Producer: Stagedoor Records
Reviewer: Iain Sykes
Meredith Braun has been a West End leading lady since the early 1990’s. In that time she has played such iconic rôles as Eponine in Les Miserables, Christine in The Phantom of the Opera and Betty Schaefer in Sunset Boulevard. Returning after a too long absence, it’s songs from other shows though, that feature on her debut solo album, Someone Else’s Story.
Showcasing her vocal talents on songs from composers like Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stiles and Drew, Someone Else’s Story provides a very intimate listen with her pure soprano voice laid over a base of simple piano and strings on every track. It’s not merely show tunes that feature on the album with a stunning operatic version of Faure’s Pavane, Close Your Eyes and tipping a nod to her Muppet connection (Meredith played a leading rôle in 1992’s The Muppet Christmas Carol) with The Muppet Movie’s Rainbow Connection.
Elsewhere, the intimacy of Meredith Braun’s voice and Paul Bateman’s simple arrangements never fail to draw the listener in. From the Sondheim medley of No One Is Alone and Not While I’m Around to Stephen Shwartz’s Meadowlark which sees her voice soaring into the chorus like the bird of the title it’s difficult to pick out the stand out moments in an album where she wrings out every stunning drop of emotion from every single word.
Someone Else’s Story is, to put it simply, a beautiful and varied collection of songs all wonderfully performed by a singer whose clear and haunting voice imbues every note with emotion and clarity. An album to curl up with on the sofa and let the songs wash over you and gently carry you away.