Due to be released on Friday (14th September), The Quentin Dentin Show is based on the recent stage show of the same name, with music and lyrics by Henry Carpenter. Having not seen the show in its recent runs at the Edinburgh Fringe and London, it’s hard to say exactly what happens through the songs from just a couple of listens, but a cheeky Google confirms that Quentin himself is some kind of life coach from a galaxy far far away, who has made his way to earth with the intention of helping us humans to live happier, richer lives, using a musical gameshow. Lyrics in the later tracks, however, indicate that Quentin’s plan may not be as perky and innocent as it seems.
It sounds like an entertaining idea, with a lot of potential. Very clearly aiming for “cult” territory in the vein of Little Shop Of Horrors and recent smash hit Eugenius, “The Quentin Dentin Show” sounds a bit like an extra-terrestrial lovechild of The B-52s and The Human League, with very definite Rocky Horror influences heard throughout (which is no bad thing), with Quentin himself sounding uncannily like Stewie from Family Guy.
There are elements of pop and rock, with even the odd country sound thrown in (seriously, I can see people line-dancing to “Blame Game”).
Many of the songs are very short, under 2 minutes, and the catchiest songs are generally those that bring in voices from the rest of the cast. The majority of the songs are sung by Quentin himself and it does start to feel like you’re listening to a solo performer’s album rather than a larger collective, as we don’t really hear another singer’s voice until around the fifth track. It would benefit from having a couple more songs performed by women, rather than female vocals being merely backing vocals for Quentin; the current two (“Holiday” and “The Quentin Dentin TV Show”) are very strong and give the ear a bit of a refreshing change.
As a cast recording it’s more of a grower than an instant click, and I definitely got more out of a second listen. There are a few filler songs (which is true of nearly every musical I can think of, to be fair) but as is often the case, maybe these translate better on stage. The show as a whole needs a few more standout memorable songs to make it truly stand out from the crowd, but there is enough to make you want a repeat listen (especially ending on “All Together Now”, one of the catchier songs), and probably take a gamble on seeing a production of the show. I can see it having a run at somewhere like The Other Palace in London and appealing to those who just want something silly and fun over a drink on a Friday night.
Reviewed by Rob Bartley