Danielle Steers has made a name for herself in the past few years. She first came to my attention in a small but memorable role in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and then went on to originate the scene-stealing role of Zahara in Bat Out Of Hell - her two big numbers in the show were among the shows standout moments. After saying goodbye to Zahara, she won a new legion of fans taking over the role of Catherine Parr in global sensation Six but now she's revisiting her past for her first full-length album.
While the casual theatre-goer would refer to Bat Out Of Hell as "The Meat-Loaf Musical" it actually went beyond that. While the title shares the name of the best-selling album from Meat-Loaf and the musical was full of many of his most famous songs, the consistent factor in all of the songs featured were that they were written by Jim Steinman. This means the musical contained songs written by him that were never performed by Meat-Loaf. Steers sticks to this theme for her album, paying tribute to songs written by Steinman for Meat-Loaf and various artists.
Steers herself said “I’ve been a fan of Jim’s music from a young age. Being cast in ‘Bat Out of Hell’ was a dream come true and truly life changing as it opened up new doors and lead me to perform in places I could only dream of. My album of Jim’s songs is a love-letter to the fans who have supported me for nearly three years and still do to this day and Steinman himself.”
'The Future Ain't What It Used To Be' feels like a companion to Bat Out Of Hell and could perhaps be seen as an extension to Zahara's character in the show. Ony two of the nine songs on the album featured in the musical, one of which is standout moment 'Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad'. In the show, this was the first moment you got heard Danielle Steers; incredible voice - of the multiple visits I made to the show, I would regularly hear gasps the moment she opened her mouth (sometimes those gasps would come from me). Danielle's vocals on this song were previously immortalised on the cast recording so for this new version, she strips the song back and delves into the message, miraculously making it even more heart-wrenching. The songs are all beautifully arranged by Noam Galperin, who succeeds in making them sound fresh and create a bit more intimacy, allowing Steers to connect to the songs on a personal level.
The album contains a host of Steinman songs some may not be familiar with - Danielle exhibits her prowess in the sultry 'Safe Sex' while 'Surf's Up' provides one of the highlights of the collection. Two Bonnie Tyler numbers are included in the album, with Danielle's distinctive vocal lending itself beautifully to the iconic 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart' while 'Holding Out For A Hero' gets a modern, perhaps more angsty makeover as a duet with fellow Six Queen and current contender on The Voice Lauren Drew. The pair work beautifully together showing off both of their amazing ranges in an incredible feat of girl power that evokes memories of 'No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)'.
In recent years, Danielle Steers has proved herself to be one of the greatest talents the West End has to offer. Her various musical roles have proven her versatility. Choosing to revisit the works of Jim Steinman in her most iconic role had the danger of pigeon-holing her. It did no such thing. Instead, it proves she can sing anything and make even the most famous and overplayed song her own. This collection of songs is a testament not only to the talent of Jim Steinman but to the talent of Danielle Steers. With nine beautifully arranged songs, there is not a dull moment to be found on here. Instead we are left with little over 40 minutes of musical perfection, and the perfect tonic to these dark, miserable lockdown nights.
'The Future Ain't What It Used To Be' is available to purchase from https://www.daniellesteers.co.uk/