CD Reviews - 2007-08

by John Kenrick

(Copyright 2007-08)

Enchanted - Soundtrack

Wanted to love this one, but my hearing is still intact, so no chance. A terrible score by the usually inspired Schwartz & Menken is further burdened with performances of no value . It is sad to find Disney engaging in such a clumsy, witless act of self-mockery.

The Little Mermaid - Original Broadway Cast (Disney)

This is one of those all too rare times when the cast recording is far more fun than the show. While the Broadway production looks unspeakable tacky, the cast recording is quite an aural treat. For a change, Disney has added decent songs to an existing film score (nice work by lyricist Glenn Slater, who abets the great original work of Howard Ashman), and the cast sings every track with style and brio. Serra Boggess soars as Ariel, Sheri Rene Scott manages to give the evil Ursula a touch of humanity (and a grand Broadway belt to boot), and Broadway stalwarts Norm Lewis, Eddie Korbich, John Tracy Egan and Jonathan Freeman lend strong support in key roles. Whatever you thought of the so-so stage show, this recording is a real winner.

West Side Story (Decca Broadway)

Romeo and Juliet preserve us, it doesn't get much worse than this. A completely miscast gaggle of justifiably unknown European opera singers has no clue how to perform this material.  This recording is a gross insult to a great Broadway classic. Even if you want coasters, you could invest in something far better than this ghastly, embarrassing recording.

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