Cavendish Records Ltd
Release Date: September 24th 2021
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- Somewhere (There’s a Place For Us)
- You Raise Me Up (feat. Martha Thomas)
- There You’ll Be
- At Last
- When You Believe (feat. Martha Thomas)
- La Vie En Rose
- I Will Always Love You
- In the Arms Of An Angel (feat. Martha Thomas)
- Fix You
- Can’t Help Falling In Love
- Over the Rainbow
Lucy Thomas’s music is something unique, something to behold and something that people are going to be impressed about, as this young 17-year-old from Lancashire has carved a name for herself delivering albums of famous pop and broadway covers, ever since her introduction into music by the way of The Voice Kids UK. Though only 17 at the moment, she’s been able to tackle some of music’s most complicated songs, vocally, and make them her own, as her music continues to amaze people, and hopefully allow listeners to rekindle their own love for broadway music, soundtracks, and showtunes, even music of the past, that would otherwise have been swept under the rug, in favour of the pop music landscape at the moment. Lucy’s music is a step above, and maybe, just maybe, she can follow in the footsteps of Jackie Evancho and her music, as the years continue to roll by? Lucy’s music has given me a new perspective on big-ballad songs that have impacted music and society during the 1990s and 2000s, and it is through an artist like Lucy (and also through other ‘cover’ artists Cimorelli and Peter Hollens), that cover artists can still have their place, in music, society, and have an impact on people who they themselves want to get a start in the business, through the way of Youtube. Lucy’s talent at such a young age is indeed off the charts- maybe talent shows actually do work? With songs from soundtracks, broadway musicals, and big-soaring ballads of yesteryear, making up most of Lucy’s musical repertoire thus far; Lucy’s crisp sound and vocally steady voice beyond her years, makes her one of the most uniquely gifted and compelling cover artists I’ve heard in a long, long time (ever since artists like Peter Hollens and Cimorelli!).
‘…I discovered Lucy Thomas’s music by accident. There, I said it. I wasn’t looking for another broadway/young artist to listen to, no, I was just listening to Jackie Evancho and writing about her in my blog post, around a few months ago. And then one day on my Youtube home page, this little song appeared- ‘There You’ll Be’. I shrugged my shoulders, thought ‘why not? What’s the worst that could happen?’, then clicked on the music video, then…I guess the rest was history then, right? Lucy was eliminated from The Voice Kids U.K. in 2018 in the Semi-Finals…and that’s pretty much all the info you can find of her online, other than her website, that is. Nothing else, which makes this ‘blog post’ hard, right? Well, not really, because sometimes when you have not much information about someone you know needs to be heard by people, then you know that people are definitely sleeping on them, and their music, however ‘unknown’ it is to people right now, can certainly ‘wow’ them in the future, if people only heard. Lucy’s music is the same- since hearing Lucy tackle a Faith Hill cover a few months back, I’ve been on a journey through listening to both of Lucy’s albums (Premiere in 2019, Encore in 2020), and the several single-covers she has done since, and let me just say, that Lucy’s vocals may be one of the most uniquely powerful and heartfelt I’ve heard, in a broadway sense…maybe even better vocally than Jackie Evancho herself…’ This quote just above is from my blog post that I undertook about Lucy and her music earlier on during the year, and it was then that I rekindled my own appreciation for music of yesteryear, especially 1990s music, the decade that I myself grew up in. It’s rare from an artist to be this young, and then to deliver powerhouse hits by Mariah Carey (‘Hero’), Snow Patrol (‘Run’), The Eagles (‘Desperado’), Celine Dion (‘My Heart Will Go On’) and Whitney Houston (‘I Have Nothing’), with such grace, poise, elegance, and heart, but that’s what Lucy has definitely done. And then to top it all off with covers of songs from soundtracks of movies/musicals past (‘Reflection’, ‘A Million Dreams’, ‘Never Enough’, ‘Listen’, ‘Someone Like You’, ‘Defying Gravity’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Memory’, to name a few), and I firmly believe you have a star in the making, someone that is hopefully destined to carry on and deliver classic songs that can bring a younger generation into the fold of appreciating songs that have lent themselves to the fabric of music for decades upon decades, songs that have shaped the culture and identity of the world, and have really reminded us the power of music as a whole, regardless of the time period and genre.
It is in Lucy’s powerful covers, where I myself find this particularly true statement of how the song should be bigger than the initial artist singing it, and that some songs that are timeless (a.k.a. a lot of the songs Lucy has covered in her career thus far) should be heartfelt, challenging, and compelling regardless of the vocalist singing. And Lucy has definitely given us this experience across both Premiere and Encore, and now as we sit in August 2021, we’ve been blessed once again to receive another musical offering from Lucy. Timeless releases at the end of September 2021, and comprising of various hits that she has covered throughout last year and this year (most are available as either a cover video online, or on Apple Music as a single release), Lucy’s upcoming 12 tracks are arguably some of the best, as this artist who’s voice is far beyond her years, shows us a thing or two about the necessity of songs of yesteryear, and that as much as we care not to admit, we enjoy a lot of these 90s tracks more than we show. Songs have the ability to change and inspire, and in some extreme cases, alter the trajectory of someone’s life, coming in at just the right time for someone who may need some kind of hope and perseverance. A lot of the songs on Timeless are in fact, timeless (see the pun, there!), and while we as lovers of 90s songs, or people who appreciate and respect Lucy’s vocals (or both), anticipate this forthcoming album to release digitally this September; we can still listen to these songs on full, on youtube, or through her single release catalogue on Spotify (the album is available, just not in the ‘usual’ album format we are so used to).
