I am NOT a fan of opera at all but like another reviewer said, I saw the film and simply HAD to get the soundtrack! I actually borrowed the single disc version from my daughter's friend, but was left wanting to hear all the little bits and pieces that pop up throughout the movie between scenes.
For instance when Christine first wakes up in the Phantom's lair and removes his mask. She sings a beautiful song which, (in true Andrew Lloyd Webber style!), becomes a very dramatic piece when the mask is gone and the Phantom gets just a li'l bit cross!
Also missing from the single disc version is the piece sung by the Phantom immediately following Masquerade, when he walks in wearing that wonderful red get-up! (It's called 'Why So Silent' if that helps!)
If you are a fan of the film, or Gerard Butler, or both, (like me!), you will absolutely love this edition. This CD set is pretty much the whole film! The film runs at about 130 minutes and this CD runs at 120! All the bits and pieces are here, they've left nothing out!
People have critisized Butler's singing performance and I would like to have my 2 pennies worth if I may. Andrew Llyod Webber and Joel Schumacher chose Gerard BECAUSE of his voice and acting abilities, (and because he cuts a mighty fine figure on the screen too!) A.L.W wanted the Phantom to have, and I quote..."A rock and roll quality"...And also, let's not forget, the Phantom is a man who is just a tad bonkers from living such a deprived, loveless life. If you loved someone as much as he does Christine, your voice might wobble and growl if her fiance kept turning up at inappropriate moments!
Personally, (and I may be biased), I much prefer Gerard's singing to that of Michael Crawford. (I grew up worshipping M.C's version if that says anything). However,now when I listen to Michael Crawford, I can't identify with the Phantom's pain like I can with Butler. It's his raw edges and breath control that makes me listen to Gerard sing time and time again.
If you are a 'phan' of the original stage production, you may be diasappointed by the changes to lyrics and storyline here, but all in all, I think this deserves a look, (or should that be listen?!), regardless.
It's breathtaking stuff, and perfect for doing the ironing to when you can't just sit and watch the movie! (Too many Gerard visuals to slow me down!)
Pop it into your stereo, take the phone off the hook and be drawn into a world where darkness stirs and wakes imagination!