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BWW CD Reviews: Broadway Records' WHERE THE SKY ENDS: THE MUSIC OF MICHAEL MOTT Awakens Dreamers
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December 20, 2014
|Related: Music, Musical, Solo Album, Broadway, Broadway Records, Michael Mott, Where the Sky Ends, Faustus, Mob Wife, Justin Guarini, Zachary Levi, Sierra Boggess, Bryan Terrell Clark, Laura Osnes, Jeremy Jordan, Josh Young, Orfeh, Jacqueline Petroccia, Ben Frankhauser|
To be utterly candid, I had never heard of Michael Mott until the review copy of Broadway Records WHERE THE SKY ENDS: THE SONGS OF MICHAEL MOTT landed in my mailbox. I read over the press release, glanced over the track listing, and placed the album into my stereo. The tuneful melodies that breezed out of the speakers instantly enchanted me, and the seasoned musical theatre vocals that accompanied them left me in awe. Needless to say, I hope Michael Mott is a name that we start to see a lot more of in the future.
In preparing his first solo album, Michael Mott admits that he had some issues in picking the track list. Being produced by Broadway Records, he was unsure if he should only use music he wrote for musicals or if he should include some of his standalone work as well. While, I wish we could hear more of his theatrical pieces on the disc, the selection of songs for the recording works well. The end product is a cohesive album that reminds us to avoid languor in life and to chase after our own dreams. Also, Michael Mott's selected songs show a nice range in his composition skills. Some are snazzy jazz ditties, others are lush ballads. All are well-constructed songs with effective lyrics and catchy melodies, making this album a treat from beginning to end.
The icing on the cake is the collection of rousing vocal talent on the album. Justin Guarini opens the album with his charming and bouncy vocal styling on the coming-of-age, self-realization up-tempo number "Just Like Me." For "The Left Side of the Moon," Zachary Levi radiates with Frank Sinatra inspired zeal on this swinging romantic piece. Sierra Boggess showcases her sultry soprano on the sexy, jazz ballad "The Devil." Reminiscent of RuPaul's "Main Event," Bryan Terrell Clark serves pure soul on the infectious disco anthem "Don't Stop Dancin'." With unadulterated sweetness and lively vigor Laura Osnes mixes her talents with Jeremy Jordan's uplifting charisma on the wonderfully hope filled "Dare to Dream." Josh Young woos listeners with his quixotic tenor on the delectable ode to lost love, "Her Embrace." On "Hold Me Tight," Orfeh spellbinds audiences with her gentle and loving voice. Jeremy Jordan's gorgeous and magnetizing voice is well-employed on the spirited and inspiring "Try." For "Let You Go," Jacqueline Petroccia ensures that we feel the heartbreak, anger, and strength of her dynamic character for this number. Ben Fankhauser delivers a moving performance as he progresses from sorrow to self-worth on the heartening "Gone." Michael Mott closes the album with his own lovely vocals on the stirring ballad "Sky."