A familiar face to theatre land around London; Tim Prottey-Jones currently starring in Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre, has worked with a section of lyricists and composers to create an original album of songs performed by some of your West End favourites.
The album consists of fifteen songs, all of which have a particularly acoustic feel to them. Although the acoustic vibe implies the idea of simplicity, the music gives an authentic and raw quality that feels warm to listen to.
The singers include West End stars from top shows such as Once The Musical, Wicked, Memphis, Miss Saigon, and Kinky Boots. While all the cast give strong performances as solos, I believe in particular that the duets really shine on the album. The song ‘Leaving For You’ features Tim himself and Once The Musical’s Arthur Darvill. The men’s voices complement each other terrifically, they convey honesty through the lyrics and their powerful voices. Another duet on the album includes Miss Saigon’s Alistair Brammer and Wicked’s Emma Hatton who sing ‘Keep Your Distance’. Despite the song being about needing to separate yourself from someone you love, Emma and Alistair manage to convey the difficulty of doing so with so much passion in their voices. Duets I believe on albums are particularly difficult because without watching these songs being performed live, it can be hard to feel the chemistry and dynamics of the duo- however this is something that both of these pairings did very well.
A song that stands out on the album is a heartfelt performance by Ambra Caserotti of the song ‘Regret Me’ which has slightly more variation of instrumental style with accompanied use of a piano and cello. The lyrics are heartbreaking and Ambra really does sing them beautifully.
Tim’s band Paper Hearts, made up of four voices, feature with a sweet song called ‘Robert Louis Stevenson’. Like the songs from the other performers on the album, its gentle effect is smooth and easy to listen to.
Also among the stars on the album is Andrew Bateup, a professional vocalist who won Tim’s competition to find a newcomer to sing on the album. Andrew’s vocals are impressive and demonstrate clarity throughout the song ‘Blame it On Me’.
To Do. To Be is an album you can see yourself putting on in the evening when you go to chill out after a long day at work. Or perhaps something to sing along to while you’re cooking. Although there is consistence in the instrumental style throughout the album, each song is just as meaningful on its own. It’s fantastic to have an album of well-known musical theatre singers performing on a unique album that’s full of original enjoyable songs. Considering Tim has been concentrating on his stage career, we can see why he wanted to include a talented group of artists he’s met on work he has created himself, and I am pleased to say that it has worked very well.
Reviewed by Ellie Devonshire
To Do. To Be. is available to buy/dowbload from Amazon, iTunes and Dress Circle now