This new album from the singer and actress is filled with plenty of treats and is a delight to listen to.
Currently starring as Elsa in the London production of Frozen the Musical, it seems appropriate that the album title and opening track from Samantha Barks’s new album is from the second Frozen film and it really sets the tone nicely for the range of songs included on the record.
As a whole, the album is filled with songs that many musical theatre fans will recognise – but with still enough scope for Barks to put her own mark on them. With songs such as ‘Heart of Stone’ from the hit musical SIX, the listener is instantly hit with the power and depth of her vocals – picking out each detail of the lyric with great understanding.
All of the arrangements are gorgeous and really compliment the strength not only of the vocals on display but also just to show how the lyrics can be given a different meaning. This can be particularly heard on a surprisingly pleasing rendition of ‘How Far I’ll Go’ which just seems to soar effortlessly and you can really hear the joy behind the performance.
But while there is plenty of tenderness and thoughtfulness in songs that have been selected, as heard on ‘Reflection’ and ‘Never Enough’, there is also flashes of fierceness and power as heard on a particularly dynamic performance of ‘I’d Rather Be Me’ that is a real stand out track of the album as a whole.
Elsewhere, there is a lovely duet with her Frozen co-star Stephanie Mckeon on ‘Let Me Be Your Star’ is a really sweet song and really reinforces that bond that clearly exists between them on stage (if you have seen the London production of Frozen you will know what I mean). The other duet on the album ‘Only Us’ featuring Ramin Karimloo is sensitive and delicate and a real joy to listen to.
Into The Unknown is a flawless album, never putting a foot wrong with a range of songs that have been perfectly arranged to suit Samantha Barks’s talents perfectly. An album to have on repeat.
By Emma Clarendon
Into the Unknown has been released through West Way Music and is available to buy now.