This review was originally written for The Public Reviews
Following its successful run at the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West End and to coincide with its current UK tour, First Night Records has released the highly anticipated world premiere cast recording of The Bodyguard – The Musical.
Based on the 1992 hit film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, The Bodyguard tells the story of international pop superstar Rachel Marron who falls in love with her bodyguard, hired to protect her from an unknown stalker. The musical stage version opened in London’s West End in 2012 to rave reviews from critics, winning Best New Musical in the 2013 WhatsonStage Awards.
The world premiere cast recording of The Bodyguard – The Musical features 20 tracks from the award-winning show with Alexandra Burke reprising her role as Rachel Marron. The X-Factor winner, who joined the cast in March 2014, is excellent in the lead role and is more than capable of pulling off the powerhouse vocal performance originally performed by Whitney Houston.
What makes The Bodyguard so special is its superb soundtrack. The show features some of the most energetic and catchy pop songs ever written including How Will I Know, Run To You, I’m Every Women, One Moment In Time and I Will Always Love You, all of which Burke performs flawlessly. Burke doesn’t try to imitate Houston but instead puts her own unique stamp on these great songs, resulting in an enjoyable performance that is incredibly easy to listen to.
Standout tracks include the Mayan Medley of Million Dollar Bill, Wanna Dance With Somebody and So Emotional, as well as All The Man I Need which starts off with a slow with a gentle piano instrumental before building into a powerhouse ballad supported by ensemble cast. The emotionally driven One Moment In Time is also worth a listen, with Burke’s deeply heartfelt performance sure to give you goosebumps.
While Burke takes the lead on the vast majority of the tracks, there are a few numbers sung by members of the supporting cast. Melissa James’ performance as Nicki Marron is particularly worth a mention, with the singer delivering an outstanding performance of Saving All My Love. Her rendition of All At Once is also superb and is arguably the best ballad on the album.
There are however some weaker tracks on the album. I Have Nothing which concludes Act 1 has been transposed to a lower key to suit Burke’s voice, and while her lower register is flawless, the new arrangement means the track consequently loses some of its wow factor.
Nevertheless, The Bodyguard – The Musical (World Premiere Cast Recording) is undoubtedly a fabulous show album and a must-buy for anyone who has seen the show.
The Bodyguard – The Musical (World Premiere Cast Recording) is available from First Night Records
Reviewer: Donna Kelly