NEW ALBUM: BRYAN ADAMS | PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL
It must be tough to come up with an original score for a new musical based on a hugely popular Hollywood film while still retaining mainly elements that made people fall in love with the story in the first place. But here, Bryan Adams and long-time collaborator Jim Vallance have enough confidence in their music and songs to ensure that the film's spirit is retained with a bit more of a contemporary twist. On the 16 track new album "Pretty Woman: The Musical," there are certainly plenty of highlights in songs, with dreamy but powerful numbers such as "Anywhere But Here" and "This Is My Life" making a real impact – thanks to Samantha Barks and her naturally powerful vocals and performance hitting all the right spots. On the other side of this, some songs don’t help push the story forward – in particular, "Rodeo Drive" feels like a random addition and "Luckiest Girl in the World" doesn’t feel as though it works in the context of the story. As already mentioned, Samantha Barks is a delight to listen to, offering plenty of warmth to the character but also strength and resilience that is wonderfully made clear during "This Is My Life." Elsewhere, Andy Karl makes for a suitably charismatic Edward, with his renditions of "You’re Beautiful" and "You and I" are proving to be real strong highlights of the show. This is, of course, full credit to Bryan Adams, who knows how to deliver a romantic song, as we all know through thanks to his hit "Everything I Do) I Do It for You," released in 1991.