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I Will Always Love You


Artist: Deborah Cox
Label: Broadway Records
Release Date: 31 March 2017

Broadway Records have always been strong on delivering vocal albums that are eclectic, well produced and a worthwhile investment of your time in listening. When I heard the next was to be an album of Whitney Houston covers, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. However, I gave it a listen.

Grammy Award-nominated and multi-platinum R&B/pop recording artist and film/TV actress Deborah Cox is currently crossing the country as superstar Rachel Marron in the hit musical The Bodyguard.

I Will Always Love You is an 8-track EP featuring the most requested songs from the smash-hit musical, including such iconic fan favourites as 'All the Man that I Need', 'I Have Nothing' and 'I Will Always Love You'. The album is produced by Lascelles Stephens for Deco Entertainment.

I first came across Cox when she did a spell in Aida, and released a track from it way back in 2004. Since then, she also appeared on Broadway Records 2012 Studio Cast recording of Jekyll & Hyde. The only problem with singing Whitney Houston numbers, is that everyone expects Whitney Houston’s voice. Cox copes admirably with the numbers, but it’s fair to say she lacks the power of Houston at times, certainly in numbers like 'I Have Nothing'. Still, these are more than enjoyable performances - just a shame that Houston provided the definitive version of everything she recorded!

The arrangements and orchestrations are sufficiently different to the Houston versions, but there are times I was willing the songs to do something different to prevent them being ‘just another cover’. There is a danger that with an album like this, that it just becomes a very well performed karaoke, and the recording steers clear of this, but I would have still liked a little more originality in places. 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' is a low spot in the recording for me, and mainly because of this. That said, as this is accompanying Cox’s stint in The Bodyguard tour, I’m not sure what else could have been done. 'The Greatest Love Of All' is where the re-imagining really works, and I’d have like to have heard more of this type of re-work.

A nostalgic throwback to the 1990s, if lacking a little imagination at times.


Ian Gude

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