Perfect for the musical theatre fan, Amanda Holden’s album is filled with heartfelt songs and delicate arrangements.
Having listened to this delicate and understated album, it is hard to believe that Amanda Holden hasn’t released a record before now.
Formed of mainly musical theatre songs, Songs From My Heart is filled with a number of heartfelt and tender songs that suit her vocals perfectly. It is a somewhat comforting and cosy album that is a reminder that she is a talented performer in her own right.
Opening with a warm and thoughtful rendition of ‘Not While I’m Around’ from Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, the way in which she emphasises certain lyrics ensure that a new meaning comes out of the song.
But it also the arrangements of songs such as ‘When She Loved Me’ and ‘Hushabye Mountain’ that send out a different message and allowing the listener to experience the songs in a different way. Every performance is mature and well thought out – with her duet with Sheridan Smith on ‘I Know Him So Well’ being proof of this.
However, it does feel at some moments she has played it slightly safe with her song selection, with the addition of ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ and ‘Over The Rainbow’ – which as lovely as they are performed by the singer and musicians – there was an opportunity to bring to light other lesser performed musical theatre numbers. You get a slight sense of tentativeness about the album as a whole when really there was no reason for her to be worried, particularly when listening to her ambitious and emotional rendition of ‘Don’t Cry for me Argentina’.
This being said, it is a record that is soothing to listen to throughout. Holden’s vocal control is brilliant as heard on ‘With You’ from Ghost the Musical and ‘A Thousand Years’.
It is a classy album, but perhaps if she is to release a second album it would be great to hear her doing more uptempo numbers – she has the voice she just needs the confidence to show exactly how strong it is. As it is, Songs From My Heart feels like a lovely warm tribute to theatre, performed with great feeling and heart.
By Emma Clarendon
Songs From My Heart is available to buy and download now.