Unique, laugh-out-loud funny, crude but above all, genius - just a few ways to describe Chris Thatcher's album, Jesus Chris Superstar.
I love it when musical theatre performers release their own music as it allows them to put their individual stamp on tracks they love to perform without being given direction on how to deliver them. It is quite common to produce a CD of classic musical theatre songs and there is nothing wrong with this; however, of late there have been an increase in performers writing and composing their own tunes and also pushing new writer's work - both of which are very refreshing. Thatcher, I'm thrilled to say, has done the latter as well as teaming up with his producers to create a very different formula.
There are 21 tracks on the album which seems like a hell of a lot, but each musical number is separated by a combination of one -iners and witty sketches (featuring stand-up comedian Mathew Craig). As a whole, it is well balanced and effective. Although the one-liners are hilarious, I did feel that the sketches would have been enough to assist the music.
Thatcher has a stunning voice and he is very good at changing his vocal style dependent on character and mood. He has clearly got a great sense of humour and often takes the mickey out of himself. From the adult content and explicit language, you would be able to guess that Thatcher has been performing in Avenue Q until recently (and was absolutely brilliant, I might add). We are treated to 'If You Were Gay' from the aforementioned production which features the equally talented Jon Robyns, who was the original Princeton/Rod in the West End.
Congratulations to Thatcher and his team at MaKING Records for a superbly constructed album. I would say an essential for anyone who performs or enjoys musical theatre...as long as you are not easily offended!
Jesus Chris Superstar is available from MaKING Records and Amazon, and out digitally from October 15.
Photo: MaKING Records