Michael Ball

The Musicals

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There's one thing Michael Ball fans can't stop raving about: his voice. And after some questionable song selections on previous albums that didn't do "the voice" justice, Musicals covers the classics -- tunes from Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Sunset Boulevard, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, and Cats all make an appearance. As if to further highlight his vocal talents, Ball tackles some songs normally sung by female characters, such as "I Dreamed a Dream" and "With One Look." Purists may object, but Ball's smooth and subtle vocals work just as well here. The mellow "Losing My Mind" is one of the better songs, while the cheesy sax in "Last Night of the World" makes it only tolerable. However, songs such as "Anthem" and "You Will Never Walk Alone" ably highlight Ball's strength: his soaring, mellifluous vocals. Some of the arrangements are questionable and over-orchestrated, but as fans of Michael Ball will tell you, that's not the point. This is one for fans of musicals (funnily enough) who enjoy one man's vocal chords and their odyssey.

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