Two decades after he first came up with idea, Andrew Lloyd Webber's long-awaited new show Love Never Dies opened in London early this month, with the soundtrack released globally a day before the show.
Set in 1907, 10 years after the mysterious disappearance of the Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies continues the story of the Phantom, who has moved from his lair in the Paris Opera House to haunt the fairgrounds of Coney Island in New York. There he establishes himself as an impresario of freak-shows, and devises a plan to lure Christine from Paris to sing. She arrives, and tragedy follows.
There are well over two hours of music here to keep fans happy. While faithful followers will be glad to find questions to Phantom answered in this sequel, it may not have the same power to quench their musical thirst - none of the tracks are as earth-shattering, and it's unlikely they will stand the test of time.
Overall, the music doesn't live up to Phantom: there is nothing of the calibre of Music of the Night or Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again. They have been replaced by dull tracks like Beneath a Moonless Sky.
The Beauty Underneath is a surprisingly powerful song, and the title track is on par with past creations, but these are sadly in the minority.
YP rating: 3/5