Artist: Ramin Karimloo
Distributed By: Sony Masterworks
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Iranian-born Canadian singer/performer Ramin Karimloo has wowed audiences with his portrayal of the Phantom in London's West End performance of Phantom of the Opera and Jean Valjean in the West End production of Les Misérables. He was the original actor to perform the role of the Phantom in the Phantom of the Opera sequel, Love Never Dies, when it opened in West End in 2010. His love of performing began at a very young age and was honed over the years prior to landing the role that would lead to critical acclaim as one of the greatest Phantoms of all time. But Ramin Karimloo isn't just about the theater. He has a love of all things music, so when he was approached by a major label to create an album, Karimloo seriously considered the idea. The result is Human Heart, a twelve-track album released on June 5, 2012 by Sony Masterworks.
In contemplating the creation of this album, Karimloo wanted to do something different. "I didn’t want to be just a theatre star putting out an album. It was only when they started talking about writing and bringing in other writers that I got interested. I wanted to have lived the songs. I wanted an album that was like a diary." To that end, Human Heart features tracks that Ramin Karimloo has sung on stage a number of times in his performing career, covers of Brian Adams and Muse songs, songs by Duncan Shiek and Steven Sater and songs that Ramin had a hand in creating himself.
Ramin Karimloo has an incredibly powerful and pleasing voice that immediately draw you in. He could be singing about the most miserable event in his life and the listener would still find themselves smiling, mesmerized by the sound of his voice. There is something about Ramin's voice that is suited for numerous musical genres and he plies his trade at quite a few on this album, flirting with pop, rock and ballads. Yet, even as he sings songs that have no theatrical history, one could tell he is a professional artist. I had decided to listen to this album without reading the promotional material and had him pegged as a theatrical star by the third track. Of course, anyone who has any inkling of Broadway musicals knows Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera, but Ramin Karimloo sings the song as though he has an emotional tie to its lyrics.
In fact, every track performed by Ramin Karimloo on this album is sung as if he truly believes in its lyrical content. When he sings of a love that has the potential to fall asunder in Broken Home, you hear the pain in his voice and feel his yearning to keep hope alive. When he sings Coming Home, you believe that he has never left you and will be there for you whenever you need him. The same is true for Constant Angel. You feel the love in his heart as he performs Til I Hear You Sing from Love Never Dies.
There is a beauty in Ramin's voice and a feeling that all he sings is heartfelt and that is what will make Human Heart a tremendous success among fans of theatrical musicals as well as mainstream music. Even his cover of Everything I Do (I Do It For You) sounds heartfelt, as if he can picture the very person he wants to sing the song to. The believability, power and passion of his vocals is what will make Human Heart an excellent venture for both Ramin Karimloo and Sony Masterworks and a terrific buy for the music aficionado at large.