Ramin Karimloo: Human Heart
For someone who is unquestionably one of the musical theatre’s modern greats, Ramin is nevertheless anything but your typical musical theatre star. “I can hold a tune, but I’m no vocal technician, that’s for sure,” he confesses quite happily. And he is certainly not a purist musical theatre fan. “I’ve seen far more plays than I have musicals, and I still haven’t seen The Wizard of Oz. My main heroes are people like Robert De Niro and Daniel Day Lewis, and I used to idolize The Tragically Hip [the alternative Canadian rock act]. But I do love the craft of it, and I have a real passion for what I do. So maybe that is what has helped me make such a connection with audiences.” On Ramin’s debut album you can hear lots of things: his passion, his rawness, and his ability not only to write a song, but also to interpret a familiar one in an entirely new way. His voice is of course amazing, a thing of natural wonder, but while it can often blow the roof off, it can also, crucially, do understatement. Listen to his version of “Music of the Night,” and you struggle to recall the Phantom of the Opera original, so seamlessly does he make it his own. The same can be said for his treatment of Bryan Adams’s “Everything I Do (I Do It for You).” “At first I was a little wary of covering that song,” he admits with a smile, “but then I realized that no one else has ever covered it before. I thought perhaps I could make it my own.” He does, with an altogether darker version of the Robin Hood theme song that spent four months at number one back in 1991. A rock fan, too, he also completely reinvents Muse’s “Guiding Light” and co-writes four tracks here as well as working on material from songwriting heavyweights like Ryan Tedder. “I always wanted to record my own album,” he says. “I’m so glad I now have.” His legions of fans – and there are many – will undoubtedly think likewise.
Drums and Percussion: Pete Huntingdon, Tom Nichols Acoustic Guitar: Mathias Wollo, Tom Nichols Electric Guitar: Steve Young, Mathias Wollo Classical Guitar on “Music of the Night”: Pablo Sáinz Villegas Bass: Mathias Wollo, Owen Stephen Piano: Mattias Bylund, Tim Baxter (2–4,7–8, 11–12) Keyboards: Chris Hall, Mathias Wollo, Tom Nichols Hammond Organ: Mathias Wollo Background Vocals: Ramin Karimloo, Tom Nichols Orchestra: The Oxford Williamson Orchestra Arranger and Conductor: John Metcalfe