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Over the top opera

Category: Phantom of the Opera Reviews
Article Date: January 16, 2005 | Publication: South China Morning Post | Author: Lau Kit Wai

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You may Find the sentimental music and lyrics of Andrew Lloyd Webber over the top, but the success of The Phantom Of The Opera's motion picture soundtrack shows this broadway musical master is still a shrewd crowd-pleaser.

Excess is perhaps the appropriate word to describe both the music in this double-CD album and the film by Joel Schumacher. But we have to admire the genius of Webber, who can work sensual wonders with pompous melodies and pretentious lyrics, the romantic excesses of which almost border on camp.

The catchy tunes and simple lyrics of songs such as the sugar-coated Think of Me, All I Ask Of You and Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again make them crowd favourites.

But the better tracks are the darker melodies such as The Music Of The Night that share the gothic spirit of French mystery writer Gaston Leroux's 1910 suspense novel.

The title track The Phantom Of The Opera is a song that both delights and annoys - delights with its splendour, but annoys with its crude blend of modern and classical music.

The Phantom Of The Opera makes for relaxed listening, and the singing is impressive. Emmy Rossum, who stars as Christine Daae in the film, has a particularly sweet voice. Gerard Butler instils sadness into his disfigured Phantom.


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