SOUND JUDGE­MENT

THE LAT­EST AL­BUM RE­LEASES RATED AND RE­VIEWED

Uxbridge Gazette - - Sound Out -

VAR­I­OUS ARTISTS – THE GREAT­EST SHOW­MAN REIMAG­INED

★★★★★

FROM sing-a-long cin­ema screen­ings, to school plays to this new take on the sound­track, it seems we can’t get enough of The Great­est Show­man.

The Reimag­ined al­bum is just that: pop­u­lar artists putting their own spins on the most pop­u­lar tracks. Open­ing with Panic! At The Disco and the rip-roar­ing The Great­est Show, Bren­don Urie’s vo­cals soar – fol­lowed by Pink with A Mil­lion Dreams (and the sweet­est guest spot by her daugh­ter Wil­low in the Reprise).

There isn’t a weak cover on this al­bum, and on five-piece a capella group Pen­ta­tonix’s ver­sion of the Great­est Show, it is easy to for­get there are no in­stru­ments in­volved.

BRYAN FERRY AND HIS ORCHES­TRA – BIT­TER-SWEET

★★★★★

IN­SPIRED by his work on the sound­track of the Sky At­lantic/Net­flix se­ries Baby­lon Berlin (set against the back­drop of Berlin’s 1920s jazz scene), Bryan Ferry em­barks on a com­pre­hen­sive rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of his back cat­a­logue through the lens of jazz.

And de­spite Ferry’s clearly ret­ro­spec­tive aim, Bit­ter-Sweet feels fresh – a tes­ti­mony to the sheer moder­nity of jazz.

His mu­sic bends it­self to the free-flow­ing feel of the genre and Bit­ter-Sweet sees Ferry in his el­e­ment. It’s a joy to hear.

RITA ORA – PHOENIX

★★★★★ PHOENIX is a fit­ting name for an al­bum that might never have hap­pened in the wake of very pub­lic spat with ex-boyfriend Calvin Har­ris and a long-run­ning feud with her for­mer la­bel, Jay-Z’s own Roc Na­tion.

Given that Ora has had six years to write and re­fine Phoenix, the 28-year-old’s highly an­tic­i­pated sec­ond LP is a ser­vice­able col­lec­tion of pop songs, but it lacks real kick.

First Time High mar­ries glossy pro­duc­tion with a feel-good dance­hall swing while Sum­mer Love, fea­tur­ing the world­con­quer­ing Rudi­men­tal, is a de­cent crack at a drum and bass an­them.

There are no bad songs and there’s cer­tainly en­joy­ment to be had – but was it worth the wait?

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