Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
How Glory Goes
Genres: Pop, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
After Audra McDonald's audacious recording debut with Way Back to Paradise, a collection of newly composed, highly sophisticated theater music, this new disc dominated by Harold Arlen standards would seem to be a retrenchm... more »
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After Audra McDonald's audacious recording debut with Way Back to Paradise, a collection of newly composed, highly sophisticated theater music, this new disc dominated by Harold Arlen standards would seem to be a retrenchment. On closer inspection, not so. Anybody who would risk comparisons with Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland by recording "A Sleepin' Bee" and "The Man That Got Away" isn't playing it safe. McDonald comes out fine, though, not because she's better than her elders, but because she's different. What pop singers do with rhetorical flourishes, the operatically trained McDonald does with color and phrase shape, much more so here than on Way Back to Paradise. Indeed, she is in radiant voice. The differences multiply with the orchestrations, which give a Coplandesque slant to "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home." Then there's the sequencing, which follows "The Man That Got Away" with "Somewhere" from West Side Story. On a dramatic level, it's a progression from devastation to healing. On a symbolic level, the signature song of gay-cult icon Garland is followed by the unofficial anthem of the AIDS era--with staggering impact. Not everything is great: sometimes McDonald runs dry of interpretive ideas. But at least five cuts are each worth the price of the CD. My favorite: "Come Down from the Tree," a playful gem about love and change cut from the Broadway show Once on This Island. --David Patrick Stearns
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A tender, soaring, and smart recording.
John Connors | 03/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Audra McDonald's voice is fierce, warm, disciplined, tender, controlled, maternal, soaring, and smart. This is not an album that works as musical wallpaper -- the second it's on your CD player, you need to listen closely to understand it. But if you do listen, you'll be thrilled with this woman. The selections are not as challenging as those in "Way Back to Paradise" -- another great one, by the way, but not immediately ingratiating. In "Glory," McDonald has made the effort to reach out and bring her audience to her by mixing standards along with some of the more accessible songs of new composers. And she needs to make that effort because her operatic training brings something different to the pop idiom. In "Glory," she makes the breakthrough. One can imagine someday that she'll also "cut loose," (as she sometimes does in live performance), but the vision of that Audra doesn't diminish the real beauty of the one that's here. A favorite: "When Did I Fall in Love.""
This Is How Glory Goes
John Connors | Succasunna, NJ | 03/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""How Glory Goes" is the second CD from singer Audra McDonald, currently available at music stores everywhere. Ms. McDonald is a singer from the Broadway stage, a singer who, in her mid twenties, has three Tony awards to her name. However, unlike many a Broadway singer, she has no designs on traditional albums of showtune standards. Indeed, her first disk, "Back to Paradise," was comprised entirely of theater music written in the 1990's, by composers not yet into their 40's. On "How Glory Goes" she explores the relationship between theater music of yesterday and today by mixing the two together. Nowhere is this technique more effective than in her pairing of a true theater standard, "Somewhere" from "West Side Story" with "How Glory Goes" from 1996's "Floyd Collins." "Somewhere," sung in a quieter and more resigned manner than the song is accustomed to, is a song about heaven, the "somewhere" two lovers will find happiness. The song almost imperceptibly segues on the disk into "How Glory Goes," about a woman, in the moments before death, asking God what heaven will be like. It is juxtapositions like these that make the album more than just a collection of songs. Ms. McDonald's voice is also responsible for making the album more than the sum of its parts; she possesses a voice that, unlike many musical theater singers', can segue from brassy belting tones into beautiful colatura soprano ones at a moment's notice. The album devotes five songs to the composer Harold Arlen, probably best known for his songs for "The Wizard of Oz" and, on these classics, she displays the fullness of that range, from the soaring notes of "Any Place I Hang My Hat is Home" to the smoky blues of "The Man that Got Away." She also is an acting singer, investing lines with thought and care; the character of each song comes through. This is most evident on "I Won't Mind," a contemporary composition by Jeff Blumenkrantz that's a song of love from "Aunt Lizzy" to her friend's young son. Both sadness and love for the boy can clearly be heard in the childless woman's voice. The only complaint to be had is admittedly a purely personal one; as a fan of the new theater music being performed today, I would have liked to have heard more of it than the classics."
No sophomore slump for Audra!
John Connors | 03/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Audra hits another one out of the park with her second disc, "How Glory Goes". People who are already fans of her amazing talent and enjoyed "Way Back To Paradise", her first solo release, will not be disappointed with her latest effort. Audra is still Audra... the voice thrills and the interpretations are flawless.The best news, however, is for those people who love Audra's voice but aren't fans of the newer, more challenging music on her first disc. There's still some of that here, but she's added several "standards" from composers like Harold Arlen, Leonard Bernstein, and Jerome Kern. You've probably heard these songs before, but for me each track was like hearing the song for the first time.As much as I was a huge fan of "Way Back To Paradise", I think this disc will get even more time in my CD player."