Memphis The Musical opened in the West End to rave reviews last year. Starring singer Beverley Knight and rising star Killian Donnelly, the show garnered widespread critical acclaim when it opened back in October. Telling the story of Huey Calhoun (Donnelly), a white man with a passion for soul music, Memphis The Musical charts Huey’s relationship with black singer Felicia Farrell (Knight). After discovering her in a club, Huey sets out to make Felicia a star in a time when black music wasn’t played in the mainstream.
Recently the music for the show was released featuring all of the songs that make the show such a huge success. Written by Bon Jovi’s David Bryan and playwright Joe DiPietro, the soundtrack for Memphis The Musical is packed with soulful numbers and catchy hooks. The soundtrack opens with Underground performed by Delray (Rolan Bell) and Felicia. It perfectly sets the tone for the music of show drawing you in.
Standout moments come on Colored Woman with Beverley Knight turning in a very powerful and soulful vocal, the punchy Radio performed by Killian Donnelly, and The Music of My Soul performed by Donnelly and Knight. The highlight is Memphis Lives In Me performed by Donnelly. The actor is making a name for himself in the West End and it’s no surprise as he has bags of talent. His vocals are soulful and his range really impressive.
Elsewhere the tempo is turned up on the funky Scratch My Itch, Knight gets playful on the Motown-feel of Someday, and Make Me Stronger combines soul with gospel to great effect.
The music of Memphis The Musical is superb. If you’ve seen the show then you can relive it with the soundtrack, but even if you haven’t seen it yet the soundtrack is a great listen. Packed with great vocal performances and catchy songs, Memphis The Musical has all of the ingredients needed for longevity in the West End.