Standing at 12 tracks, much of the music that is present on Lucy’s third album has been released as single-only tracks throughout 2020 and 2021; and has been discussed at some length in my blog about her earlier this year. The first song here on Timeless, Lucy released her cover version of the famous Leonard Cohen track ‘Hallelujah’ in December 2020, and in just over 8 months, the video of the already-famous song has received around 10.1 million views…must be doing something right! Lucy’s rendition is stellar and absolutely flawless, in fact, this version of ‘Hallelujah’ is perhaps one of my favourite covers of the song, ever…possibly only rivalling the cover by Pentatonix. That’s how passionate, heartfelt, and emotional Lucy’s cover of ‘Hallelujah’ is- in fact, for anyone who wants to check out Lucy and her music; and wants to hear her voice and see how she sounds like, then a perfect starting point would be this cover- everyone knows ‘Hallelujah’ (or at least I think they do), and we can all see the enthusiasm on her face as she’s singing. ‘Somewhere (There’s a Place For Us)’ follows along from ‘Hallelujah’ as track #2 on Timeless, and is a song from the 1957 Broadway musical West Side Story. While I haven’t heard the song at all since Lucy’s rendition (mind you, I’ve heard only of West Side Story by name, I haven’t seen the musical at all), ‘Somewhere’ is indeed emotive and heartfelt, and is a song iconic nonetheless, synonymous with the musical, and a song that most people who love musicals would know. Lucy’s rendition of the track is poignant and compelling, with the song itself about finding a place somewhere for us to thrive in, to search our own lives to see where we fit, and who we fit with- an identity song, if you will. Lucy also covers the Josh Groban famous song ‘You Raise Me Up’ in a video-only performance with her sister Martha Thomas (now present on Timeless as an audio track too!), and the cover track is just as powerful and emotive as other covers- namely covers by Westlife, John Barrowman and Peter Hollens. While nothing can still compare to the original by Josh Groban, Lucy’s version comes agonisingly close.
Throughout the rest of the album, Lucy’s delivery of iconic songs of the ages, are what makes this ‘cover’ artist so unique, and I’m sure that Lucy’s future is bright, either in stage productions, musicals, power-ballad covers of iconic songs, or even if she’s doing original music in the future. ‘Angel’ (or in case of Lucy’s cover, it’s called ‘In the Arms of An Angel’), was originally written and recorded by Canadian Sarah McLachlan, and is about a persona, who is a drug addict, and the struggles that they face in the world- the ‘angel’ in the song is actually symbolic of the drugs this persona gives into. And thus, knowing the story behind said song, the song takes on a whole new meaning, and even though Lucy Thomas, and her younger sister Martha, do an excellent job in delivering this song to perfection, I can’t help but wonder…do these sisters really know the true meaning behind this song, one of the standout melodies of the 1990s? The song is perfectly done, but knowing the meaning of the song, should it even be sung in such bold declaration anyway? ‘There You’ll Be’ was the first song I ever heard from Lucy, and thus will be one of the most sentimental songs I’ll hear, ever…and a reminder of how vocally crisp and sincere Lucy’s is. Just hearing the song for the first time (through a music video a few months ago), I thought it was Faith Hill’s vocals for sure (even though we can see through the video that Faith isn’t singing but Lucy indeed is)- that’s how similar of a rendition, Lucy has crafted for the song. I guess, if anyone can sing ‘There You’ll Be’ and sound remotely like Faith (which is what Lucy undertook with much success), then they’re in for a critically acclaimed future in showbusiness, soundtracks, musicals and broadway, right?
Lucy also presents an English cover of ‘La Vie En Rose’, originally the signature song of French popular singer Edith Piaf. Standing at a little over 2 and a half minutes, Lucy’s powerful rendition showcases her vocals quite compellingly, as we see Lucy in her element as she delivers the high notes with much ease and grace, something that isn’t always the case with most people her age. Her current age of 17 is a reminder that age is truly a number- you can almost be forgiven to think that the age of Lucy is much higher than that of 17, especially if you’ve only heard her songs and haven’t seen her face before- that’s how refined and steady her singing voice actually is. ‘At Last’ (Etta James), ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ (Elvis Presley) and ‘I Will Always Love You’ (written by Dolly Parton, popularised by Whitney Houston) are all given the Lucy Thomas treatment, as Lucy delivers these tracks with such honesty and proficiency, something that is unique for a person her age. Maybe I still haven’t gotten over the fact that her ridiculously controlled vocals and enthusiastic presence can exist in the same sentence of her being 17…then again, Lucy’s music has really humbled me to not always assume that people who are young aren’t as talented as seasoned veterans. Lucy has certainly held her own in ‘At Last’, ‘I Will Always Love You’ and ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’, and at 17, her voice is almost certainily unparalleled, maybe Jackie Evancho’s when she was 17, could rival Lucy’s now. But all in all, Jackie’s vocals and Lucy’s vocals are different in many regards- Lucy’s is suited more to broadway, and Jackie to opera. Nevertheless, both Lucy Thomas and Jackie Evancho are both at the top of their game; and listening to both these artists have increased my own love and appreciation for movie soundtracks and musicals, which is a very good thing.
