Getting the opportunity to review Madalena Alberto's newly released EP 'Heart Condition' was very exciting to me, having heard her phenomenal performance as Fantine in the 25th Anniversary touring production of Les Miserables. Even more exciting is that the four songs featured on the EP are written by Alberto herself. For me, there is nothing more refreshing than a musical theatre performer who can take direction and deliver someone else's music AND be able to write, compose and perform their own work as well.
Alberto is a Lisbon-born performer and moved to London to study performing arts upon receiving a scholarship. Since graduating, she has had great success in numerous musical productions including the aforementioned Les Miserables tour, Jekyll & Hyde and Godspell (Union Theatre), Fame (UK Tour), Chicago (Kuala Lumpur), Zorro The Musical (West End) and Over The Threshold (Edinburgh and Off West-End).
The EP has great style and a real mixture of sounds. I think it is quite hard to define as a particular genre but her Portuguese roots definitely shine through, which is a nice touch. The title track begins with a sultry jazz vibe until the Spanish guitar kicks in and we are transported overseas. On paper it seems like a bizarre merger but works incredibly well. Recorded at the Rock Box Studios in Lisbon earlier in the year, the production of this track and the whole EP by Jose Canela and Tiago Borges is very impressive.
'Fairytale' is a more mellow track which highlights Alberto's wide vocal range. Lyrically all of the tracks are really interesting and well written. 'Gentleness Is Power' and 'Rainbow and the Sky' have a wonderful folk/country undercurrent and are my favoured tracks on the EP - the former really sticks in your head as well!
My only complaint is that there are only four tracks!
To get 'Heart Condition' digitally, it can be downloaded from iTunes or for a hard copy, visit www.madalenaalberto.com where signed copies are currently available.
Photo: Madalena Alberto