First we had 2014 Britain’s Got Talent winners Collabro, then The Barricade Boys and now, three powerhouse leading ladies have teamed up to give us some girl power, with the musical theatre group Leading Ladies.
UK soul singing legend and star of shows like The Bodyguard, Memphis and Cats, Beverley Knight joins forces with Cassidy Janson (Wicked, Avenue Q, Beautiful) and Amber Riley (Glee, Dreamgirls) to form the group Leading Ladies who release their debut album ‘Songs From The Stage’ today!
I’ve was lucky enough to be given access to the album weeks in advance and it has been playing on repeat!
Opening with the Dreamgirls party classic ‘One Night Only’, it is clear from the very beginning of the album that this is not just something that has been thrown together quickly to stuff a few christmas stockings. ‘The Wind Beneath My Wings’ (Beaches), ‘Memory’ (Cats) and ‘Falling Slowly’ (Once) showcase the real beauty in these ladies voices, whilst ‘Somebody To Love’, ‘I’m Every Woman’ and ‘You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman’ show us exactly how far these ladies can take their insane vocals.
The vocal arrangements on the entire album and well thought out and crafted into perfect musical theatre pop songs that could well fall in to the mainstream market. ‘Seasons of Love’ from the Musical Rent has never been a favourite of mine but this Leading Ladies version has converted me and it is one of my favourite tracks on the album and whilst I’m (controversially) not a huge fan of the Hamilton cast recording, their version of ‘Helpless’ is stunning.
The Leading Ladies are a force to be reckoned with and have produced an incredible album. In 2015, Beverley Knight won the Wilma Award for ‘Best Vocal Performance’ for her role in the show Memphis and all three of these ladies show incredible vocal ability on this album.
Pop a copy in your stagey stocking this christmas!
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Read my interview with Beverley Knight and Cassidy Janson about the new album