Artist: Matthew Garwood
Album: The Tattooed Tenor
Record label: Decca Records
So often do we see talented performers appear on reality singing contests who wow us with their amazing voices and then disappear into obscurity. I am thankful this has not happened to Matthew Garwood. His is a voice that needs to be heard.
With a background that started in school choirs and heavy metal bands, Matthew Garwood has also been classically trained and is no stranger to musical theatre. He has had notable roles in such shows as Phantom of the Opera and Legally Blonde.
His debut album is a collection of classic ballads such as Hallelujah and Smile to more modern hits like All By Myself and I Will Always Love You. There are also musical theatre favourites such as Stars and the song that he performed to earn a place on Ricky Martins ‘The Voice’ team; All I ask Of You from Phantom of the Opera, sung with New Zealand soprano Toni Gibson.
Putting his own style and amazing voice to songs we’re familar with, there were some great surprises for me on the album.
Perhaps one of the most covered songs by ‘Easy Listening’ artists is You Raise Me Up, but for me, Garwood’s is the best version I’ve heard since the song was popularised by Josh Groban.
Another stand out is This Is The Moment from the musical Jekyll & Hyde. Its a song I loathe to hear artists interpret because none of them have been able to replicate the vocal acting of Anthony Warlow from the concept cast recording. However, now I have a new favourite version. Garwood’s powerful voice really captures the emotions of the song where other artists have fallen flat.
Hallelujah and Amazing Grace are two songs that have always had little appeal to me, but perhaps the biggest compliment I can give is that I haven’t skipped listening to either of them after my first run through of the album (and I’ve had it on repeat since I purchased it yesterday).
The albums rounds off with two ‘bonus’ Christmas tracks which makes it a perfect gift for music lovers this Christmas.
Inside the case, the CD itself features the elaborate and colourful tattoos that cover Garwood’s chest and arm. Its unique and fits his motto of dont judge a book by its cover.
Where ever Matthew Garwoods career is headed, I’m sure this is not the only CD release we’ll see from this fantastic artist. With a beautiful voice that’s clearly made for musical theatre, I also hope there will be more leading-man roles will be in his future.
The CD is a must have for anyone’s collection.