You may recognize John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness (“Doctor Who” and “Torchwood”) and/or as Malcolm Merlyn (“Arrow”). But did you know before he started gracing our television screens, he was a musical theater actor and has recorded several albums as well?
This is a list of my top five albums he has recorded over the years. Since I am an aspiring critic, this will also be a review of them.
1) Aspects of Lloyd Webber
I admit, I am biased when it comes to this CD because I am a huge Andrew Lloyd Webber fan. This was John Barrowman’s second album he recorded. It was originally released in 1997 and was re-issued in 2007.
One of my favorite songs is the first song on the soundtrack, “Sunset Boulevard.” Barrowman sings this with a passion and in a way, he makes it his own. His version is one of two that I like.
Did you know that in 1992 John Barrowman played Raoul in “The Phantom of the Opera?” I believe that was one of the reasons he recorded “All I Ask of You” with Shona Lindsay. The duet between these two is beautiful and Lindsay has a great voice. If only we could hear this song with him and musical theater actress, Sierra Boggess.
Least Favorite Song-
Everyone has at least one track they do not like on an album, for me it is “Love Changes Everything.” What “Phantom of the Opera” is to sopranos, I imagine this is for tenors and it all comes down to the last note.
Barrowman seemed to have it, then he hit the last note and his voice could not hit it. Not every tenor is Michael Ball, who was the first to sing the song and let’s admit it, he is hard to follow.
2) Music, Music, Music
Recorded later in his career was “Music, Music, Music.” This album includes covers from other artists, including a song he was the first to record and was released in 2008.
One of my favorites from this album is “What About Us.” This is a song John Barrowman was the first to record, it was written by Gary Barlow and Chris Braide.
“Any Dream Will Do” contestant and musical theater actor, Daniel Boys, duets with Barrowman in “I Know Him So Well.” These two voices go together beautifully and while the song is usually sung by women, these two men knock it out of the park. I also love Barrowman’s solo version of it.
3) Another Side
There are so many songs I love on this album, it is hard to choose my top favorites. This CD has so many tracks that fit John Barrowman’s voice perfectly.
One of my favorite covers on this CD is “Time After Time.” It is hard to top Cyndi Lauper, but Barrowman managed to do so. His voice is absolutely beautiful in this song.
I am not 100 percent certain, but I believe he recorded “Heaven” because it reminded him of his husband, Scott. Either way, he put a lot of emotion into the song and it is one of his best covers.
4) Reflections From Broadway
This album was released when he was on his rise to fame in 2007. It is evident he has a love for musical theater on this soundtrack.
One of my favorites on this album is “If I Can’t Love Her,” from “Beauty and the Beast.” While listening to this I cannot help but notice his voice is lower, but not so low he sounds out of his element.
“Can You Feel the Love Tonight” is one of the best on the CD. He could put a baby to sleep with his voice, it is so beautiful and calming.
Least Favorite Song–
I know he played the role of Chris a few times in “Miss Saigon” in the 1990’s, but his version of “Why God Why” is not the best. His voice goes all over the place and it sounds like he is shouting. I also have a problem with the way he pronounced a few of the words such as, “God” and his A’s. However, if he sung it now he might do a better job.
5) You Raise Me Up
This is John Barrowman’s most recent album to date. With help from his fans using PledgeMusic, he was able to make his own CD with songs of different genres he wanted to sing.
Let’s face it, no one is ever going to be Josh Groban, but John Barrowman does “You Raise Me Up” justice. He starts to sing it a bit low, then slowly progresses into his natural tenor tone. He sings it with so much passion and it is evident he loved recording it.
John Barrowman admitted he liked the song “A Thousand Years” when he announced he would be recording it. His version is very beautiful and is better than Christina Perri’s.
“Skyscraper” is easily one of my absolute favorites on this album. Barrowman sings it with so much passion and I LOVE it. This song holds a special place in my heart, especially since my best friend and I both enjoy it and the message it gives.
Staying true to his Scottish heritage, Barowman decided to add “Loch Lomond” to the album. He sings it with so much more passion than any other song on the CD. He makes it known through his voice how much he loves his home country.
I Owe It All to You- Tonight’s the Night: The Very Best of
Memory- John Barrowman
You’ll Never Walk Alone- John Barrowman
Oh, What A Night- John Barrowman
Angel – Music, Music, Music
Right Here Waiting For You – Music, Music, Music
Felling Good – Another Side
All By Myself – Another Side
Being Alive – Another Side, Reflections From Broadway
Easy to Love – Reflections From Broadway
Try to Remember – Reflections From Broadway
Hollywood – You Raise Me Up
This Is the Moment – You Raise Me Up