Friday, 24 July 2015

ALBUM REVIEW: The Original Broadway cast recording of Finding Neverland

Inspired by the 2004 film of the same name, Finding Neverland, follows the Scottish author J.M Barrie as he creates his most famous work, Peter Pan. 
The music, written by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, evokes a sense of awe and wonderment throughout the album. Although some rock inspired tracks do feel a little out of keeping with the period in which the musical is set, they also help to create an exciting vibe and adds an unexpected element of edginess to a story which on paper seems a little bit dry. 
As Barrie, actor Matthew Morrison (best know for his role as Will Schuester in the popular TV show Glee) has a suitably smooth and yet powerful singing voice, and although his Scottish accent is rather unusual and a little off putting at times, for the most part he is a convincing leading man. His solo 'If The World Turned Upside Down' is particularly enjoyable, if a little short. Morrison is supported on the album by a number of brilliant performers, including the charming Kelsey Grammer whose voice is fabulously enthralling and listenable. However, the most outstanding performance on the Finding Neverland cast album comes from Laura Michelle Kelly as Sylvia Llewellyn Davies. Her solo hugely emotive ballad 'All That Matters' is heartstoppingly exciting to listen to and most definitely a highlight of the album.
Unfortunately though, the dazzling  magnificence which the songs from the first act convey is missing from the songs from the second act, which all seem rather samey. Despite the impressively powerful vocals present throughout the Finding
Neverland Cast Album, in it's second half,  it lacks variety and as a result some of the larger moments portrayed through the songs feel less impressive because the musical is already so consistently dramatic. 
All in all though , despite it's flaws, the quality of the performances and the awe evoking vibe which the music possesses make the Finding Neverland cast album enjoyable and even breathtaking from time to time. There's no news yet about whether this Broadway hit will be transferring to the West End, but fortunately for those with an interest in the show, the cast album manages to capture it's magic perfectly. 

Reviewed by Charlotte O'Growney 


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