Click here to return to the main site.

Music Review

Cover Image

(Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording)


Music: Jonathan Cristenson
Lyrics: Jonathan Cristenson
Performed by: Gaelan Beatty, Shannon Blanchet, Beth Graham, Ryan Parker, Garett Ross, Scott Shpeley and Lindsie VanWinkle
Label: Broadway Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 16 June 2015

As previous readers will no doubt know, my favourite ‘mainstream’ label over the past few years has been Broadway Records, so I was very pleased to receive their latest 3 releases to review this week. Broadway Records have released some of the major cast recordings of the past few years, as well as new works, and their wonderful ’54 Below’ series, and I’m pleased to say the new batch of releases includes one from each of these categories.

First up is the cast recording of a new musical NeverMore - The Imaginary Life & Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe by Jonathan Cristenson, and comes directly after an Off-Broadway run at New World Stages earlier this year. The Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording of Nevermore features the acclaimed performances of cast members Gaelan Beatty, Shannon Blanchet, Beth Graham, Ryan Parker, Garett Ross, Scott Shpeley, and Lindsie VanWinkle. It has been released as a double-album CD containing virtually all of the show's unique opera-like score, which consists of underscored verse and songs ranging from Weimar cabaret tunes to rock power ballads, blending fact and fiction to tell the fascinating story of Edgar Allan Poe's tormented yet transcendent life.

Both the CD and digital versions of the Nevermore album contain stunning photographs of the show's unique characters, designs and stage imagery contributed by photographers Joan Marcus, Richard Termine, David Cooper, and Ryan Parker. The Nevermore album's liner notes contain a detailed synopsis that, in addition to the show's plot, also includes historical details of Poe's life, thus making the Nevermore album an ideal tool for educators and students of Poe's life and writings.

I found something strangely enticing about this cast recording. It is very easy to get immersed in it - it’s a very complete recording, with lots of spoken word and dialogue, so it certainly keeps you interested, and is easy to follow. Whilst I found the music very reminiscent of Wildhorn (Dracula especially) there are no real power ballads or memorable songs here - and that was a disappointment in a way. On first listen, I was waiting for ‘the big number’ which never came. It was only on subsequent listens did I appreciate the experience more than listening to individual songs.

The album production is first rate, as is the accompanying booklet. Broadway Records clearly care about what they release, and this is a very solid product audio wise and in terms of the information included. Running at just over 2 hours, it sounds very much like you are getting the whole show here too - something we seldom see these days, and again, Broadway Records are to be applauded for that.

For fans of new musicals, certainly a must-listen.


Ian Gude

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.

CD - Import
iTunes GB
Digital album