2010

I actually thought of making this review very short. My first draft just said: “She's brilliant, don't waste time reading this, just go and buy the CD.” However, as I have listened to the album over and over now, I thought I would at least give my reasons for making such a recommendation.

For those of you who have never heard of Julie Atherton, and there will be many, she is perhaps the greatest talent in British Musical Theatre today. She first came to mainstream notice in Avenue Q, playing the voice and arms of Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut (suggest you read up on this superb musical if I've lost you already, or do a search on YouTube for the wonderful Royal Variety clip). Since, she has continued to gain popularity by her outstanding performances in 'Off West End' type musicals - most notably The Last Five Years and Ordinary Days, both of which I was lucky enough to see. She is also part of the Notes from New York team, which bring the works of US composers to the West End stage. What still remains a mystery is why we have to talent-search on the TV when gems like Julie go relatively unnoticed by the British public.

Julie released her first album in 2006, A Girl Of Few Words, which contained songs by Charles Miller. No Space For Air was released in 2010 on the Speckulation label, and again isn't your traditional songs-from-the-shows type album. It features tracks from artists as diverse as Alanis Morrissette and Skunk Anansie, but also gives a nod to Broadway, with Sondheim's 'Losing My Mind'.

It's hard to pick a favourite on this album - Julie's unique voice and honest way of delivering each number means that even if you don't love each number (which I didn't) you still enjoy and feel yourself being immersed in the song. 'Lost In Translations' is a superb reflection of Atherton's immense talent to tell a story through song, and her simple treatment of 'Losing My Mind' is exquisite. If I had to pick a best in class, it would be 'Encore' - great song well handled. And look out for the hidden bonus track.

So, to sum up. She's brilliant. Just go and buy the CD.


Ian Gude

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