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Music Review

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Original Studio Cast Recording


Music: Ken Lai
Lyrics and Book: Ken Lai and Marcus Cheong
Performed by: Laura Osnes, Robert Cuccioli. Josh Young and Alan H. Green
Label: Broadway Records
Release Date: 27 October 2017

It’s hard to remember life without Broadway Records. There doesn’t seem to be a month goes by without at least one new release, quite often two or more. As regular readers will know, they are always of quality, variety, and worth my time in listening to them. And this month is no exception, with two new arrivals to spin.

The first is a new studio cast recording of a musical that is heading for the Great White Way sometime in the future - Angels. The 2CD release features the inspirational songs from this original musical, featuring music by Ken Lai, and book and lyrics by Ken Lai and Marcus Cheong, and are brought to life by a star-studded cast of Tony nominated and award-winning Broadway performers including two-time Tony Award-nominee Laura Osnes (Bandstand, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella), Tony Award-nominee Robert Cuccioli (Jekyll and Hyde), Tony Award-nominee Josh Young (Jesus Christ Superstar) and Alan H. Green (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

Angels tells the epic story of the ancient war between the Angels and Lucifer’s fallen minions. This timeless tale of good versus evil, hope versus despair, angels versus demons, is told through the eyes of Sera, the Angel of Light. Though she is gifted with the power to control light, she aspires to a more heroic role. Lucifer opposes Sera, causing chaos for the Angels and the humans they protect. Sera must find the courage to rise in victory over Lucifer and fulfill her purpose.

This recording shouts ‘quality’ to you at every turn. The cast is about as good as it gets for something like this. I’ve admired both Osnes and Cuccioli for quite a while now, and they are outstanding on this recording. The production values are top notch, and whilst much of the orchestral sound to the score is synthesised, it still sounds mighty fine. Robbie Rozelle has worked his usual magic on the artwork, and the production of the overall album, recording in both the US and Australia, is by Rich Fowler.

As is usually the case with a full studio album, there are some tracks that won’t excite you as much as others, but there is much to like. I particularly enjoyed ‘I Believe In Angels’ and ‘One True Friend’ and they were improved on again with their respective reprises too. I also enjoyed Osnes’s solo number ‘Where You Can Dream’ and, very much in contrast, Cuccioli & Young’s duet ‘Let’s Deal’. My one complain would be that it’s very difficult to follow any sort of story, and there’s no help in the booklet.

Still, an enjoyable listen, and some amazing vocal talent.


Ian Gude

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