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Monday, January 1, 2007

The Better to Hear You With, My Dear 1/1

Hello, gang. Welcome to 2007. I think it's going to be a good one.

Here's some of the music that I've been listening to during the past week:

Smile, It Confuses People - Sandi Thom

When I first heard the song, "I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker," I was sure that I wasn't going to like it. The pretentious a capella opening and the hackneyed, nostalgic-waxing lyrics are just the sort of thing to get me to change the station. However, I didn't change the station, and I listened out of curiosity to see just where this young lady, Sandi Thom, was planning to take us. Lyrically, she didn't go much further, but her total commitment, vocally, to her metaphor, and the introduction of the drums -- those big, Scottish drums -- as a further punctuation of her gradually increasing paroxysm of melody, absolutely sold me. "Punk Rocker" became for me one of those songs that, if it were playing on the radio, I would sit and leave my car running after I'd reached my destination, so as not to miss the little Scottish lass's full musical ascent.
The rest of the album retains the percussive element of "Punk Rocker," while giving us a better sample of Ms. Thom's vocal and songwriting ability. I like it. It's a welcome addition to my collection.

Baker Street - Original Broadway Cast Recording

Reasonably clever. Moderately tedious. From a purist standpoint, too much has to be changed about Sherlock Holmes to enable a musical comedy about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective to work. (Back in 1965 when it ran on Broadway, critics were divided about whether or not it did.) Inga Swenson is very capable, though, and definitely earned her Tony nomination. Perhaps the cast recording does not do justice to the fully-staged version, but I think there's a reason why this show is not oft-produced.

Jersey Boys - Original Broadway Cast Recording

I defy you not to bob your head or tap your feet along to this music of this stage tale of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons: "Sherry", "Big Girls Don't Cry", "Walk Like a Man", and more.
The cast does a remarkable imitation of the classic pop quartet, but I find myself asking the same question I asked about the cast recording of Twyla Tharp's Billy Joel musical, Movin' Out: why not just get a greatest hits album of the original artist?
Still, this is a fun album, but at the same time, I'm glad I got it cheap, so I can go pick up a Four Seasons "best of" album as well.

1 comment:

ali said...

Movin' Out CD:
because Michael Cavanaugh is awesome! Seriously, anyone who can play and sing Billy and still make it his own is pretty amazing. I have his new CD, I'll have to upload it for you...along with all those others I promised you so long ago.