A new rock musical which debuted at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe before transferring to London, the soundtrack album for The Quentin Dentin Show is now available. Centering around a relationship in decline, suddenly Quentin Dentin bursts out of the radio to help our struggling couple attain their dreams – but is everything as it seems?
Most of the songs are sung by Luke Lane as Quentin Dentin and he’s got a fine old voice, sounding a little like John Barrowman at times albeit often with a menacing edge. The first main song is ‘The Quentin Dentin Show’ which starts off a little blandly but then explodes in a beautiful way.
Unfortunately, events then become a little disappointing, ‘Who’s That Man’ is a fine enough track with amusing conversational lyrics, but it feels a bit sub-Rocky Horror at this point. ‘Lemons’ continues along these lines, the lyrics are once again of interest, but musically it’s a little simplistic. Unfortunately ‘Holiday’ is the flip side of this, with a great sound and a superb female-led vocal, but lyrically I found myself a little bored.
Thankfully things pick up with ‘Friendzone’, a very eighties style tune, with a slightly threatening sentiment, and ‘People Like You’, which suggests that “Making people like you” is the meaning of life. It’s a really fun song and easily one of the better songs on the album, especially when it becomes a duet and it’s quite a charming affair.
‘Too Weak To Refuse’ follows and is largely pointless apart from the fact that it bleeds into the next song ‘The Quenin Dentin TV Show’ which is a strong female-led song which sees Quentin seduced by his microphone. Yup, I know it sounds crazy but it’s a very catchy affair and is one of the songs that will get stuck in your head for a good while afterwards.
Alas it’s followed by “Numbers”, which asks the age old question “What’s the best thing about being alive?”. Which is a question I don’t know the answer to, but it’s not this song. It sounds great and there’s some strong vocals but lyrically I found myself disinterested. The same applies with “Blame Game”, a very Elvis-y sounding song, I liked this a lot initially but then it becomes a bit too repetitive. There’s quite a few spoken parts inserted which made me feel that if I’d known what the plot was I might enjoy it more, but out of context it doesn’t work.
Fortunately that was the last time this occurred, for the final five songs are all superb stuff. “Life” has smart and funny lyrics, including “Life is what you want it to be, with a smile and denial you control what you see”, and the music is great too. It’s easily one of the best songs in the musical, and only made me wish that some of the previous ones had been better. Still, as mentioned, at least all of the rest are really good, including “Get Happy”, a playful, almost childlike song which contains daft lyrics about being the positives of being a fish (they don’t make waves) and being a better person, which has a gloriously over the top ending. Equally enjoyable is “Take Your Medicine” – “It isn’t fascism if it’s good for you!” and other lyrics will make you grin a huge amount in this song about committing thought crimes, as Quentin reveals his darker self. Finally “All Together Now” brings the show to an end with a summary of how the characters have changed, along with some advice from Quentin. “Castrate your mind, embrace machines, and live the dream!”, sonically it reminds me a little of Laptop’s I’m So Happy You Failed and this is no bad thing at all.
Fans of the musical will no doubt love this, and the songs if heard in context may work a lot lot better. But if you’re new to the musical the recording alone might not make you fall for it, about half of the album is great but a good few tracks are a bit nothing-y. It’s certainly amiable and very likeable stuff, but I’ve doubts it’ll be remembered in years to come in the way similar cult musicals like The Rocky Horror Show and The Little Shop Of Horrors are.