As my wife would tell you, I’m a sucker for a great girl’s voice. I love Joni, Judy, Bonnie, k d, Laura, Barbra and Missy. “I recognise the first six”, I hear you say but who’s Missy? Missy is Missy Higgins a fairly obscure but wonderful Australian singer/songwriter who I’ve been listening to for years (give her a listen). So when Siobhan Dillon’s new album ‘One Voice’ opened with a Missy Higgins track ‘Everyone’s Waiting’ I was hooked. What followed was a wonderful selection of songs superbly sung by Dillon who first came to the public’s attention when she appeared on “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria”, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s search for an actress to play “Maria” in a new production of “The Sound Of Music”. Dillon didn’t win but she went on to star in the West End in “Grease”, “Legally Blond”, “Ghost” and Lloyd Webber’s “Sunset Boulevard” – after which the composer was quoted as saying that Dillon was “A glorious soprano and probably the best Betty we’ve ever had”.
Dillon certainly is a glorious soprano and her voice is wonderfully showcased on her debut solo album ‘One Voice’ where she has chosen 11 songs which are very personal and close to her heart. Amongst the eleven tracks, there are other wonderful cover versions of pop hits such as Roxette’s ‘It Must Have Been Love’, Tears For Fears ‘Mad World’ and Beverly Craven’s ‘Promise Me’ all gloriously re-imagined and given complete makeovers. There are also somewhat lesser-known songs originally recorded by Bonnie Raitt ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ and Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Already Gone’ both of which are sublime. There’s even a cover of Ewan McColl’s ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ which I approached with some trepidation as along with ‘Smile’, ‘It’s A Wonderful World’ and ‘Halleluiah’ has been covered to death. But I needn’t have worried as hearing Dillon sing it as I’ve never heard it sung before has made me re-assess my somewhat illogical prejudice against this fabulous song!
Surprisingly for a singer who has made a career in musical theatre, there are only two songs from musicals, the moving ‘She Used To Be Mine’ (from “Waitress”) and ‘Without You’ (from “Rent”) and Dillon’s interpretation of these songs makes you want to see her perform in a production of both shows.
Apart from Dillon’s fantastic vocals, the other things that stand out are producer Steve Anderson’s spot-on production as well as some of the finest string arrangements I’ve heard for a long time (also from Anderson). The strings on tracks such as ‘Mad World’ and ‘Without You’ had me diving for the thesaurus for adjectives such as sumptuous, magnificent and opulent. Anderson has also showcased Dillon’s voice to perfection allowing it to breath – there’s no auto-tune and heavy reverb here thank goodness. The only tiny mis-step (in my opinion) is the odd vocal effect on the a cappella opening of ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ which seemed unnecessary especially when the rest of her singing on the song is as clear as a bell.
In these strange times, ‘One Voice’ is uplifting and life-affirming, and it shows the power of the human voice and what it can do to lift the spirit. As I said at the beginning of this review, I love the voices of Joni, Judi, Bonnie, k d, Laura, Barbra and Missy – and now you can add to the voice of Siobhan to that illustrious list.
Review by Alan Fitter
Siobhan Dillon, last seen in the West End and on Broadway alongside Glenn Close in “Sunset Boulevard”, has released her stunning new album, “Siobhan Dillon – One Voice”, in support of the Breast Cancer Haven charity.
Four years in the making, Siobhan has teamed up with globally renowned producer Steve Anderson (producer/musical director for Kylie Minogue for over 20 years, along with Steps, Westlife, Leona Lewis Luke Evans and Susan Boyle), for a stunning collection of songs that each hold a special connection to her.
The 11 eclectic tracks include “She Used to be Mine” by Sara Bareilles from her musical “Waitress”, Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love”, “Mad World”, originally performed by Tears For Fears, Roberta Flack’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and “Without You” from the
Breast Cancer Haven
Also available on Apple Music and Spotify