Reviewer: Mark McCulloch
Fallen Angel, Jon Lee’s debut solo album fantastically crafted triumph of song selection, bringing together some of his personal favourites, songs from musicals to make a simply stunning record.
Lee, of previous S Club 7 fame, is no stranger to the stage or recording having previously achieved number one hits across the world, four being in the UK and racking up 13 million album sales worldwide. From this Lee has gone on to a multitude of successes; playing the rôle of Marius in Les Miserables twice, one of which earned him a Best Newcomer from the ‘What’s on Stage’ awards. Lee can currently be seen in the hit musical Jersey Boys as Frankie Valli.
The musical arrangements during the songs, while simple, are very effective at drawing you in to Lee’s clearly more mature, silky, easy going voice. It is very difficult to find any fault with this recording other than the minor issue of some higher notes becoming reminiscent of The Bee Gees and breaking the atmosphere, which is most evident in the title track. This could have been easily softened slightly while still being true to the artist’s voice.
Lee opens with ‘My Father’s Son’ which clearly sets the mood for the album; this is no cookie cutter pop record. It provides the right balance of motifs you can expect to hear in the rest of the album, a new interpretation of songs that also won’t step the rather dubious line of putting too much of their own mark on them.
Stepping more into well-known classics, Lee really shows how much he has developed as an artist, especially with ‘When You Say You Love Me’ which is irresistible, his crystal clear voice brings a new twist and enjoyment to an over covered piece. Coming to more modern songs, his voice continues to shine; ‘Rise’ is a track not to be missed and could easily be played on repeat without becoming tired. Lee takes on the challenge of U2’s ‘With or Without You’ with a soft approach but remained relatively lacklustre when it came to the passion you expect from the song, something he is clearly capable of achieving.
Fallen Angel provides a rare experience, a relaxing CD you can put on and enjoy almost every track. Lee is stepping away from the pop band image into the wider music scene as a talented and credible artist in his own right.