Lucy also tries her hand at covering the rock anthem ‘Fix You’ by British rockers Coldplay (for me, it’s the most famous and the most emotive song by Coldplay, ever), and Lucy’s rendition is just as heartfelt as the original. Even more enjoyable and heartfelt than the covers of this track, by artists like Peter Hollens and acapop kids! Who am I kidding! ‘Fix You’, any cover version, is great. It’s just a great song, period. Lucy then slows it all down with the suuuper slow (and maybe even a little too slow for my liking) rendition of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ (a song originally by Judy Garland for the movie The Wizard of Oz, but now attributed to singer-songwriter Eva Cassidy, who covered the song in the 1990s, which became a big hit during that decade). While I can appreciate the song in general, I actually haven’t seen The Wizard of Oz yet, so maybe, after I check out the movie, I can love the song all the more. But maybe, the slow tempo isn’t really my liking anyway- I’m much more inclined to listen to First To Eleven’s upbeat rock version of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ than this cover…sorry! Regardless of this minor hiccup, Timeless still stands tall. Rounding out the album is another Lucy Thomas duet with her sister Martha (the previous duets on this album are ‘Angel’ and ‘You Raise Me Up’)- this time, the sisters tried the challenge of lending their voices to ‘When You Believe’, a song popularised in the movie The Prince of Egypt and originally sung by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey- big shoes to fill, right? After a few listens through, you can totally tell that these two sisters are having a blast, and I’m sure Whitney would be smiling down from heaven, enjoying this powerful cover for what it is- a great rendition, of an already great song.
Lucy’s music is a blessing for anyone who has heard her music. And while Lucy is still a relatively unknown artist in the music community at large, her new upcoming album Timeless, as well as both Premiere and Encore (released in 2019 and 2020 respectively), can hopefully change that. We are reminded that talent like Lucy’s only comes around once in a lifetime- you have the artists of yesteryear, like Etta James, Eva Cassidy, Barbra Streisand, and Aretha Franklin, and while it can create a big whole in music when artists of that calibre pass on, the sting it leaves, becomes less and less, knowing that an artist like Lucy Thomas is here, presenting music in virtually the same calibre of quality as these artists aforementioned. It’s not easy to sing all these songs with such precision and enthusiasm at such a ripe ol’ age of 17, and if anyone has the capabilities of that, then they’re just blessed by God, full stop. And that, in and of itself, should be reason enough for anyone to check out Lucy’s work, at least once, right? Lucy’s music has been instrumental in my own life, as I’ve revisited my own appreciation for 1990s ballads, and has reawakened my own continual appreciation of musicals- and hopefully me being able to check out a few more musical films in the months and years to come- maybe I can watch movies/stage productions like Hamilton, A Star is Born and Dear Evan Hansen in the upcoming year ahead? Musicals have a way of telling a story through song, that many other movies (non-musicals) cannot, as we’re reminded that songs in general have the ability to showcase deep and poignant feelings a person may have, that may only find it comfortable to sing about- they are given permission to discuss various issues through song, that they believe they can’t, when it’s just them talking about it.
Listening to Lucy and her beautifully arranged covers of songs from musicals, reminds me of the wide world of theatre and songs and musicals that I still don’t know about, that I want to know about in years to come. Maybe I can hopefully watch the iconic ones soon- Wicked, Cats, Jersey Boys, Rent, Dear Evan Hansen, Mamma Mia…those ones that people generally know. And if it is somehow by a Lucy Thomas song that has reawakened my very own appreciation of that particular style of music, then that is a good thing. If I’ve realised that musicals aren’t as ‘foreign’ or ‘different’ as what I thought of them to be, through such an artist as Lucy, then I guess her music, and her ability to deliver powerful ballads at such a young age, is something to be respected, admired and honoured for what it is- something used by God in order for us to see far beyond our very own music bubbles we submerse our whole lives in. Well done Lucy for all of the song renditions on Timeless (and on Encore and Premiere too!). Can’t wait to what is in store for you next…maybe some collaborations with artists like Josh Groban, Peter Hollens, Jackie Evancho and Penatonix in the future? Whatever the case, Timeless (through the videos and standalone singles) needs to be heard pronto, and on repeat if you can. An artist like Lucy ought not to be ignored any more. And Premiere, Encore and Timeless can remind us of this very fact, that you don’t have to be too young to know that you have something to say.
5 songs to listen to: Hallelujah, Fix You, Somewhere, There You’ll Be, When You Believe
RIYL: Jackie Evancho, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Sarah McLachlan, Josh Groban, Jeff Buckley