Sunday, June 30, 2013

Music Review: Broadway Stories by Sandi Patty

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great songs from a wide range of musicals
Cons: If there is one, I sure can't find it
The Bottom Line
Show stopping music
Sung by incredible voice
Such a great CD

Will Leave You on Your Feet Shouting "Encore!"

As much as I love musicals, there are way too many gaps in my knowledge of them.  That’s been pointed out to me again when I bought Sandi Patty’s Broadway Stories, a collection of songs from musicals.

Now, my lack of knowledge hasn’t hampered my enjoyment of this disc in the least.  Sandi is backed by a full orchestra, so it sounds very much like a soundtrack.  I may not know the full context for the song, but her performances are still wonderful.

The songs I do know best show up in two medleys.  Up first is “The Sound of Music Medley.”  As the title implies, there are lots of songs from one of the best known musicals here including the title song, “I Have Confidence,” “My Favorite Things,” “Do Re Mi,” and “Edelweiss,” and “Climb Every Mountain.”  Even though the track clocks in at over 7 minutes, not all of each song is here, but the arrangement spends plenty of time on each song, and it’s easy to sing along.  As an added bonus, there’s a kid’s choir helping with “Do Re Mi” and another choir backing her on “Climb Every Mountain.”

The other big medley, clocking in at eight and a half minutes, is “A Doll Sings the Guys.”  I don’t know all the songs here, but there are some big ones that stand to me are “If I Were a Rich Man” from Fiddler on the Roof, “Ya Got Trouble” from The Music Man, “Oh What a Beautiful Morning,” from Oklahoma, and “Get Me to the Church on Time” from My Fair Lady.  This track more than any other shows off Sandi’s acting ability as she really gets into each character she’s portraying.  It brings an extra smile to my face.

There’s one more medley, “Swingin’ Love Medley.”  As the title suggests, the song has a fun big band/swing feel to it as it celebrates love.  There are only three songs in this track, including "I Just Found out about Love," This Can't be Love," and "Our Love is Here to Stay."

The other seven tracks are all individual songs.  They range from the slower “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” to the more energetic “All of Me.”  I would say the songs tend toward the slower side of things, but they are interesting in their own right.

One highlight is “Smile.”  I’ve got to say I expected it to be a preppy upbeat number, but I do love it because of the descriptions as the singer tries to encourage someone who is down to smile.  The orchestra also gets a wonderful bridge here.

On the other end of the emotional spectrum is “Send in the Clowns.”  Sandi gives this one everything she’s got, and the result is heart breaking as she sings from the point of view of someone who has missed her life focusing on career over people.  The melody is haunting, which really helps draw you into the song.

Closing out the disc is the encouraging “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”  Sandi’s voice soars over the orchestra and the background choir.  It is soul stirring and makes me feel like I can face anything.  When I’m doing listening to it, I’m ready to stand up and cheer.

The booklet that comes with the CD talks a little bit about each song – either the history of the song or why Sandi chose to include it.  Since I know so few of these songs, it helps give me a context for them and I appreciate them much more as a result.

Not only is this a little bit different in Sandi’s career, but it’s something different in my collection.  It’s a great change; Broadway Stories will be enjoyed for a long time to come.

CD Length: 49:23
1. Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man
2. Smile
3. Swingin’ Love Medley
4. The Sound of Music Medley
5. The Man I Love
6. All of Me
7. A Doll Sings the Guys
8. Send in the Clowns
9. Love is Only Love
10. You’ll Never Walk Alone

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