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You must have been living in a tent in the African jungle if you missed the celebrations last year (2011) for the 25th Anniversary of Phantom Of The Opera. The huge concert at the Royal Albert Hall was released on DVD, Blu-ray and CD, and has since been broadcast on many TV networks. The featured phantom was Ramin Karimloo, and his debut solo album Human Heart has just been released on Sony Masterworks.
Ramin Karimloo is an Iranian-born Canadian vocalist and performer who has made a big impact on London’s West End for his work in such roles as the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera and Jean Valjean in Cameron Mackintosh’s West End production of Les Misérables. In 2010, he originated the leading role in Love Never Dies the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera for which he received an Olivier Award nomination. He is due to tour the US this autumn (2012).
The recording includes songs that Ramin has performed on stage including 'Music of the Night' from The Phantom Of The Opera as well as 'Til I Hear You Sing' from Love Never Dies. It also includes brand new songs from writers such as Ryan Tedder and Greg Wells (Adele, Leona Lewis), fresh new takes on songs from Muse and Bryan Adams, original material from Ramin himself as well as a brand new song from Tony-Award Winning writers Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater (Spring Awakening).
It has to be said, that despite many listens to the album, the only songs I can recall are the ones mentioned above. Whether it's the quality of writing, or the way Karimloo delivers them that makes them memorable I don't know, but everything on the album does seem very much of an 'also ran'. They are not bad songs, nor are they badly performed, but I guess I just don't see where this album is aimed. To me, the other songs won't appeal much to musical fans (did we really need a cover of 'Everything I Do' ?), and the album would appear to have little appeal to listeners outside that arena. It would have been much better to cover some newer musical theatre songs, and put a couple of other tracks in there, to at least appeal to your target audience more. As it is, any fan of Karimloo will already have versions of both tracks.
A pleasant listen, but not one I can recommend unless you are one of Karimloo's fans.