REVIEW: JOHN OWEN-JONES – SPOTLIGHT ★★★★
Renound musical theatre performer John Owen-Jones has made a name for himself by repeatedly playing lead roles in both Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera. In 1998, he became the youngest person ever to play the role of Jean Valjean full-time when he took over in the London production at the age of 26, having previously understudied the role. In 2001, he was chosen to succeed Scott Davies in the title role in The Phantom of the Opera. He left the role on 26 February 2005, after three and a half years and nearly 1,400 performances, making him the longest running London Phantom.
Over the years he has returned to these roles many times, in many different productions (including Broadway). John Owen-Jones is set to reprise his role of John Valjean in Les Miserables once more in 2019, at a special sixteen week only, London concert version of the show at the Gielgud Theatre, whilst the current home to the show, the Queens Theatre, is renovated.
Spotlight is John Owen Jones‘s sixth album since his first EP Hallelujah was released in 2006 and features songs from Beauty and the Beast, South Pacific, Les Mis, Love Never Dies, The Sound of Music, The Rocky Horror Show and many more.
As soon as the first song began, I found myself thinking, John Owen Jones should record something from The Greatest Showman – he has the perfect voice for it. Thirty seconds later, I realised that the first track on the album is actually From Now On, from The Greatest Showman!
The album is typical of what you can expect from John Owen-Jones, big beautiful belty numbers that really show what an incredible voice he has. There are nods to his most famous roles but not the songs you might expect. Spotlight gives his takes on I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables and Love Never Dies from the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies – both songs sung by women in the shows.
Other highlights on the album include You Raise Me Up, Climb Every Mountain (from The Sound of Music) and Goodbye from Catch Me If You Can. There is also a lovely duet of The Prayer with fellow Welsh performer Lucie Jones.
Spotlight is a lovely listen and will tick all the boxes whether you are a new fan or one who has been there since the beginning.
1. From Now On from The Greatest Showman
2. Evermore from Beauty and The Beast
3. You Raise Me Up
4. Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific
5. I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables
6. Love Never Dies from Love Never Dies
7. What Kind Of Fool Am I? from Stop the World – I Want to Get Off!
8. The Prayer (featuring Lucie Jones)
9. Climb Every Mountain from The Sound Of Music
10. Through the Barricades
11. Goodbye from Catch Me If You Can
12. I’m Going Home from The Rocky Horror Show
13 While Floating High Above from Ken Hill’s The Phantom of the Opera (bonus track)
FOLLOW WEST END WILMA