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Luke Evans – ‘A Song For You’ review

Welsh actor Luke Evans released his debut album ‘At Last’ back in 2019 and it was a carefully crafted collection of covers. The album peaked at number 11 in the UK and it put Evans’ singing ability into the spotlight, which fans were already aware of thanks to his time on stage and his role in the big screen live action version of ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Three years on and Evans is back with his second album ‘A Song For You’, which features some very special guests in the shape of Nicole Kidman and Charlotte Church, along with the Treorchy Male Voice Choir.

Taking a similar approach to ‘At Last’, ‘A Song For You’ features Evans’ versions of 12 popular songs but this time he’s included two originals, written with Amy Wadge, in the mix. Opening with the title track, a cover of the Leon Russell classic (which was perhaps most famously covered by Donny Hathaway), Evans allows his voice to grab your attention singing without any accompaniment for the first 20 seconds. There’s no denying he has a strong voice with a well-trained vibrato, and that’s front-and-centre across the record.

Ahead of the album’s release, the attention has been firmly placed on two songs – ‘Come What May’ featuring Charlotte Church and ‘Say Something’ featuring Nicole Kidman. ‘Come What May’, which was part of the soundtrack for ‘Moulin Rouge!’, doesn’t quite pack the emotional subtlety that Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor’s version did but it’s a perfectly solid version. Much better is the cover of A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera’s smash-hit ‘Say Something’. Evans and Kidman’s voices work better together, and they nail the emotional undercurrent of the song. It’s also nice to hear Kidman singing again!

Elsewhere on the record Evans impresses with the Welsh hymn ‘Calon Lân’, which leans into his stage training, while a cover of R.E.M’s ‘Everybody Hurts’ is given a string makeover allowing Evans’ vibrato to shine. There are two festive covers – Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’ and the standard ‘Silent Night’ – at the end of the record, presumably to make it more appealing in the run up to Christmas.

The highlights here are the two originals. ‘Horizons Blue’, the first song released from the record, is an acoustic-led number that shows a completely different side to Evans’ abilities as a vocalist. He sings in a more hushed tone and the folkier sound of the song really suits him. ‘Busy Breaking Yours’, switches acoustic guitars for piano, but again it’s a proper showcase for what Evans can do as an artist rather than just a vocalist.

The criticism I would level at ‘A Song For You’ is that the covers here are quite obvious choices. On ‘At Last’, I felt that Evans had taken more risks picking songs that maybe weren’t as well-known. A lot of the songs here have been covered to death so it’s heard for Evans to put his own stamp on them. Still, his fans will enjoy the versions Evans has recorded and he certainly sings them well.

‘A Song For You’ isn’t as strong as ‘At Last’, despite the big name guest stars, and the two original tracks make me hope that Evans will be bolder and follow that direction on his next record. He’s a fine singer but I want to hear more from him than just competent covers of already too familiar songs. Evans is a gifted singer, and on the evidence of the originals here as promising songwriter, and he should throw caution to the wind and do a full album of originals.

Luke Evans - A Song For You
Credit: BMG

Track list: 1. A Song For You 2. You Raise Me Up 3. Horizons Blue 4. Bridge Over Troubled Water 5. Say Something (feat. Nicole Kidman) 6. My Way 7. Over the Rainbow 8. Calon Lân 9. I Can’t Make You Love Me 10. Come What May (feat. Charlotte Church) 11. Busy Breaking Yours 12. Everybody Hurts 13. Last Christmas 14. Silent Night Record label: BMG Release date: 4th November 2022 Buy ‘A Song For You’ now

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Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip is the Editor of Entertainment Focus and the Managing Director of agency Piñata Media.

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