I can't say I'm a huge fan of the film "Ghost," starring Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze, Ocsar-winner Whoopi Goldberg, and that infamous lump of swirling clay. I liked it okay, but a stage version, however inevitable, just doesn't seem, you know, necessary. So I had some definite trepidation when I gave this recording of the new London musical a listen.
All in all, I was pleased. It sounds exactly how you would expect a musical of "Ghost" to sound--that is to say, an ear-pleasing pop-rock style-- in this case with music and lyrics by Dave Stewart (of the Eurythmics), Glen Ballard, and book and lyrics by Bruce Joel Rubin (who won an Oscar for the film's screenplay). With one exception ("Ball of Wax," a cringe-inducing tap-dance song that is wholly out of place) this is an enjoyable score, with a few songs that reach pretty impressive heights.
The recording benefits greatly from terrific leads, including Caissie Levy in the Moore role as Molly, and Richard Fleeshman as the eponymous Ghost (Molly's murdered boyfriend). Their powerful voices make the recording soar a good chunk of the time, especially in the score's best and most emotional numbers, "Rain/Hold On," and Levy's two pensive ballads, "With You" and " Nothing Stops Another Day." In the Goldberg role of a charlatan psychic with surprising abilities, Sharon D. Clarke (so good on the "We Will Rock You" cast recording) uses her impressive vocal chops to fine effect in "Are You a Believer?" and "I'm Outta Here," which give her sassy character some fun (if predictable) gospel/disco flash.
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