This soundtrack grows on me everytime I hear it, and it is fast becoming a favourite.
The varying music styles enhance the story being told - particularly those that evoke vaudeville and the turn of the century. The intriguing tune of "Beautiful" isn't beautiful in the melodious sense of the world, but its very difference in the notes chosen make it beautiful in a strange and haunting way. The lovely harmonies and polite social graces covering up the truthful undertones of "Dear Old Friend" give at once an amusing and hummable song. "'Til I Hear You Sing" is an amazing ballad, and sung with such strength and emotion by Ramin Karimloo. My absolute favourite song on this album is the rock-opera style "The Beauty Underneath". The Phantom's entrance (not for the audience, but for Christine) is punctuated by the strong melody of "Beneath a Moonless Sky", which pervades the entire score. The "Coney Island Waltz" makes me think of carousels at old fairgrounds, but gradually changes to something more sinister, reminding us of who is behind Coney Island in "Love Never Dies".
While there are links to the original "The Phantom of the Opera", "Love Never Dies" can and does stand on its own.
There have been varying opinions on the soundtrack (and on the show), but I think it is like a lot of great music - music that endures - in that it is not always the first listen that traps you, but rather its ability to steal into your soul without you realising its growing effect. As someone who is fast getting hooked, I can't praise this soundtrack high enough.
The DVD includes interviews with Sierra Bogess (Christine), Ramin Karimloo (The Phantom), and Summer Strallen (Meg) for the cast, along with the director, lyricist, the creative team, and, naturally, Andrew Lloyd Webber. There are some fascinating moments, particularly those when you're taken behind the scenes to see the set taking shape.