REVIEW: Real by Natasha Barnes

The actress and singer has released her debut album – has it been worth the wait? 

Natasha Barnes real

It has to be said there are plenty of things to say about this refreshing and sophisticated debut album from Natasha Barnes – the difficulty is knowing exactly where to begin.

Since making her big debut as Fanny Brice in the West End production of Funny Girl, the singer and actress has been going from strength to strength in theatre and now she looks set to replicate that with her music as well.

From the self-assured ‘You Don’t Mean it’ , all the way through to the gorgeously arranged ‘People’ (from ‘Funny Girl’) , Real is an album that confidently switches between a variety of styles that perfectly capture the full range of the singer’s vocals.

While ‘Sun, Moon and Stars’ is classy and sophisticated, with just a hit of wistfulness that is gorgeous to listen to. This is just one of many of the tracks on the album on which every note leaves an impression, lingering on in the memory long after the song has finished.

But Barnes is equally capable of changing the tempo, bringing out a more sassy side to her vocals as heard on the sharply observant ‘Supermodel’ which really celebrates not being perfect.  Other numbers such as ‘I’m Controlled by Your love’ and ‘The Only Exception’ are equally perceptive and thoughtful in tone, adding extra depth to the album as a whole.

Every song allows the singer to experiment with her voice without sounding forced. There is a lovely clarity to her vocals which is so distinct and lovely to listen to that every note is comforting to hear.

But Natasha never forgets her roots in theatre either. Her lovely rendition of ‘People’ will delight those who were privileged to see her performing as Fanny in the West End or on the UK tour. The  jazz infused arrangement allows every heartbreaking lyric really ring out, making it sound uniquely her own song. It is an appropriate way to finish the album, almost as a thank you to the show which helped kickstart this (hopefully) successful venture into the world of music.

Overall, this is an album that is so pure in quality and sound that you can happily sit for hours listening to it. Well worth a listen.

Real is available to buy and download now

Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

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