It’s always refreshing to have a CD arrive on your desk that is by a musical theatre artist but not full of the same old power ballads and songs from musicals that we have heard over and over again. It is even more refreshing when the album is completely self-written by the artist involved – and that is what we have here.
Will Barratt will be well-known to musical theatre fans as he has appeared in countless West End productions from The Producers through to Les Misérables and Sweeney Todd. However, I think this album is going to widen that appeal greatly. The songs, being self-written, suit his voice down to the ground and what a voice he has!
The songs themselves are a clever mixture of the musical theatre genre mixed with hard-hitting ballads and toe-tapping tracks. The first listen is a real surprise, as you are taken by surprise at all the light and shade involved in the track listing. There are many highlights on the album including the opening track ‘Give Me Some Time’, which really gets your attention, ‘Take My Hand’ and ‘Winter Lullaby’, both in the musical theatre vein and both beautiful in their own right.
However, he doesn’t keep all the best for himself. He has two guests singing on the album, co-writer Nadim Naaman and the wonderful Rebecca Trehearn. The former being a duet called ‘That’s How It Goes’, and the latter having a hauntingly beautiful song all to herself called ‘Surrender’. She also appears on a duet with Barratt called ‘Tatiana’ which, with its tango inspired rhythm, is one of my favourites on the album.
This is one of those albums that bears repeated hearing and I have to confess to having it on repeat shuffle play whenever I am in the car – a great album and one that will certainly be in many, many collections before long.
Auburn Jam Records releases Will Barratt’s album Confessions of a Justified Sinner on 10 August 2015. The release will be celebrated with an album launch gig at The Hippodrome Casino the night before, with guest performances from Nadim Naaman (Sweeney Todd, The Phantom of the Opera), Rebecca Trehearn (City of Angels, Ghost), Ryan Molloy (Jersey Boys, Tonight’s the Night) and Michael Conway (Jersey Boys, Fiddler On the Roof), and accompanied by a live band led by the album’s producer Joe Davison.
Featuring 14 original songs written by Barratt over the past 15 years, the album includes a song co-written and performed with Nadim Naaman, plus a solo and a duet from Rebecca Trehearn. The album will be available for download via all major online retailers from 10 August. Limited edition signed physical copies, complete with lyric booklet and album photography, can be pre-ordered via Kickstarter pledges (you only have 30 hours to go!!), along with tickets to the album launch, exclusive gigs and experiences including a vocal masterclass with Barratt. There is also the chance to attending the filming of the music and dance video for the Moulin Rouge-esque tango track, ‘Tatiana’, featuring Latin and Ballroom dancers from Karen Hardy’s studios.
“If you like songs with a flavour of musical theatre, you’ll like this… but this is more than musicals. Great original tunes and great performances. I really enjoyed it!” – John Owen-Jones.
“Beautiful voice, original songs, a glorious band – what’s not to like?!” – Imelda Staunton.
Barratt says of the recording: “This album has taken quite some time to come into being. I began writing at college about 15 years ago, and there are a couple of tracks from all the way back then. Since then, I have written more and I’ve been wanting to record them properly for years. I’ve had an amazing time performing in shows in London and the UK, and more recently all over the world gigging with The 4Tunes, but I felt now was the perfect time to create something myself, and have faith in my own writing.”
Will Barratt’s first job out of the college was playing The Lead Tenor in The Producers at London’s Drury Lane theatre. Since then he has performed in many shows including Les Misérables, Jesus Christ Superstar, Carousel, Chu Chin Chow, the prestigious production of Sweeney Todd with Imelda Staunton and Michael Ball, as Raoul in The Phantom of The Opera and Bob Crewe in Jersey Boys. After leaving Jersey Boys in 2014 Barratt embarked upon a new adventure with a four-part, male harmony group he co-created called The 4Tunes. Singing their own arrangements of songs from classics to modern hits, they have become a successful touring group, travelling the world and delivering sell-outs performances on cruise ships, at many prestigious events, and in London’s West End where they perform regularly at the Hippodrome Casino.