Saturday, 8 August 2015

ALBUM REVIEW: Confessions of a Justified Sinner, the debut album from Will Barratt

Will Barratt is launching his debut album of self-penned songs, ‘Confessions of a Justified Sinner’. Featuring 14 original songs written by Will over the past 15 years, the album includes a song co-written and performed with Nadim Naaman, plus a solo and a duet from Rebecca Trehearn.

“If you like songs with a flavour of musical theatre, you’ll like this… but this is more than musicals. Great original tunes and great performances. I really enjoyed it!” – John Owen-Jones

I have to agree with John Owen-Jones. I would describe this album as an easy listening variety album with a real tone of musical theatre to it. Will Barratt’s voice is made for the stage, and so records beautifully; Crystal clear vocals with a soaring high range and a beautifully pure mid/low range. There’s nothing electrifyingly unique about his tone, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing as it just makes him easier to listen to.

I must take my hat off to Barratt’s song-writing. As the album progresses, it gets better and better.  The compositions are so well done, and it’s a joy to hear an artist singing his own music for a change.

I won’t comment on every single song, as there is nothing disagreeable about any of them; however, I do have a few stand-out favourites. First and foremost is ‘I Miss You’ which filled my eyes with tears. You can hear a true story in these lyrics and Barratt’s singing is emotive, pure and gentle. It’s a stunning track accompanied simplistically by a grand piano. This is a five star ballad and if you only listen to one song on the album, it should be this one.

“Surrender” is sung by Rebecca Trehearn. It’s filled with exceptionally beautiful vocals with a Louise Dearman-esque quality to them to send shivers across your entire body. Her power and control are remarkable, and she shows us all why she’s a leading lady of the West End.

The surprise track on the album, for me, was “Demon”. This song takes you on a journey you wouldn’t expect. Starting off with an organ and haunting choral vocals, this song is one of my favourite compositions on the album. It grows and develops with each phrase and is unpredictably wonderful. It’s not my favourite song on the album, but it does features some of Barratt’s best vocals so it’s definitely worth a listen. 

Honourable mention goes to ‘Tatiana’. From the moment it started, it had a real Moulin Rouge-esque vibe to it (a description I proudly thought of myself, only to then see that the same phrase was used in the Press Release!), much like Le Tango De Roxanne. It is sexual, vibrant and intense. I loved this track and was thrilled to hear the music video will feature Latin & Ballroom dancers from Karen Hardy’s studios. That will be a real treat for the ears and the eyes.

Will Barratt has proven himself as a real artist, and not just a performer on ‘Confessions of a Justified Sinner’. His compositions are all beautiful, and this album has a few real gems on it. For a debut album, it’s an admirable effort and rather enjoyable!

Review by Harriet Langdown 


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