Sarah Brightman’s “Love Changes Everything”
Every now and again, Andrew Lloyd Webber likes to cash in on his ex-wife’s success and release these albums. This is Webber’s sixth release of Sarah Brightman singing his material (or fifth, it depends how you view the album The Songs That Got Away).
It is the sixth, and it’s also the weakest. It has some tracks that fans have not heard Sarah sing before, which is probably where its market value is coming from, but these new tracks are so atrocious that it is little wonder why they have been locked up inside the Webber recording vault until now. Actually, the wonder is why he decided to let them out!
The problem is not the songs themselves, or Sarah’s performance, but the awful production and arrangements. It sounds like its sugary sweet sounds have been adapted for pre-school children to dance around in during musical chairs. The worst offender is Sarah’s duet with Cliff Richard in Starlight Express’s ‘Only You’. ‘Probably on a Thursday’, ‘The Perfect Year’, ‘Too Much in Love to Care’ (though it is a real treat to hear Sarah and John Barrowman together) and ‘Make Up My Heart’ are in the same vein, and that is the majority of the new recordings. It is a real crying shame, because Sarah’s voice is stunning in all of them.
Also amongst the track list we have some standards that are on most of these type of releases are ‘Think of Me’, ‘Everything’s Alright’ ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ and ‘Whistle Down the Wind’. None of these are new in anyway. We are treated with a new recording of ‘Love Changes Everything’ which is most unwelcome, as the production and arrangement are as awful as most of the other tracks. This leaves three other tracks: ‘Seeing is Believing’ with Michael Ball, ‘Any Dream Will Do’ and ‘I Don’t Know How To Love Him’. Her duet with Michael Ball is the real deal. It is previously unreleased and its arrangement is a serious one, unlike the others, and Ball gives it that extra class. The other two tracks have been available, but only on a very obscure album. ‘IDKHTLH’ is a particularly great performance from Sarah and is the best rendition I have heard.
Even if you’re an avid Sarah fan with most of the other ALW and SB collaborations, there are still plenty of songs here you have not yet heard, but even so the tracks are difficult to listen to without cringing. The new tracks may be to your taste and in which case I would suggest picking a copy up. If you’re thinking about buying your first ALW and SB collaboration, do not start on this. Surrender: The Unexpected Songs and The ALW Collection are far more superior to this release. If you are looking for a serene, beautiful album, go for Surrender if you want a mixed bag, go for ALW Collection.